Kenosha, WI-The Black Hills State University’s men’s and women’s cross country teams placed eighth and fifteenth respectively at the 2008 NAIA Cross Country National Championships. The meet was hosted by the University of Wisconsin Parkside. The Running Yellow Jacket teams were led by senior Cody Bordewyk, Livermore, CO and junior Wendy O’Lexey, Rock Springs, WY who both earned All-American honors for the second consecutive year.  Bordewyk placed twelfth in a personal best time of 24:47 over the eight kilometer (five mile) course while O’lexey ran a personal best time of 17:55 over the five kilometer (3.1 mile) distance to place nineteenth. Top five scoring runners for The Running Yellow Jacket men included junior Mark Mazza, Cheyenne, WY (50th/25:37), freshman, Jed Morgan, Loveland, CO (92nd/25:58), junior KC Fiedler, George, IA (104th/26:02) and junior Birch Haraden, Billings, MT, (125th/26:18). There were 331 runners in the men’s race. 

Junior, Shelli Scheffler, Lovell, WY was the second Yellow Jacket across the line for the women running 18:19 and placing 39th, she was followed by junior, Katie Cook, Cheyenne, WY (158th/19:26), senior Alicia Verhulst, Ralph, SD (168th/19:31) and sophomore Kaila Ivers, Wray, CO who placed 180th with a time of 19:34. The women’s race had 327 runners.

The men were able to run better than their twelfth place national ranking entering the meet and their eighth place performance marks the eighth year out of the last nine that they have placed in the top nine. The women have placed in the top nine seven out of the last nine years. 

Alicia Verhulst, Senior, Kerry Nekuda, Cheyenne, WY, Shelli Scheffler, Mark Mazza and Birch Haraden earned NAIA Academic All-Scholar honors. Alicia Verhulst and Cody Bordewyk were recognized as the Champions of Character representatives for Black Hills State University.