Jenica Dodge was the first women’s runner to cross the finish line at the Montana State Running Company Invite on a snow-covered Bridger Creek Golf Course in Bozeman, Montana Saturday morning.
Dodge ran the three-mile race in 17-minutes and 11.51 seconds, beating the next finisher, University of Utah’s Amanda Gehrich, by eight seconds.
The men’s cross-country team took home first-place in the team competition, collecting 22 points and besting Montana State (48), Montana (75), North Dakota (113) and Northern Colorado (114).
Montana State’s Cameron Carroll won the men’s race, but the next four finishers were Idaho State runners. Garrett Condelario finished second overall while Joe Petty, Jesse Allen and Wyatt Didericksen were right behind him, finishing 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.
Connor Oswald finished 8th overall and Ricky Kuciemba finished 10th meaning that six of the first ten finishers on the men’s side represented Idaho State.
“It’s great when you can depend on a runner to finish up front because then you are only counting on four other scores,” said head coach Nate Houle. “Jenica remains up front and I think the others are closing the gap so I’m excited.”
Dodge’s victory is her second of her two-year Idaho State career and ran in her first race of the year as she sat out the Utah Valley meet two weeks ago.
Dodge, who transferred from American River College last year, has been the first Idaho State runner on the women’s side to cross the finish line in every one of the races she has competed in.
The women’s team finished in third place with 80 points, finishing behind Montana State and Utah who both finished with 42 points.
“It was great to see us finish ahead of some teams that are ranked. I think we showed that we were a little underrated today,” Houle said.
After a week off, the Bengals will travel to Notre Dame September, 30 and will see an increase in competition.