By Steph Stanislao
After racing to the finish line last season against Southern Utah, the Bison Men’s Cross Country Team is ready to take the No. 1 spot at the end of the season. Catching up with the head coach, Don Larson explained how this season will compare to the last, “There’s a change in the conference, with Southern Utah and Oral Roberts having departed, one for the south and one for the big sky. We will be as competitive as we have been in the past. We had a really solid end to the season last year, being runner up in the Summit League. We’re looking forward to the cross country championship and being highly competitive within the league.”
The team lost a number of upperclassmen last year, who had excellent careers for the Bison and who provided leadership for the team. However, the team will have several veteran team members returning this fall, including the top five runners, Grady Anderson, Alec Espeland, Moses Heppner, Marty Joyce and Brett Kelly. With experienced runners competing again this year, the NDSU Cross Country Program will have new people stepping up into leadership roles, and should be sitting in a decent spot when the season starts. The Bison will also be welcoming a newcomer to the team this year, with Minnesota high school standout Bryon Schuldt.
When asked about the goals Larson has for the upcoming season, he stated, “The biggest things are the continued development of our upperclassmen, improving on their overall individual performances, and staying healthy.”
The Bison Men’s Cross Country Team will run their first invitational on August 31, at 5 p.m., in Fargo at Rose Creek.