FARGO, N.D.—South Dakota women’s cross country took home the Bison Open team title on Friday night by a margin of 21 points on Rose Creek Golf Course. The Coyote men finished third on the men’s side.

Junior Abby Ripperda transitioned her breakout spring into the fall as the Coyotes’ front runner in second place overall. She clocked 13 minutes, 46.4 seconds, en route to breaking South Dakota’s 4,000-meter Rose Creek Course record.

The second Coyote across the line was sophomore Maddie Lavin, a Vermillion native. Lavin took fourth overall after crossing the finish line in 14:27.2. Both Ripperda and Lavin cracked the Coyotes’ scoring five for the first time.

Finishing just behind Lavin, senior Kianna Stewart placed fifth in 14:27.4.

Junior duo Laura Nelson and Kelsi Kearney rounded out the Coyotes’ scoring five. Nelson took 10th place, tallying nine points in the team race due to an unattached runner, with a clocking of 14:38.4. Kearney was 11th overall in 14:46.5.

Sophomores Haley Arens and Macy Heinz were South Dakota’s pushers in the season opener. Arens was 12th with a clocking of 14:47.0 while Heinz finished in 14:59.1 for 19th place.

South Dakota totaled 30 points in the team race to secure the victory. North Dakota State finished runner-up with 51 points while South Dakota State was third with 59.

This marks the first time the Coyotes have made an appearance at the NDSU Bison Open since 2015. South Dakota’s women won back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015.

Freshman Clayton Whitehead made his debut in the red and white as South Dakota’s front runner. He clocked 18:50.0 in the 6,000-meter short course to finish 10th. Sophomore Merga Gemeda was just behind in 11th with a time of 18:56.1.

Lone senior Abdinasir Abdi placed 18th overall with a time of 19:21.2.

A quartet of freshmen rounded out the final four spots in the Coyotes’ seven. Braden Peters and Alec Atwood took up the last two scoring spots in 25th and 27th. Charlie Babcock and Camden Wulf took 30th and 32nd.

South Dakota toes the line closer to home next Friday, Sept. 6, at the Augustana Twilight in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The women’s race starts at 8:30 p.m. with the men to follow.

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