The Morningside Men and Women’s Cross Country teams look towards competing at Dakota State University’s meet on Saturday September 10th after a last minute meet cancellation.

The Mustangs were scheduled to run in Deborah, Iowa Saturday morning against some of the toughest and most diverse competition in the Midwest. During the week the meet was canceled due to impending thunderstorms and flood warnings in the area. Among the competition was Augustana, whose men’s team is ranked ninth in the NCAA III Midwestern region.

Under the direction of head coach David Nash, a Morningside Alumni and decorated track athlete, the team was directed to a meet of similar size in Madison, SD. Local collegiate teams such as Wayne State, Briar Cliff, Northwestern College, and Hastings College were all present. Hasting’s women’s team is ranked nationally ahead of the mustangs, a statistic that isn’t overlooked by Nash. Because of this, Nash believes the team is making a great last minute switch to Madison.

“Our reputation of nationally ranked teams and the integrity of what we brought has been pretty good,” Nash spoke to the men’s team as part of a pre-meet speech. “I want [our team] to be a hurricane, we have to keep this reputation going.”

Quinn Groff, a senior runner for the team, had a wealth of motivation for this meet after being able to witness his older sibling compete on this same course years before. “This meet has different competition that we don’t normally face. We are getting another opportunity to prove ourselves as a team,” says Groff adding, “Northern State is tough competition for the women, so it’s about to go down.”

Coach Nash was not only enthusiastic about the change of location for Saturday, but for how his runners have been performing lately. During the pre-meet talk he gave to the men’s team, he voiced his excitement for individual runners. “Alec [DeVries] has been one of the fastest cross country runners in Morningside history. Sean [Skillern] has transformed himself. We almost lost [Jason Kenny] to Northwestern but there’s a reason he is here,” Nash articulates with a grin spread across his face. The team joined in with laughter as they acknowledged Kenny’s crucial part on the team. “He is figuring things out,” Nash exclaims.

Morningside’s Cross Country teams are headed into this meet after a 6th place (men’s) and 5th place (women’s) finish last Friday in Sioux Falls at the Augustana Twilight meet. Out of the Great Plains Athletic Conference, Northwestern men finished 5th and Dordt women finished 4th at this same meet.