INDIANOLA - Southwestern's women's cross country runners showed improvement across the board Friday at the Bill Buxton Invite hosted by Simpson College at Pickard Park.
Southwestern was the lone community college program to compete in the meet, as the Spartans finished eighth in the team standings.
Of the four Spartan harriers who ran the same 4K course a year ago, three either ran the same time or improved drastically from last year.
"I felt like it was a turning point for us this season," Head Coach Trey Bruton said. "The team is sore and not in competitive shape yet, but we ran hard and worked better as a team. We looked good and it gives us some positive momentum to build on after a couple of tough weeks of training to start the season off."
Sophomore Dani Costain led the way for the Spartans, running 21:27.1 for 50th place. That was a 1:50 improvement from a year ago for Costain. Elenani Tinai ran second for the Spartans in 21:52.0 for 52nd place, 1:33 improvement over last year.
Sophomore Hannah Thompson ran 22:32.9 for 54th place, followed by freshman Fane Sauvakacolo in 56th at 22:53.2. Bri Hoffman rounded out the team scoring for the Spartans with her time of 23:01.5 in 57th place.
"Our women's team showed if they continue to work together and improve that we have a solid group that can surprise some people," Bruton said.
With a week off of competition to focus on training, the Spartan women are scheduled to return to action Friday, Sept. 13, at the Viking Cross Country Invitational hosted by Grand View University.