CANTON, Mo. | Both the Hannibal-LaGrange University men's and women's cross country teams finished first in the Great River Open in Canton on Saturday to open the season.
The meet took place at River Valley Community Course, and was originally scheduled to be a collaboration between host Culver-Stockton College, HLGU and Quincy University. Instead, two American Midwest Conference (AMC) schools took Quincy University's place.
“I'm just excited to see our athletes compete again,” said HLGU cross country head coach Andy Lemons. “Definitely had some rust, but we showed a lot of guts.”
On the women's side, HLGU finished first with a total team time of 1:25:41.04, securing its fifth straight win at the Great River Open. Missouri Baptist University and St. Louis College of Pharmacy was third. Missouri Baptist University junior Emily Bayer finished first overall with an individual time of 15:43.08.
HLGU junior Lauren Sisco had the best individual finish for the Trojans, placing second with a time of 16:03. Sisco is hoping to replicate last year's success, where she qualified for the NAIA National Championship.
Other top finishers for the HLGU women's team included McKinley Christopherson placed fifth at 16:48, Elle Hudelson placed seventh at 17:20, Lindsey Lebel placed ninth at 17:35 and Madelyn Newsom placed tenth at 17:52.
On the men's side, HLGU finished first. Missouri Baptist University finished second, St. Louis College of Pharmacy finished third and Culver-Stockton College finished fourth. HLGU sophomore Heiko Thiele finished first overall with an individual time of 16:44.07.
Other top finishers for the HLGU men's team included Cyle Butenhoff placing third at 16:59, Jacob Giedinghagen placing fourth at 17:33, Garrett Rhile placing fifth at 17:35, Alec Whitener placing seventh at 17:56, Chase Grosvenor placing 11th at 18:34 and Riley Kliethermes placing 16th at 19:58.
The Trojans will race next on Saturday, Sept. 19 in the Larry Young Invitational in Columbia.