CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- The Mount Mercy cross country teams opened up their season Thursday night at their own meet, hosting the 23rd Annual Mustang Gallop at Morgan Creek Park. The men finished second with two top-10 runners, while the women placed fourth.
Cornell took the team title on the women's side with three runners in the top 10 and 43 points. The Rams' Abrah Masterson won the 4K, crossing the finish line in 14.27, 23 seconds ahead of the field. Mount Mercy's Andrea Ertz ran the course in 15.53 to place 10th. Teammate Katie Hoffert (15:54) was one second behind to finish 12th.
Jazmine Reynolds (16th/16:05), Kathryn Vander Poel (20th/16:13), Alexa Zamora (23rd/16:27), Vanessa Cortes (24th/16:28) and Allison Woods (33rd/17:16) helped earn the Mustangs 81 points, just three points behind third place Dubuque (78). Augustana (Ill.) was runner-up with 47 points.
The Cornell men earned the sweep, claiming the team title with 42 points. Mount Mercy was next with 61 points, followed by Coe with 88. Alec Bass was the 5K champion in 15:41. The Mustangs' James Lindstrom and Colton Forster paced their squad with times of 16:09 and 16:14. They finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Aaron Golding (11th/16:20), Jacob Blackmon (14th/16:33), Michael Marshall (21st/16:47), Tyus Thompson (42nd/18:27) and Eric Hansen (43rd/18:38) rounded out the Mount Mercy roster.
The Mustangs will be back at Morgan Creek Park next week, hosting Coe in the Five Seasons Duel on Friday, Sept. 9, at 6:00 p.m.