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Bellevue University cross country athletes set records at invite

From the Inside this week's Bellevue Leader: Sept. 21 series
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Sophomore Madison Nelson took nearly a full minute from the Bruin school record time for 5 kilometers at the Greeno/Dirksen cross country invitational Saturday hosted by Nebraska Wesleyan at Mahoney Park in Lincoln.

Overcast conditions and temperatures in the 70s and an exceptionally strong field created an environment for fast times.

Nelson’s time of 18:44.3 was good for 41st place overall in a field of 307 finishers. She was first among NAIA finishers in the meet that was comprised of three dozen schools, including 10 from NCAA Division I.

Junior Richard Marcoux lowered his lifetime best for eight kilometers at the invite. Marcoux recorded a time of 27:05.3 to set a personal best as he finished in 133rd place in the field of 318 finishers. Marcoux’s time moved him into the Top Ten on the Bruin all-time 8K list.

Three other Bruins women had strong efforts, led by Hannah Perkins, placing 194th with her 21:39.1 clocking, followed closely by Caroline Feig’s 211th place finish in 21:59.0. Claire Kimutai made her Bruin debut placing 289th in 25:36.4.

“Madison was almost a full minute faster than last year over the same course,” head coach Craig Christians said in a news release. “Hannah was not far from a lifetime best, and she should be really encouraged by that since she’s done little racing in the last four years. Caroline and Claire both came into the season with work to do, but they ... and everyone ... has been showing up with an attitude to work hard and get better. We can’t ask for more than that.”

For the men’s team, Edrei Murillo led three other Bruins in strong efforts. Murillo ran 28:29.6 to finish in 200th position, followed closely by Collin Kotz’ 204th place finish in 28:34.8. Aaron Newton clocked 29:56.3 for a 247th place finish to round out the Bruin competitors.

“The guys are working extremely hard right now,” Christians said. “I love the attitude they bring, and it’s going to show up three or four meets from now. Richard continues to impress, especially since he’s nursing a bit of an injury. He ran through it today, and he helps set the tone for everyone else.”

The Bruins quickly return to action Friday, Sept. 23, when they travel to Wayne State for the Wildcat Classic.

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