Black Hills State’s men and women’s cross country teams traveled to St. Paul, MN this past weekend to compete in the 23rd annual Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota. Over 4,000 total runners from high school, NCAA division I, II and II as well as the NAIA competed in the ten races held in ideal conditions. With top 20 finishes by junior Wendy O’Lexey, Rock Springs, WY and senior Alicia Verhulst, Ralph, SD, the Running Yellow Jacket women’s team placed fifth in the twenty four team field made up of NCAA division II and NAIA teams. Three of the four teams that finished ahead of the Yellow Jackets are ranked nationally in the NCAA division II poll. O’Lexey’s time of 23:09 on the 6k course placed her tenth and Verhulst followed in seventeenth running 23:31. Senior Kerry Nekuda, Cheyenne, WY placed 27th with a time of 23:58 and was followed in by Senior Shelli Scheffler, Lovell, WY, 49th and junior Katie Cook, Cheyenne, WY, 64th. There were 257 runners in the race.

Senior Cody Bordewyk, Livermore, CO was the top finisher for the men’s team running 25:47 over the eight kilometer course earning a tenth place finish. Coming in behind Bordewyk was Juniors Mark Mazza, Cheyenne, WY and KC Fiedler, George, IA who placed 35th and 49 respectively. Freshman, Jed Morgan, Loveland, CO had an impressive race running 27:21 and was the fourth finisher for the Running Yellow Jackets. Junior Birch Haraden, Billings, MT was the final scorer running 27:24 which was good for 74th in the field of 256 runners. Full results can be found on the cross country web site on the schedule/results link.

The next meet for the “Running Yellow Jackets” will be on October 11th in Billings, MT.