PREVIEW: BULLDOGS LOOK TO EXTEND SEASON AT NCAA II CENTRAL REGION CHAMPIONSHIPS

Analise Levesque (2019 NSICs)

The University of Minnesota Duluth men's and women's cross country programs will work to extend their seasons at the NCAA II Central Regional Championships, hosted by Missouri Southern State University this Saturday.
Thu Nov 7, 2019
JOPLIN, Mo. — The University of Minnesota Duluth men's and women's cross country programs will work to extend their seasons at the NCAA II Central Regional Championships, hosted by Missouri Southern State University this Saturday.

The women's 6,000-meter race will begin at 10 a.m. local time, while the men's 10,000-meter race will begin around 11:15 a.m.

MEET HISTORY
Last season's Regional Championships were also held in Joplin, with the Bulldog men finishing 15th in the 28-team field. The hosts from Missouri Southern State placed three runners in the top four to run away with the title. Braydon Kubat was UMD's top performer among returners, finishing in 58th place in 32:15.6. Cole LeBourgeios (no. 122, 33:31.9) and Owen Smalley (no. 151, 34:22.9) also scored for the Bulldogs.

On the women's side, the Bulldogs finished seventh in the 35-team field. Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference foes the University of Mary and Augustana University placed first and second, respectively. Morgan Radel paced UMD's squad, finishing no. 45 with a time of 22:52.8. Alexandra Robran also claimed a top-50 finish, running 47th at 22:55.5. Six of the Bulldogs' top seven finishers from a season ago return for this year's race.

LAST TIME OUT
The UMD women finished fifth at the NSIC Championships earlier this month in Wayne, Nebraska. Mackenzie Hall led the Bulldogs, claiming Second Team All-NSIC honors with a no. 18 finish at 23:02.84. UMD finished five runners in the top 50, including Radel at no. 28 (23:42.94) and Robran at no. 30 (23:42.35).

The Bulldog men claimed a sixth-place finish in the conference, with a group of Bulldogs each finishing within 30 seconds and 12 positions of each other. Lebourgeois led the way, finishing no. 25 at 26:53.06. Jonathan Tostenson finished no. 27 (27:01.21), Matthew Trutna no. 31 (27:04.34), and Nick Jacobson no. 34 (27:10.78).

BULLDOGS IN THE POLLS
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released its final regular season rankings for NCAA II on Oct. 29. Four NSIC foes rank in the top ten regionally on the men's side, led by No. 7 Augustana second, with Minnesota State University Moorhead (R.V.) fourth, the University of Sioux Falls sixth, and the University of Mary ninth. UMD remains outside of the top ten in the Central Region.

The Bulldog women also slid out of the top ten this week. No. 5 UMary leads the Central Region, No. 7 Augustana ranks second, Winona State University sixth, and Minot State University ninth in the latest rankings.

FOLLOW ONLINE
Live scoring will be available at Heartland Timing.

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