The Northwestern men’s cross country team had a rough start to the season last Saturday at the NXN Heartland Invitational in Sioux Falls, S.D. Health issues beleaguered a few top runners, and six of the eight Red Raiders who crossed the finish line were running their first college eight-kilometer race. The other two runners are only in their second year on the team.
Sophomore Sean Guthmiller led NW to a sixth place finish out of eight teams with 156 points. Guthmiller ran the race in 28:47 and placed 24th out of 93 runners. Freshman Ben Bosch made his college debut finishing in 27th place with a time of 28:58. Sophomore Jesse Baldwin finished 30th with 29:07. Other newcomers included freshman Zach Wittenberg, who placed 45th (29:54), sophomore Andrew Lichter, who finished 60th (30:39), freshmen Chris Meyers and Josh Horstman, who placed 75th (31:58) and 77th (32:48), respectively, and sophomore Araya Assfaw, who ran 33:54 to place 85th.
Iowa Western won the meet with a score of 56. Dordt was second with 58, followed by USF with 59.
Next up, the Raiders travel to Crete, Neb., on Sept. 25 for the Dean White Invitational hosted by Doane College.