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The Event...The Northwestern College cross country teams travel to Yankton, S.D. to compete in the Mount Marty Invite on Saturday, Oct. 25. This is the final meet of the regular season and the final tune-up before the conference meet on Nov. 8. The women's 5K race is scheduled to begin at 10:30am and will be followed by the men's 8K race.
Teams Competing...At least 20 teams are scheduled to compete, including nine of the 11GPAC teams. In addition to Northwestern, Dakota Wesleyan, Dordt, Briar Cliff, Concordia, Hastings, Midland, Morningside and Mount Marty. Non-conference teams scheduled to compete are the Augustana, Chadron State, Clarke, Mount Mercy, Grand View, Dickinson State, USF, Waldorf, Wayne State, Jamestown and Dakota State.
Last Year...The Northwestern College cross country teams both had a strong showing at last year's Mount Marty Invite.
The women's team finished sixth out of 12 teams with 161 points and placed fourth among the GPAC teams competing. Junior Amber Sandbulte was the top Red Raider finisher, placing 23rd with a 5K time of 19:47. Kelley Thurman finished 30th with a time of 19:56, followed closely by Dawn Gildersleeve in 32nd place with a time of 19:58. Jackie Niewenhuis clocked a 43rd place time of 20:25 and Janet Pitsenberger was the fifth Northwestern runner, placing 45th with a time of 20:26.
Dordt College ran away with the women's team championship, totaling 28 points.
The men's team finished fifth out of 14 teams, totaling 121 points, and also placed fourth among the GPAC teams. Will Norris recorded another top 10 finish, placing 10th with an 8K time of 26:13. Logan Hovland and Skyler Giddings finished 21st and 26th with times of 26:36 and 26:40, respectively. Taylor Bodin (41st-27:04) and Kyle Anderson (46th-27:17) round out the top five Northwestern runners.
Concordia won the men's team title, scoring 38 points.
Outlook...This weekend's race is the final tune-up for both teams prior to the GPAC Championship on Nov. 8. It will also be the final race for some of the athletes who will not run in the postseason.
Both teams set many season and personal bests last time out, led by Amber Sandbulte for the women's team and Logan Hovland for the men. Northwestern continues to be ranked (#23) in the men's NAIA poll, behind only Morningside from the GPAC and ahead of two other conference teams, Dordt and Concordia.
Up Next...Northwestern will next compete in the GPAC Championships on Saturday, Nov. 8 at the Wild Oaks Golf Club in Mitchell, S.D.