Montana Western runners gain ground

BOZEMAN — The Montana Western cross country team continues to make strides in their second meet of the new programs history.

The Bulldogs traveled to the Montana State University open over the weekend, and they faced stiff competition across the NAIA and NCAA ranks. Other teams competing in the race were Utah State, Montana State, University of Montana, Idaho State, Carroll College, Montana State-Billings, Montana State-Northern and Rocky Mountain College.

Mindy Kaufman finished in 19 minutes 25 seconds to place 9th on the day and lead the Bulldog women’s team for the second consecutive race. Following closely on her heels was teammate Beth Jansma who finished in 11th with a time of 20 minutes 4 seconds. Other finishers for Montana Western were Gabi Gomez-Wint (21:14), Amanda Stobie (24:14) and Caleigh Buckmaster (24:24). The women finished in 3rd place against the stiff competition.

“Mindy ran another stellar race and is having a strong freshman season,” stated an enthusiastic coach Dylan Zitzer.

The men’s team was led by Russell Kujala and Paul Bielawski, who finished 20th and 22nd in 28 minutes 32 seconds and 28 minutes 53 seconds respectively. Other competitors for the Bulldogs were Dalton Delaney (29:46), Tanner Lehr (30:53) and Cole Davis (33:20). Montana Western finished in 5th place against other NAIA and NCAA division II competition.

“The kids competed well against tough NCAA Division I competition, I am proud of their efforts,” said Zitzer.

The Bulldogs will return to action Oct. 3 in Missoula for the University of Montana Invitational.

— Montana Western Sports Information

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