Despite difficult racing conditions the men’s and women’s cross country teams put together solid team races in defeating six other teams and winning the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Billings on Saturday. Normally this time of year is ideal for cross country races but an early winter storm brought cold and snow on Friday and Saturday. With temperatures in the upper twenties and four to five inches of snow on the ground at race time the races seemed like late season championship conditions more than early October meets. 

The men’s team raced first at 11:00 am and put forth great individual efforts that led to a solid team showing. The “Running Yellow Jackets” took the first four individual finishes not counting the second place finish of former All-American Trent Waage who has one outdoor season of eligibility left. Senior Cody Bordewyk, Livermore, CO won his second race of the season covering the eight kilometer (five mile) distance in 26:26. He was followed by Mark Mazza, Cheyenne, WY (Central), Charles Janssen, Leawood, KS (Blue Valley North) and KC Fiedler, George, IA who all finished within three seconds of each other. Birch Haraden, Billings, MT (Skyview) was the final scorer for the Yellow Jackets placing tenth overall in the field of seventy six runners.  Freshman Jed Morgan, Loveland, CO continued his solid season placing thirteenth and Junior Paul Herrold, Cheyenne, WY (Central) turned in an outstanding race by placing seventeenth in 28:09.

The “Running Yellow Jacket” women turned in an equally impressive team performance especially running without senior Kerry Nekuda.  Junior Wendy O’Lexey, Rock Springs, WY and senior Alicia Verhulst, Ralph, SD placed first and second for the second time this year with impressive times of 19:09 and 19:26 in the tough conditions. Turning in outstanding races were Senior Shelli Scheffler, Lovell, WY who placed fifth, junior Katie Cook, Cheyenne, WY (Central) seventh and freshman Leigh Ann Whiteside, Loveland, CO eleventh. Solid races were turned in by sophomore Kaila Ivers, Wray, CO and Kayla Ivers who placed twelfth and fifteenth respectively. According to coach Walkinshaw “it was a great effort in conditions that were not ideal to run fast. We were hoping to turn in some fast times on one of the faster courses we will run this year but mother nature decided differently” Next up for the “Running Yellow Jackets” is a dual meet with South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City on Saturday, October 18. Complete results of the MSU-B Yellow Jacket Invitational can be found on the BHSU Yellow Jacket cross county web site. Photographs showing the meet conditions can be found on the MSU-B website.