South Dakota women’s and men’s cross-country skiing trips to the Bradley Pink Classic on Friday October 15 at Newman Golf Course in Peoria, Illinois. The women’s 6,000-meter run is scheduled there at 3 p.m., followed by the men’s 8,000-meter run at 3:45 p.m.
After three consecutive weeks of competition, South Dakota returned to its traditional bi-weekly cross-country program. The Coyotes will be making their longest hike yet to the Bradley Pink Classic in Illinois. Merga Gemeda and Charlie Babcock from South Dakota have four of the five fastest times in the Summit League over 8,000 meters this season. Add Alec Atwood in the third slot and the men’s top three has remained unchanged in four fixtures. For women, Ella Byers has emerged as the top USD runner in the last three games. Only Byers, McKenna Herrmann and Melanie Pankow were in the scoring five in all four matches this fall.
A total of 29 women’s and 25 men’s teams form the field on Friday. Among them, seven of the men’s teams are classified regionally, highlighted by a double between No. 5 Wichita State and No. 6 Eastern Illinois in the Midwest Region. Six women’s teams are rated regionally, five of them in the Midwest region.
The Coyotes first made an appearance at the Bradley Pink Classic in 2014 and have returned every season since then. The South Dakota women won the 2017 team title and finished second three times (2014, 2018, 2019). The best place among the men reached fifth place in 2019. The Coyote course records in Newman are held by Amber Eichkorn (20: 11.8) and Mubarik Musa (24: 09.2), both from 2015.
One last thing
Friday marks the final regular race of the season for South Dakota. The Coyotes are two weeks ahead of the Summit League Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the NCAA Midwest Regional is slated to follow in November.