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Yellowjacket Invitational

MSUB's Jorey Egeland leads the pack at the start in the Yellowjacket Invitational cross country race at John H. Dover Memorial Park on Saturday.

BILLINGS — Jorey Egeland of Montana State Billings won his first collegiate race, helping the Yellowjacket men’s cross country team to a second-place finish at the MSUB Yellowjacket Open on Saturday.

The event was held at Dover Memorial Park.

Black Hills State easily swept both the men’s and women’s team titles. The MSUB women were also second, while the Rocky Mountain College men’s and women’s teams both placed third.

Running unattached, Chiara Warner won the three-mile women’s race in 17:53.53.

“That is the best race that we’ve run as a team all year long,” said Yellowjacket coach Jonathan Woehl in a press release. “We can still run better, but I couldn’t be happier with the men and the women heading into the conference championships. We had great individual performances but the entire team raced as well as I’ve seen them.”

Egeland, a senior from Billings, won the 4.2-mile race in 21:48.7. After keeping pace with Isaac Iverson of Black Hills State the first half, Egeland opened a 10-second lead for the final mile in the final home meet of his career.

“Once Jorey made his move, he never looked back,” Woehl said. “It’s awesome for him to take first in his last home cross country meet.”

Black Hills State finished 2-3-5-6-7-10-11 for 23 points.

Tyus Mendoza was fourth for the MSUB men, while Ronald Venema was eighth overall and Ivan Colmenero ninth.

“Jorey and the rest of the guys ran a very similar race, it just so happened that Jorey put himself in the position to take the lead but we had a lot of guys make their move around the three-mile mark to push our team up,” said Woehl. “Tyus, Ron and Ivan did a great job of making their way through the pack once they made their move.”

Jackson Duffey led Rocky Mountain College with a 12th-place finish, while Eddie Loughran was 14th.

The Black Hills State women placed five runners in the top 10 and three in the top four.

Nikki Aiken of MSUB was third in 18:45.18, while Bailey Bomar was seventh overall for the Yellowjackets and Catrina Schuchard 10th. It is Bomar’s second top-10 finish this year.

Kelby Wegner was 11th for MSUB, with Kateri Rush 12th.

“We got the consistency we have been looking for from the entire team today. Typically, we have some space in between our lineup, but today Catrina, Kelby and Sarah (Beatty) all hung in there close with each other,” Woehl said of the women’s team.

Mei-Li Stevens was Rocky’s top finisher, placing sixth overall in 19:57.03, while Guan-Yin Stevens was 15th in 21:15.17. Both are freshmen.

MSUB will have two weeks to prepare for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships on Oct. 21 in Bellingham, Washington. The men’s team placed fifth last year, while the women were 11th.

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