Rocky Mountain College’s men’s and women’s cross country teams competed well at the Frontier Conference Championships in Lewiston, Idaho on Nov. 3. With ample success throughout the season, the team was excited and looking forward to compete on a fast course. Although neither team will be continuing onto the national meet in Vancouver, Washington, The RMC men’s team did have two individuals qualify to run at this meet: Fred Petsch and Jackson Duffey. Coach Mike McLean said, “I am super excited for these two guys. With the way Fred has been running, I expected him to be up there, but placing second is outstanding. Freshman Jackson Duffey took a huge leap forward improving 28 seconds at a conference meet and running the best race of his life. This is a testament to his hard training. I’m looking forward to the national meet.”
The men’s team had ten members running and six personal best times at the Frontier Conference Championship Meet. Senior Fred Petsch ran the fastest race of his career clocking a time of 24:59 to place 2nd overall at the conference championship. Freshman Jackson Duffey placed 7th in a personal best time of 25:32. Both were members of the All-Conference Team, the Top 10 in the Frontier Conference. Eddie Loughran placed 3rd for the Battlin’ Bears with a personal best of 26:04. Freshman Logan Clements finished 23rd overall with a smashing personal best of 26:44. Dakota Johnson finished the scoring on the men’s side for the Bears with a time of 28:47, followed closely by George Beddow with a personal best of 28:52. Brenden Leaming also ran his best with a 28:55, followed by Dylan Council and Gilly Szweda Mittelstadt with times of 30:14 and 30:21, respectively. As a strong team, they placed 2nd overall to powerhouse Lewis-Clark, but beat rival Carroll College at the meet.
“I was extremely happy with how we ended our season as a team. We achieved our goal of getting second in the conference and we got two runners to earn All-conference awards. Almost every member of our team ran personal bests and that’s fun to be a part of,” said Petsch.
The women’s team, led by Coach MacKenzie O’Dore, had six personal best times at the conference meet and ran with a team of 10 ladies. Leading the women’s team was freshman Mei-Li Stevens, who clocked in at a personal best of 19:46. Corinne Hamilton pulled a strong second time for the Bears with a 21:12 followed closely by Guan-Yin at a 21:18; a personal best. Finishing the scoring for the ladies team was Stephanie Wilson and Carrie Cota, running times of 21:56 and 22:02 respectively. Carina Bracy, a ski recruit, ran a personal best of 22:07 and sophomore Jaylen Henderson finished with a 23:07. Finishing up for RMC was Jatinas Sattoriva, Rayna Laasko, and Danielle Robertson, all with great personal best times of 24:27, 26:50, and 27:01 respectively. The ladies’ team, made up primarily with underclassmen, has a lot of potential for next year.
The national meet in Vancouver, Washington, will be held on Nov. 18, where the top runners across the nation will compete. Petsch and Duffey will travel to compete in the 8k race that they’ve trained for all season.
Before competing, Duffey said, “I was super nervous before the race, but I knew what I had to do and that’s what I focused on.”
It seems that he focused on all the right things, as this freshman earned a ticket to the national meet. Petsch will be running his last college cross country race.
“Personally it was a little emotional. Getting together in a huddle before the race began I teared up a little just knowing it was the last time I would do this with my teammates. That really helped push me through the race because I knew if I didn’t give it everything I had I wouldn’t qualify for nationals and that would end my running career right there,” said Petsch, receiving his well-earned spot at the national tournament. Both men are excited to compete at a higher level and show what Rocky has to offer.