MADISON, S.D. -- The Bellevue University men's cross country team recorded its highest team finish in program history with a runner-up showing at today's Herb Blakely Invitational hosted by Dakota State University.
Desyebelew Debesh, continuing his impressive debut season, once again led the Bruins. Debesh finished fourth overall in 27:46 for the 8K course run over the rolling terrain of the Madison Country Club. Edrei Murillo joined Debesh on the podium with an 8th place finish, covering the course in 28:16. Chris Casart, Cole Wagner, and Gabe Poppen went 16-17-19 to complete the Bruin scorers in times of 29:09, 29:24, and 29:35 respectively.
Host Dakota State claimed the men's team title with a low score of 39 points to the Bruins' 59. Five teams, including four North Star foes, made up the field.
Head Coach Craig Christians had high praise for the Bruin efforts. "We ran solid as a group and had a one through five spread of 1:49 so we are beginning to run like a team. It was great to see the course where we'll run our conference championships in November and I'm looking forward to taking another run at Dakota State later in the season." He also praised the individual efforts of everyone who competed. "Des and Edrei put themselves in the mix early and maintained that position to finish on the podium. Chris is struggling a bit with some minor injury issues but he'll bounce back. Cole and Gabe made big (over a minute) improvements over their initial outing at Dordt and I feel like we're really moving in the right direction."
The Bruins will travel to North Sioux City, S.D. next Saturday, Sept. 19 to compete in the Morningside Invitational beginning at 10:45 a.m. at the Maude Adams Nature Preserve.