November 8, 2008

Madison, SD-Led by individual winners JR, Wendy O’Lexey, Rock Springs, WY and SR, Cody Bordewyk, Livermore, CO, the NAIA nationally ranked Black Hills State University cross country teams swept the Dakota Athletic Conference individual and team crowns and qualified both teams for the NAIA National Championships.

O’Lexey, who placed 9th at last year’s national meet led SR, Alicia Verhulst, Ralph, SD and JR, Shelli Scheffler across the line for a Running Yellow Jacket 1-2-3 finish and along with JR, Katie Cook, Cheyenne, WY and FR,Leigh Anne Whiteside, Loveland, CO placed five runners in the top seven and won with a team score of 19 points. O’Lexey’s winning time of 19:48 on the 5k course reflected the tough conditions on the snow and ice covered course and cold temperatures. The team victory was the ninth for the Yellow Jackets in the past ten years and 4th in a row. The team score of 19 points is a new record for the DAC and breaks the previous low score of 20 points turned in by the 2002 Yellow Jackets.

Bordewyk, won in convincing fashion by finishing 37 seconds ahead of teammate JR, KC Fiedler, George, IA. The Running Yellow Jacket men placed all seven team members in the top twelve. JR, Mark Mazza, Cheyenne, WY placed 4th, FR, Jed Morgan, Loveland,CO, JR, Birch Haraden, Billings, MT, JR, Charles Janssen, Leawood, KS  and JR, Paul Herrold, Cheyenne,WY placed 9th through 12th. The Yellow Jackets won with a team score of 26 points outdistancing second place and nationally ranked Dickinson State who scored 42 points. It was the sixth consecutive conference victory for The Running Yellow Jackets and the eighth in the past nine years.

The  Running Yellow Jackets nearly swept all of the individual honors as O’Lexey and Bordewyk earned DAC Outstanding Runner honors and Alicia Verhulst along with Bordewyk were voted Outstanding Seniors. Jed Morgan earned Outstanding Freshman and Scott Walkinshaw was selected as the DAC Coach of the Year for both genders.

The Running Yellow Jacket women earned six All-Conference honors and the men eight.  Along with the above mentioned athletes, SO, Kaila Ivers, Wray, CO placed 10th and SR, Jesse Vrooman, Miller, SD placed 14th. The top 15 individuals in each race were designated All-Conference.