McAlpine Creek Park
8711 Monroe Road
The Event...Northwestern College will send its men's cross country team and a women's runner, Katie Bosch, to compete as this weekend's NAIA Cross Country National Championship at North Farms Cross Country course in Elsah, Ill. The women's 5K race will begin at 10:30am, followed by the men's 8K race around 11:30am.
About the Championship...36 women’s and men’s teams along with 88 individual qualifiers will comprise the field of over 350 runners at this year's championship.
Any team that received one of the 24 automatic bids either won or finished runner-up at the conference meet. The 11 at-large bids were given bases on the final regular season top 25 coaches' poll. There is one host bid as well.
In the women's race, the GPAC sends three teams, Morningside, Dordt and Hastings, along with individual qualifiers Marissa DeWispelare (Doane), Katie Bosch (Northwestern), Kylee Smallfoot (Midland) and Emily Sievert (Concordia).
For the men's race, Northwestern is the lone team representative from the GPAC while Caleb Drake (Dordt), Danney Aldaba (Midland), Alec DeVries (Morningside) and Jeremiah Panec (Dakota Wesleyan) will run as individuals.
Last Year...Northwestern College finished 26th at last year's NAIA Men's Cross Country National Championship held at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte, N.C.
The Red Raiders totaled 657 points and placed 26th out of the 36 teams that competed at the championship. Northwestern was the top among two GPAC teams that competed as Morningside placed 29th with 716 points. Oklahoma City ran away with the team championship, totaling 78 points, 90 ahead of second place St. Mary (Kan.).
Northwestern Runners/Place and Time:
Rankings...Northwestern is ranked 17th in the final NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' poll released Nov. 6, just prior to the announcement of the national qualifiers.
How Northwestern Qualified...The Red Raider men's team earned the GPAC's lone automatic bid into the championship by winning the conference title. Northwestern, ranked 17th in the final NAIA coaches' poll, will be making its third straight and eighth overall appearance at the championship.
Katie Bosch is the first Northwestern women's runner to qualify since 2010 (Charity Miles) and earned the bid by placing in the top four (minus Morningside runners, who earned the team bid) at the GPAC Championship.
Red Raider Notes...
The Red Raiders will be making their third consecutive and eighth overall appearance at the NAIA Men's Cross Country Championship. They also qualified in 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 2014 and 2015. Northwestern's best ever finish was in 2014 when they placed 21st out of 36 teams.
Bosch is the first Northwestern women's runner to qualify for the NAIA Championship since Charity Miles in 2010. Miles placed 79th that year and was a four-time national qualifier, placing 5th in 2007 (along with teammate Olivia Johnson who placed third), 31st in 2008 and 55th in 2009. Northwestern had its best ever finish on the women's side in 2010 where they placed 10th.
Bosch earned all-conference honors with a seventh place finish at the GPAC Championship; six Northwestern men's runners claimed all-GPAC honors; Will Norris, Tanner Goetsch, Hans Epp, Ryan Bauermeister, Tim Rose and Peter Smith.
Scott Bahrke was named the GPAC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year
Norris has won the last three meets, including the GPAC Championship, the first ever conference title by a Red Raider men's runner.
Norris holds the school record in the 8K (24:35)
Senior from Spirit Lake, Iowa
Junior from Ankeny, Iowa
Junior from Giltner, Neb.
Junior from Spirit Lake, Iowa
Junior from Iowa Falls, Iowa
Junior from Polk City, Iowa
Junior from Spencer, Iowa