BOZEMAN — The Carroll College men's and women's cross country teams placed fifth at the MSU Invite on Saturday morning.
The meet featured NCAA Division I runners and showed the Saints could run right with them. Carroll competed with runners from Montana State, Idaho State, Montana, MSU-Billings and MSU-Northern.
Samantha Mundel highlighted Carroll performers. The senior from Coram placed seventh overall with a time of 17:47.70, about 28 seconds faster than her time on the same course a season ago.
"She looked very comfortable running with the D-I runners," Saints cross country coach Ryan Utsey said.
Kendyl Pierson was the next fastest runner on the women's side. She finished in 24th with a time of 19:27.15, which was also a PR for her on MSU's course.
Rounding out the women's race roster were Abby Hammermeister (31st, 21:12.77), Hannah Mikesell (32nd, 21:20.75), Taylor Leistiko (36th, 22:27.13) and Hannah Johnson (39th, 26:29.54).
"It was good to see us grow," Utsey said. "The big part was coming out and beating Northern handily after last week."
On the men's side, freshman Spencer Swaim led the Saints. He placed 21st overall with a time of 26:39.09 on the five-mile course. He was the fastest NAIA runner at the race.
Chance Hyatt followed behind, building off his return to action last week, with a 24th place finish in a time of 27:10.37.
Noah Majerus (26th, 27:40.32), Drew Zwijack (29th, 28:18.76), Drake Johnson (32nd, 28:55.28), Ben Wood (30:30.78) and Patrick Miranne (41st, 31:18.33) also posted strong teams in the competitive field.
"It was good to see we are the best NAIA team in the state," Utsey said. "And we are up three with the Division I teams."