The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Southwestern-Concordia Opener showcases freshmen cross-country runners

Courtesy of Tori Hinjosa
Freshman Hogan Heikkinen runs for St. Edward’s University’s cross country team on Sept. 1 at the Southwestern-Concordia Opener.

The St. Edward’s cross country team kicked off its season on Friday at the Southwestern-Concordia Opener. This race was 5 kilometers for both men and women, as opposed to the usual 8k for men and 6k for women. Head coach Steven Cary used this race as a freshman showcase, giving the teams’ fresh meat an early chance to prove themselves this season. 

For the men’s team, all of SEU’s top three were freshmen. Hogan Heikkinen, the top finisher for the Hilltoppers, took 20th overall and 4th in Division II runners. Heikkinen finished in 15:30.0. 

“I’m here to compete,” Heikkinen said. “I think I really pushed some boundaries, but I definitely think that time can be improved upon.”

William Sulenitch and Melecio Ortiz followed close behind at 24th and 30th place overall respectively. The top 15 spots were dominated by the University of Texas. St. Edward’s finished 3rd out of nine competing teams. 

The women’s team placed second in their race, finishing after the University of Texas. The Longhorns took 10 of the top 11 spots, but the Hilltoppers placed below in five of the next six spots. Sophomore Jenna Saunders and junior Sydney Smith took 12th and 13th, and sophomore Myla Castillo and freshman Sammy Salazar followed with 15th and 16th places. Saunders and Smith, running 20:38.2 and 20:47.6 respectively, finished 2nd and 3rd in the Division II athletes.

“I had much more confidence going into this race,” Saunders said. “This is what we train for.”

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams came into their races with all the signs of a good season. A dusty, hole-ridden course and hordes of Division I runners made for tough conditions, but the Hilltoppers met them head on for two podium spots. Expect an equally solid race at the Texas Tech Opener on Sept. 15, where each team’s seven best runners will have their first race of the season.

For official results, please see the SEU Athletics page or the TFRRS official Southwest-Concordia Opener page.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Max Hoelker
Max Hoelker, Copy Editor
Max is a sophomore English literature major with a minor in psychology. Although this is his first year with Hilltop Views, he is ecstatic to dive into writing, editing and all things in between. In his limited free time, Max loves to spend time with friends and read.

Comments (0)

Hilltop Views has a zero tolerance policy for hate speech of any kind. Comments that express prejudice against a particular group — especially on the basis of race, religion or sexual orientation — will not be tolerated. Do not resort to violent or personal attacks, especially those that include foul language. You can disagree with a story, but libel and defamation will not be tolerated. Spam comments will not be published and may result in an immediate ban from making future comments on our site. Maintain privacy. Do not comment yours or anyone’s personal information. If a comment is determined to have violated the guidelines listed above, it will not be published. We encourage you to follow our guidelines and engage in productive conversations revolving around our stories. Please refer to our Media & Ethics Policy on our website for more information.
All Hilltop Views Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *