Head Coach Scott Walkinshaw knew going into the race that the Yellow Jackets had their work cut out for them as they toed the line against the top rated Division II squads from Adams State, and the Division I Rams from Colorado State. In the men’s four mile race, the Yellow Jackets finished 3rd behind Adams and CSU. The Jackets were again led by senior Allen Wood (Maple Valley, WA), who managed a 7th place finish in a time of 20:37. Wood’s time was thirty-four seconds off the winning time of 20:03 posted by Aaron Braun of Adams State. Cody Bordewyk (Livermore, CO) followed with an 11th place finish, and rounding out the Yellow Jackets top five were Trent Waage, (Aberdeen, SD) 15th, Mike Nekuda (Hot Springs, SD) 18th, and Birch Haraden (Billings, MT) 29th. “Birch Haraden had what I feel his best race as a Yellow Jacket. We have quite a few men vying for the fifth spot and Birch showed that he is one of them.” The men’s team finished with eighty-one points, twenty-two points behind the second place Colorado State Rams. Rounding out the team scores were Metro State, currently ranked 17th in Division II with a score of 121, Colorado College, ranked 10th in Division III with 139, and University of Northern Colorado 246.
In the women’s race, it was the #18 rated Division I CSU Rams who edged out the current #1 ranked team in Division II Adams State Grizzlies with a team score of 24. The Grizzlies followed with 31 points, and once again, the Yellow Jackets finished in the third spot with a team score of 98. Kerry Washburn (Cheyenne, WY) was the top finisher for the Yellow Jackets with a 12th place finish in a 5K time of 18:57. Wendy O’Lexey (Rock Springs, WY) followed closely in the 15th position, and Alicia Verhulst (Ralph, SD), Shelli Scheffler (Lovell, WY), and Katie Cook (Cheyenne, WY) rounded out the top five positions with 18th, 22nd, and 31st place finishes respectively. Finishing behind the Yellow Jackets in the women’s team scoring were the University of Northern Colorado, Metro State, and Colorado College.
“It was a great meet with a great atmosphere and we were able to compete a little closer to home for some of our athletes,” stated Coach Walkinshaw. The Yellow Jackets have four athletes from Colorado on their roster. Cody Bordewyk and Neil Long, ran in Fort Collins for Rocky Mountain High School, Kayla Ferguson and Kaila Ivers competed for Eaton and Wray.
Kerry Washburn and Allen Wood were selected as the Dakota Athletic Conference Cross Country Runner’s of the Week. The Yellow Jackets next meet is the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, MN on September 29. The Yellow Jacket men and women’s teams are both ranked in the top ten in the latest NAIA national poll.