Cross country

Herb Blakely Invitational 10:30 a.m. Saturday, September 13, Madison, S.D.

Meet location

Madison Country Club
45152 233rd Street
Madison, S.D.

Host school

Located in Madison, S.D., Dakota State University is a member of the NorthStar Athletic Conference.
Red Raiders Head to Herb Blakely Invite

The Event...Northwestern College will compete in the Herb Blakely Invitational, hosted by Dakota State in Madison, S.D. This will be the first meet where the runners will run the full distance, the women's race being a 5K and an 8K for the men. Both races will take place at the Madison Golf Course with the women's race beginning at 10:30am.

Teams Competing...Six teams are scheduled to compete, including Dakota State, Briar Cliff, Iowa Western Community College, Iowa Lakes Community College and Mount Marty.

Last Time...Northwestern made its season debut last weekend at the Augustana Twilight in a shortened course run at Yankton Trails Park in Sioux Falls, S.D. The women's team placed 12th overall but finished third among NAIA teams while the men placed ninth overall and second among NAIA teams.

Amber Sandbulte was the top NWC finisher in the women's race, finishing 58th with a three-mile time of 17:47. Katie Bosch placed 65th (17:54) and Kelley Thurman finished 105th (18:27). 

Kyle Anderson led the men's team with a four-mile time of 19:57, placing 47th out of 287 runners. Will Norris (54th-19:54) and Peter Smith (59th-19:58) were next in line as Northwestern had seven runners finish within 10 seconds of each other. 

Last Year...The men's team won the team championship while the women's team placed second at last year's Herb Blakely Invite.

The men's team totaled 22 points and put five runners in the top 10, taking claim to the top three spots overall. Skyler Giddings (Pella, Iowa) won the meet with an 8K time of 26:34.1, just inches ahead of teammate Will Norris (Spirit Lake, Iowa) who crossed the finish line second with a time of 26:34.7. Logan Hovland (Thompson, Iowa) finished a close third with a time of 26:36 while Kyle Anderson (Orange City, Iowa) and Elliot Stoltz (Edina, Minn.) finished eighth (27:09) and 10th (27:17), respectively. Zach Wittenberg (Pella, Iowa) and Taylor Bodin (Clara City, Minn.) round out the the top seven NWC runners, placing 16th-27:30 and 18th-27:35. 

Iowa Western finished a distant second with 45 points, followed by Wayne State (92), Mount Marty (96), Briar Cliff (135) and Iowa Lakes (181).

The women's team finished second out of seven teams, totaling 46 points, and had three runners finish in the top 10 and five among the top 15. Dawn Gildersleeve (Elkhart, Iowa) finished third out of 62 runners with a 5K time of 20:01. Kelley Thurman (Prineville, Ore.) crossed the tape in sixth place in a time of 20:23 and Amber Sandbulte (Sioux Center, Iowa) placed eighth overall with a time of 20:33. Jackie Niewenhuis (Stickney, S.D.) and Heather Heilman (Mound, Minn.) round out the Red Raider scorers, finishing 14th-20:50 and 15th-21:07, respectively. 

Up Next...Northwestern will have two weeks off and will next compete at the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 27 in Minneapolis, Minn. 

Will Norris

Senior from Spirit Lake, Iowa

Katie Bosch

Junior from Ankeny, Iowa

Peter Smith

Junior from Polk City, Iowa