JENICA DODGE AND MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY CLAIM FIRST AT MONTANA STATE

Graysen Ludiker

Idaho State Sports Information

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Jenica Dodge swiftly navigated snow-dusted hills on the Bridger Creek Golf Course to claim the MSU-Bozeman Running Company Invite title Saturday morning. The Idaho State men took the team victory in the five-mile race with six finishers in the top-10.

“We had really good results in both races today,” said Head Cross Country Coach Nate Houle. “It was great to see us finish ahead of some teams that are ranked in the Mountain Region. I think we showed that we were a little underrated today.”

In her first race of the season, Dodge posted a 17:11.51 finish to win the women’s three-mile race. This is the second overall victory for Dodge who has led the Bengals in every race of her career. The senior claimed her first title at the 2016 Color Country Invitational.

“It’s great when you can depend on a runner to finish up front because then you are only counting on four other scores,” Houle said. “Jenica remains up front and I think the others are closing the gap so I’m excited.”

Ashley Sondag was the next Bengal across the line in 15th at the 17:54.29 mark. Rachel McGovern was close behind with an 18:09.69 finish in 19th. Katie Weedn and Reagan Badger, both freshmen, tallied ISU’s final scoring positions in 26th and 28th respectively.

Samantha Johnston, ISU’s second finisher at Utah Valley, did not compete. A light snow fell for the duration of both races.

“Something we have focused on in the last three years is not worrying about conditions,” Houle said. “Let others grovel about them, but everyone is racing in the same conditions so we just have to go out there and compete.”

Women’s Team Scoring
Montana State and Utah both scored 42 points, but the team victory went to the Bobcats. Idaho State finished third with 80 points. Montana (91), Northern Colorado (129) and North Dakota (159) finished fourth, fifth and sixth in team scoring. Montana was selected to finish third in the preseason poll ahead of Idaho State in eighth.

ISU Men Earn Team Victory
Idaho State earned the team victory in the men’s five-mile race with 22 points after securing six of the top-10 positions. Montana State (48), Montana (75), North Dakota (113) and Northern Colorado (114) finished second-fifth respectively.

Freshman Garrett Condelario led the Bengal charge once again with a 25:57.63 finish in second place. Joseph Petty, Jesse Allen and Wyatt Didericksen chased him across the line finishing third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Conner Oswald completed the course in eighth with a time of 26:15.03 and Ricky Kuciemba claimed 10th with 26:19.81 on the clock. The spread between ISU’s scoring runners was just 17.4 seconds.

ISU was projected to finish behind MSU in the Big Sky Conference preseason poll. Houle believes this victory gives the Bengals a good chance of breaking into the USTFCCCA Mountain Region Rankings next week.

Upcoming Events
The Bengals will look to carry momentum as they travel to South Bend, Ind. for the Notre Dame Invitational on Sept. 30.

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