Since his arrival in 1998, Coach Scott Walkinshaw has transformed BHSU cross country into one of the premiere NAIA cross country programs in the nation. Under his guidance the men and women’s cross country teams have won a combined 15 conference titles and have finished runner-up at the national meet four times. The Yellow Jackets have seven top five combined top five finishes at the national meet winning the national combined team title in 2000 and finishing runner-up in 2001 and 2002. The Yellow Jackets have placed third in the combined team finish the past three years. Coach Walkinshaw’s harriers enter the 2008 season hoping to build off the success of years past. Utilizing a lethal combination of depth and experience, the Running Yellow Jackets hope to thrive again in 2008. Black Hills State University is the only NAIA University to qualify both men and women’s team to the national championship meet since 2000. 

The 2008 Black Hills State men’s Cross Country team could be the deepest team ever assembled at BHSU. The male harriers, winner of seven out of the last eight DAC titles, return a strong nucleus from the team that finished runner-up at the 2007 national meet in Kenosha, WI. Returning members of the squad include senior All-American Cody Bordewyk of Livermore, CO; Birch Haraden of Billings, MT; Tyrone White of Eagle Butte, SD; and KC Fiedler of George, IA. Vying for the few remaining spots includes a swarm of both experienced returners and talented newcomers. Among this group includes Mark Mazza, Cheyenne, WY (Central); Paul Herrold, Cheyenne, WY (Central); Jeremy Miller, Cheyenne, WY (East); Mark Bjornson, Minot, ND; Neil Long, Ft Collins, CO (Rocky Mountain); Jesse Vrooman, Miller, SD; Dan Brelje, Chicago Lakes, MN; Charles Janssen, Kansas City, KS (Blue Valley North), transfer from Pittsburgh State University; Cole Lemke, Aberdeen, SD (Central)  transfer from Northern State University; Laine Parish, Cheyenne, WY (Central), one of the top prep distance runners in the nation in 2007;  Jed Morgan, Loveland, CO; Jason Birele, Aberdeen, SD (Rancalli); Trev Fiedler, George, IA; Slone Waldrop, Miller, SD; and Hudson Koel, Hill City, SD.

Experience will be vital to the success of the Lady Yellow Jackets as they pursue their ninth conference title in the past ten years. Juniors Kerry Nekuda, a two-time cross country All-American and the 2007 individual DAC champion out of Cheyenne, WY, and Wendy O’lexey, an All-American out of Rock Springs, WY, will lead a very talented women’s team that returns all seven members from the team which finished eighth at the national meet in 2007. Alicia Verhulst, Ralph, SD (Bowman, ND);  Katie Cook, Cheyenne, WY (Central);  Shelli Scheffler, Lovell, WY;  Kaila Ivers, Wray, CO, and Kayla Ferguson, Eaton, CO were the other members that represented Black Hills State at the national meet. Joining the group will be Jamie Adams, Sundance, WY; Meaghan McClusky, Gig Harbor, WA; Baylee Wolff, Sidney, NE; Leigh Anne Whitesides, Loveland, CO and Julie Bernie, Mission, SD (Todd County).