The Yellow Jacket’s men’s cross country team, competing in the Division II race, had their highest team finish ever at the Roy Griak Invitational, held at the University of Minnesota, this past weekend. The men placed 3rd, behind Division II teams Minnesota State Mankato and Minnesota Duluth, finishing with a team score of 155. Allen Wood (Maple Valley, WA) led the Yellow Jackets with a 4th place finish, in the field of 253 runners, with a time of 25:38 The Yellow Jackets were able to hold off #15 ranked Division II Augustana, SD who finished in 4th. The men’s team was running in 8th place in the team scoring at the 5K mark but ran a very strong last three kilometers to move up five positions. Cody Bordewyk (Livermore, CO) was the second scoring runner for the Yellow Jackets finishing 17th overall. He was followed by senior Mike Nekuda (Hot Springs, SD) 23rd and Trent Waage (Aberdeen, SD) 30th overall. Once again, sophomore Birch Haraden (Billings, MT) was the Yellow Jackets fifth runner finishing 81st in a time of 27:45. The Yellow Jackets have a number of runners who are competing for a top seven spot on the team that will hopefully represent Black Hills State at the National meet in November and once again it was shown this weekend. It the first three meets of the season, the Yellow Jackets #6 and #7 runners have been filled by different faces, and this past weekend it was KC Fiedler (George, IA) and Jeremy Miller (Cheyenne, WY) who showed strong performances at the Griak as Fiedler finished just twelve seconds behind number five runner Haraden.
In the women’s Division II race, the Lady Yellow Jackets returned after taking the top honors last season to finish in 8th place. Once again, they were led by sophomores Wendy O’Lexey (Rock Springs, WY) and Kerry Washburn (Cheyenne, WY). The top five finishers for the Lady Yellow Jackets have been consistent thus far as those following O’Lexey who finished 9th and Washburn 11th, were again Alicia Verhulst (Ralph, SD) 26th, Shelli Scheffler (Lovell, WY) 63rd, and Katie Cook (Cheyenne, WY) 116th. Among a field of 283 competitors and 30 teams, the Lady Yellow Jackets finished with a team score of 225 points, just four points back from 6th place.