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Jimmies look for strong finish

There have been a number of hurdles thrown at the University of Jamestown cross country teams this season. Strong performances today at the North Star Athletic Association meet in Dickinson would make up for an up and down season for both squads....

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Allie Foster has been the No. 2 runner for the Jimmies this season. John M. Steiner / The Sun

There have been a number of hurdles thrown at the University of Jamestown cross country teams this season.

Strong performances today at the North Star Athletic Association meet in Dickinson would make up for an up and down season for both squads.

Dickinson State and Viterbo are favored in the women's race, while Waldorf is pegged to win on the men's side, although the Jimmies have a handful of runners capable of challenging for a trip to nationals.

"We have to have a performance that we frankly have not had yet this year to be included in that mix," UJ women's coach Jim Clark said. "We have not beaten Dickinson and we have seen them three times. We do have some people running well right now and I know everyone will give it their best effort."

Senior Christa Lysne, who qualified for nationals as a freshman, Allie Foster and Amber Posner have been the Jimmies' top three runners.

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For the men, Matt Young is a title contender. A top five finish earns a trip to nationals.

"Matt looks really good up front," UJ men's coach Ed Crawford said. "I expect him to be in contention for one of those top spots."

Daniel Palmer, a freshman, has been solid in the 2-hole, but only three other UJ runners-Dakota Wagner, Michael Sampers and Donavan Moser-will run.

"It comes down to our 3-4-5 guys," Crawford said. "It looks like anywhere from third to sixth for us (team-wise). We're hoping our guys will step up and run well."

Injuries, illness and otherwise have limited both teams.

Aaron Ford, a junior from Jamestown, missed the entire season with significant foot problems that will require surgery next month. When healthy, Ford is top-of-the-lineup-type runner.

Clark hopes to run 10 women today, but they've had as few as seven at times due to varying issues.

"From that point on, our season has not gone anything like we planned," Clark said, referring to the lineup after Lysne, Foster and Posner. "Although we have not been able to close the gap the way we would like, we have had a lot of positives this season."

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Junior Cassidy Peterson and freshman Lindi Chadwick of Jamestown started as their No. 4 and 5 runners, but have been limited of late. Both will run today.

Fifth-year seniors Caitlin Bossio and Ashley Stubbs have made big time drops during the season. Tiffany Jackson, another senior, along with Amber Robinson round out the UJ contingent.

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