Carroll Men and Women Sweep UGF Cross Country Invite - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Carroll Men and Women Sweep UGF Cross Country Invite

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GREAT FALLS, Mont. – The Frontier Conference Cross Country Championship preview meet made two things clear. First, Carroll College is the team to beat. Second, UGF is in serious contention to finish third behind Carroll and a strong Lewis-Clark State College team that did not participate in the day’s event.

The UGF women finished the UGF Open, hosted at the future site of the 2015 FC Championships, in second place behind Carroll and 11 points ahead of Montana Western. The men’s side finished in third, but were just three points behind second place Rocky Mountain.

“I was very pleased with the results of the event.  That would include the performance of our teams, and the performance of the event,” said UGF head coach Bill Brist. “I feel that we still have room to improve, yet the results were satisfying for where we are right now.”

Junior Nicole Brist led the Lady Argos. She finished in 7th with a time of 19:41.88 and was the second non-Carroll runner to cross the finish line. Brist was followed by a close group of Claudia Hewston (20:29.52), Alexis Rickets (21:25.03), and Madison Scheppler (21:25.71) that finished 10th, 14th, and 15th respectively. The final scoring member for UGF was Kaitlyn Leist who finished 18th with a time of 22:55.19.

While the team finished well behind Carroll, taking a confident second in a meet against almost every conference foe on the same course as the conference championship bodes well for the Lady Argos.

“I feel that with a few slight adjustments, our young ladies may have more to use in two weeks at the Conference meet,” Brist said. “The Carroll women are ranked 6th in the country. That’s well ahead of where we are right now. That being said, our ladies are competitors and they fight for every spot.”

Carroll College would have finished with a perfect score on the men’s side if it weren’t for UGF runner Jace Kalbfleisch. The junior took fifth place with a time of 26:39.31 and finished just ahead of unattached runner Fredrick Petsch who beat Kalbfleisch and every other runner at the Great Falls-Rocky Mountain dual meet back on September 25.

“Jace ran one of the best races I’ve seen him run. He ran smart and controlled early and fast and competitive in the latter parts of the race,” Brist said. “His 5th place overall finish was a very nice performance.”

The next few Argo runners were fairly spread out with Tanner Boone (27:16.86) taking 9th, Marc Klimas (27:46.69) taking 16th, Peyton Jones (28:17.75) taking 18th, and Shay Lavallie (28:47.70) taking 22nd.

“Marc and Shay stood out to me today. They made huge strides from where they’ve been competing this season,” Brist said. “Both are major parts of our men’s team, and they showed up today ready to race.” 

The difference between Rock Mountain and Great Falls for second place was really just three seconds. Klimas finish just behind two RMC runners who finished in 14th and 15th place, the faster of whom ran just three seconds faster than Klimas. Had he found a way to close that three second gap, the Argos would have finished one point ahead of the Bears.

With such a close finish between the two schools, the next two weeks of training may very well decide which team takes third place at the championship meet.

That Frontier Conference Championship Meet will take place on November 6, on the same Hickory Swing course. The women will start at 12 p.m. with the men’s start time at 1 p.m.

“We will be looking forward to resting this upcoming weekend, and to creating our focus toward having our best performance of the season at the most important meet of the season,” Brist said.

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