STERLING— The McPherson College men's cross country team captured the team title while the women finished third Saturday morning at the Sterling College Warrior Fest at Sterling Country Club.
The Bulldog men placed five in the Top 12, totaling 23 points to outdistance runner-up Sterling College (41).
Jesse Freeman took second in the men's 8-kilometer race in 27:13.70, one place ahead of teammate Jonathan Dominguez (27:16.50).
Jerod Fuller crossed the line fifth in 27:57.10, followed by Casey Zimmerman in ninth (28:23.00) and Felix Cervantes in 12th (28:27.30). Kevin Boeckman was 21st (29:33.20) and Alex Schuetz in 34th (33:48.40) rounded out the McPherson effort.
Bethel's Julio Martinez captured the men's individual crown in 26:35.60.
The McPherson women finished with 75 points. Host Sterling took the team title with 24 points behind six runners in the Top 12, while Tabor (50) was second.
Ane' Archuleta was the top McPherson finisher, placing 13th in the women's 5-kilometer race in 21:10.90. Samantha Nelson placed 15th (21:23.10), edging teammate Taylor Dreiling at the line (21:24.30).
LeaAnn Myers placed 19th (21:54.20), Rachel Foreman was 25th (22:36.90), Cassandra Valenzuela was 28th (23:21.70) and Alyssa Wilson was 31st (25:35.80) to round out the Bulldog contingent.
Tabor's Julie Loewen was the top women's finisher, stopping the clock in 19:26.70.
"I thought we came out with a positive attitude," Mac coach Cameron Magnall said, "especially coming off a tough weekend with some bad weather and some rough conditions. They really came to race well and I think it showed in both the men's and women's sides with improved times and improved results."
The Bulldogs take next weekend off before competing at the Tabor Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Cottonwood Point at the Marion Reservoir.
"I think in the next two weeks, it'll be about improving our mental conditioning — getting through that middle half of the race and just seeing where we are at team-wise," Magnall said. "We've flip-flopped a few places on the team — both on the men's and women's sides — and are just really figuring out who our top five are."