Nov 9th, 2013 @ 5:40 pm | Author: Mark Potts, Sports Information Director
The Viking men's cross country team has run all the way back to nationals.

Valley City State's men took first place Saturday during the MCAC/North Star conference and national qualifying meet in Lawrence, Kan., earning an automatic berth at the NAIA National Cross Country Championships on Nov. 23.

The VCSU Harriers will return back to the NAIA National Cross Country Championships as a team after a 27-year absence. The 1986 men’s squad was the last VCSU men’s team to advance to the National Championships under the helm of Dave Bass.

The Vikings took home five of the top seven spots Saturday, winning the meet with a score of 22. Dakota State was second with 54 in the field of eight teams.

Richard Langdeaux led the Vikings with a second-place finish in a time of 27:28.27. Richard Wright was 16 seconds back in third place, and Malik Jackson took fourth with a time of 28:05. Austin Albrecht placed sixth and Misael Herrera came in seventh. The top five Vikings runners were separated by just 63 seconds.

Wayne Engelhard (12th) and Alex Askerooth (14th) rounded out the Viking team with Top 25 finishes. VCSU head coach Ken Frenette was named Coach of the Year in the MCAC/North Star group.

“I am proud of the men’s squad in accomplishing their goal as a team,” said Coach Frenette. “They definitely showed up to race on Saturday. I knew at the two mile point these guys were not going to lay down without a fight. In my 25 years of coaching it was the best team performance collectively at a Conference Championship I have ever been involved with as a coach. I am excited for this group of young men to have the opportunity to race in a National Championship. We need to enjoy the moment and also to refocus and prepare ourselves mentally for Lawrence, Kan.”

The Viking men will take next weekend off before heading back to Lawrence, Kan., for the NAIA Championship on Nov. 23.

The Viking women took sixth place out of nine teams on Saturday, led by a 22nd-place finish from Monica Madavi.