Willadsen paces men's cross country at IIAC Championship

Willadsen paces men's cross country at IIAC Championship

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Blake Willadsen just missed all-conference honors, leading the Simpson men's cross country team to a fifth-place finish at the Iowa Conference Championships on a wet, windy Saturday at Dubuque Soccer Complex.

The Storm finished with 145 team points for their best conference performance since the 2012 season. Simpson came in ahead of Dubuque (164) and behind Wartburg (85). Loras won the team championship with 32 points while Central's Cole Decker took individual medalist honors.

"Our guys ran well today. We knew coming in that fifth place was probably our ceiling," head coach Heath Moenck said. "Blake had a terrific effort to lead us and Trey [Thompson] ran outstanding to begin his conference career on a high-note."

Willadsen placed 17th (top 15 are all-conference), completing the 8k course in 27:38.3 for the top conference finish of his career. Ian McKenzie came in 24th (28:07.3) and Thompson, a freshman, placed 36th (28:40.0), third among all freshmen.

Miles Kirts placed 44th (28:54.0), Nick Yaeger 58th (29:23.6), Brady Eversmeyer 65th (29:38.0) and Kyle Hovey 97th (30:37.0) to round out the Storm's varsity finishers.

Saturday, Nov. 14 at the NCAA Central Region Championships (Pella, Iowa)

17. Willadsen, 27:38.3
24. McKenzie, 28:07.3
36. Thompson, 28:40.0
44. Kirts, 28:54.0
58. Yaeger, 29:23.6
65. Eversmeyer, 29:38.0
97. Hovey, 30:37.0