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Brady Speicher, one of two Division I recruits from the class of 2013, has made a successful transition to college running placing 10th at MSUM’s recent home meet in Glyndon. Robert Williams/FOCUS

Speicher, Dragon Men, Roll to Randy Smith Invitational Title

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Freshman Brady Speicher had his best performance for the MSUM Dragons placing in the top 10 at the Randy Smith Invitational Friday at Ponderosa Golf Course in Glyndon.

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“I didn’t really expect that because last week at Augustana I was 150 runners deep at the start,” Speicher said.

Speicher jumped out to the front of the pack and held his own the length of the race kicking in to the finish line in 10th place with a time of 26:35.

Speicher has become accustomed quickly to both being on a team that is trying to find a winning identity, along with not being the top runner after years of success in Perham.

“It’s a lot different coming to a program that is not the most successful, but we’re on the rise now.”

Speicher is running in the five-spot on the team and will look to move up in the ranks of Dragon runners in the coming years using the wealth of training and learning he acquired while running under Head Coach Jeff Morris as part of the Perham cross country dynasty.

“It’s amazing. I’m perfectly set up to continue to do well in college and something I can thank Morris enough for.”

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GLYNDON — The Minnesota State University Moorhead men's cross country team captured the title at the Randy Smith Invitational on Friday at the Ponderosa Golf Club in Glyndon, Minn. The MSUM women finished a solid second at the lone home meet of 2013 for the Dragon teams.

Hosting their first meet since the 2011 season, MSUM's men posted a dominant performance, winning with 25 points. Mary was second at 47. MSUM's women were second at 81 points with Mary winning the title at 23.

Junior Jason Dowell won the first meet of his MSUM career, winning the men's title with an 8K time of 25:09. He bested Mary's Chris Jessop by eight seconds for the win.

Sophomore Tyler Hennen also had a solid run, taking seventh with a time of 26:08. He was followed closely by junior teammate Jack Peterson, who was eighth at 26:21. Freshman Brady Speicher gave the Dragons four runners in the top 10, taking 10th at 26:30.  Freshman Jacob Jankowski was 12th at 26:35 to round out the Dragon scoring runners.

"It was nice to see Jason Dowell emerge and run the way he was capable of. That was one of the key things," MSUM associate head cross country/track and field coach Ryan Milner said. "That is a young group that is maturing from week to week and working as a pack. It was nice to see where we are going to match up with some of the conference schools."

Freshman Peter Olson also had a good run at 27:03, while sophomore Jamison Gehrig was 25th at 27:13.

Sophomore Molly Montonye once again paced the Dragon women with a third-place finish behind Mary's Jennifer Agnew (first, 17:12) and Megan Beam (second, 18:02). She ran a 5K time of 18:05 and was just three seconds out of second. Freshman Makenzie Smith also had a good run at 18:55 to take 10th, while junior Savannah Link was 12th at 19:01. Sophomore Emily Mammenga, competing for the first time this season, was 15th at 19:12. Senior Kelly Brammer was 22nd at 19:42.

"Mary is a solid team. It was good to see Molly contending with that caliber of athlete," Milner said. "The ladies are learning to work together. They're getting better...some of the teams they've beat this year, they weren't able to beat last year.  We're waiting to see if one of the ladies from that next tier can bridge the gap and become a solid fifth runner."

Seniors Megan Ackerman (29th, 20:26) and Kaylee Litch (40th, 20:52) also had solid runs for MSUM.

The Dragon teams' next action is set for Sept. 27 at the St. Boni Invite in St. Bonfacious, Minn.

Meet story courtesy Tom Berg, MSUM Assistant AD for Media Relations.

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