Adams Nature Preserve
McCook Lake, S.D.
The Event...The Northwestern College cross country teams will compete in the Briar Cliff Invite, scheduled to run at the Adams Lake Nature Reserve in McCook Lake, S.D. The women's 5K race will begin at 10am, followed by the men's 8K race around 10:45am.
Teams Competing... 10 teams are scheduled to compete, including runners from Northwestern, Buena Vista, Briar Cliff, Creighton, Dakota Wesleyan, Iowa Lakes Community College, Morningside, Mount Marty, University of Sioux Falls, Wayne State and Southwest Minnesota State.
Last Year...Northwestern finished fifth out of 16 teams with a score of 150 points in the women's race while the men's team placed seventh out of 14 teams with 199 points.
The top eight runners for the women's team all ran personal bests, led by junior Dawn Gildersleeve who finished seventh in the women's 5K race with a career-best time of 18:22. It marked the second top 10 finish of the season and third of her career. Seniors Amy Van Skike and Leslie Stover finished 26th (19:08) and 36th (19:20), respectively. Sophomore Amber Sandbulte finished 39th with a time of 19:24, followed by Karissa DeJong in 50th place with a time of 19:38. Kelley Thurman (53rd-19:41), Jackie Niewenhuis (74th-20:18), Janet Pitsenberger (79th-20:25) and Heather Heilman (83rd-20:31) were also among the top NWC runners.
University of Nebraska-Omaha won the women's team championship with 40 points, followed by Dordt (68) and Doane (108).
For the men, six of the top seven runners all set personal bests, led by Skyler Giddings who finished 25th with a time of 26:20. It marked the fourth straight race that the sophomore was the top NWC runner. Sophomore Logan Hovland finished 28th with a career-best time of 26:25, followed by Anthony Epp in 53rd place with a personal best time of 27:00. Taylor Bodin (71st-27:27), Elliot Stoltz (72nd-27:28) and Kyle Anderson (75th-27:33) also ran personal bests. A total of 174 runners competed in the men's race.
The University of Sioux Falls won the men's team championship with 27 points, followed by Morningside (61) and Concordia (65).
Northwestern News and Notes...The women's team has finished among the top three teams in each of the two previous meets this season. They were second at the Herb Blakely Invite and third at the Dean White Invite. Dawn Gildersleeve, Kelley Thurman and Amber Sandbulte all have finished in the top 15 in both races.
The men's team earned votes for the second straight week in the NAIA coaches' poll, one of four GPAC teams recognized in the weekly rating. Northwestern has won its last two meets, taking first at the Herb Blakely and Dean White Invites. Skyler Giddings, Will Norris and Logan Hovland have finished in the top 10 in each of the previous two races while Elliot Stoltz, Kyle Anderson, Taylor Bodin and Caleb VanderBaan have one top 10 finish this season.
Up Next...Northwestern will not compete next week and will next run in the Mount Marty Invite on Oct. 26 in Yankton, S.D.