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Combellick, Keller pace UMM runners in opener

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The University of Minnesota, Morris men's and women's cross country teams competed in the first meet of the season, running at Valley City State on Aug. 31.

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The women's team had a great start led by senior Linda Keller. She opened up a quick lead with a 5:34 first mile. Her lead continued to grow as she won by 53 seconds with a school record time of 14:08 for the 4,000 meter race.

The first-year runners started out the year in fantastic fashion. Laura Borkenhagen and Rachel Wingenbach were the second and third runners for the Cougars with times of 16:25 and 16:38.

"The two did extremely well," said coach Jeremy Karger Gatzow.

Sophomores Halee Morris and LaNay Walker rounded out the top five with a personal record of 16:42 and a time of 16:43, respectively.

The men's race had an exciting finish as first-year runner Chalmer Combellick ran impressively for his first-ever cross country race. He took the lead in the first mile with a quick 4:59. He held the lead throughout the race with the lead growing as much as 10 meters only to be nipped at the finish line by a Concordia College runner. His time of 16:08 is a new school record for the cross country 5,000 meter race.

Other runners performing well include Dan Tiernan who finished with a time of 17:13 and Martin Zais with a time of 17:34.

"The race was a good test to determine the fitness level of the team. Our new runners looked impressive and I am excited to see their development during the season," said Karger Gatzow.

Morris will now head to Northfield to compete at St. Olaf College on Sept

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