MITCHELL, S.D. - The Iowa Lakes cross country teams ran at the Dakota Wesleyan Invitational on Saturday.
"This was a very successful meet for both the men's and women's teams," said Iowa Lakes coach Molly Struve. "We had eight athletes run personal best times and Leah Courtney earned yet another top five placing. This meet had five total teams; however, we were the only two year school."
Courtney finished third with a time of 19 minutes, 45 seconds. Melissa Gjerde ran a career-best time by 20 seconds as she finished 21st in 21:58.
"She has been training very hard and it's good to see that pay off in her races," said Struve.
Karen Gonzalez placed 28th in 23:10 while Alyssa Ayers placed 29th in 23:32, Sam Piehl finished 32nd in 23:50 and Ashley Weston placed 34th in 25:01.
"Alyssa cut her personal best time by two minutes as well," said Struve. "She ran a strong race from start to finish and I could tell she was focused on getting a great time. Karen, Sam and Ashley all had personal best times as well."
Sydney Park, who is typically the Lakers' second or third female finisher, is out for at least two weeks due to a stress fracture.
The Lakers had just four men running.
Andrew Kruger placed 15th in 29:02 on the 8K course. Teague Anderson placed 22nd in 31:21; Kyle Kephart placed 24th in 32:27 and Luke Hinton placed 25th in 32:44.
"On the men's side, freshman Andrew managed a top 15 placing," said Struve. "He ran very strong the first two miles, but we need to work a little more on pacing for all our freshman athletes. Teague Anderson had a personal best time and ran fairly consistent throughout the race. Kyle and Luke ran together for most of the race, and finished very close to their previous personal best times.