Spartan women compete at Les Duke Invite

SWCC women's cross country at Les Duke Invitational

GRINNELL - The Southwestern women's cross country team was down to just two competitors Saturday at Grinnell College's Les Duke Invitational.

The meet was a late addition to the Spartans' schedule after Grand View's meet, scheduled for Friday, was canceled because of wet course conditions.

With several runners out because of injury and illness, the Spartans were down to just Hannah Thompson and Jaida Claussen competing.

"I was pleased with the way we competed. We ran smart as a team and did what we needed to do," Southwestern Head Cross Country Coach Trey Bruton said. "While we were a bit shorthanded on both the men's and women's side, we still showed a lot of potential. Across the board for every team and every athlete, the times weren't very impressive as the challenging course and humidity really slowed the race down."

Thompson finished 116th in 32:35 over the 6K course, while Claussen was 136th in 47:18. It was the first 6K race of the season for the Spartan women.

"A big positive is compared to teams of the past, we are right there with some of the best in school history, so we have a great chance to accomplish our goals and be a contender when it matters," Bruton said.

Southwestern does not compete this weekend, but hosts the Creston Balloon Chase 5K in McKinley Park. Registrations are still being accepted at and participants can also register at the race site on the morning of the race.

The Spartans return to action Saturday, Sept. 28, at the first annual Southwestern Spartans Cross Country Classic held in East Lake Park in Osceola. Competition begins at 10 a.m.