Oakdale, Minn. / Oakdale
The Bethel men's cross country team enjoyed a great performance Saturday at the 50th Annual Les Duke Invitational, hosted by Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, with sophomore standout Matthew Berens(Oakdale, Minn.) leading the way. Berens won the individual title in a crowded field of 207 runners with the best time of his career, leading the Royals to a third-place team finish. For his performance, Berens has been named the MIAC Men's Cross Country Athlete-of-the-Week.
Berens completed the course and crossed the finish line first in a time of 25:33, edging teammate Zach Haskins by five seconds as Royal runners claimed the top two spots. Berens bettered his previous career best time and shaved 33 seconds off the best time from his freshman campaign. As a team, the Royals placed three in the top 10 secured third place with 109 points, behind only Central (36) and Wartburg (74).
Bethel and its talented sophomore hope to continue their strong start to the 2012 season Saturday, when they head to Northfield for a fellow MIAC school's home meet. The Royals will be part of the St. Olaf Invitational field Saturday when the race starts at 11 a.m. Bethel has now finished first and third in two appearances, and has six meets on its schedule prior to the 2012 MIAC Cross Country Championships, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 27, at Como Park Golf Course in St. Paul, Minn.