August 21, 2009
Spearfish, S.D.
- The Black Hills Sate University men’s and women’s cross country coach Scott Walkinshaw (12th Year) released the final schedule for the upcoming 2009 season on Friday with the teams first meet, the Alumni Open, on Friday, September 4. “I think it is a very good schedule,” Walkinshaw said. “This year we have taken a different approach with the major meets we will be attending.

The Yellow Jackets will open up with a Friday evening meet competing against Wartburg College out of Waverly, IA and Yellow Jacket Alumni as well as open runners from the community. “Hosting this meet early and inviting the alumni is a first for us but should serve as a nice opener,” Walkinshaw said. “We are going to run a shorter distance than we usually race. The early meet will give us a chance to get our feet wet as well as get an idea as to our fitness.”  We had some former athletes who wanted to get an alumni meet going and it will be fun having the community compete as well.  It will also give the local fans, friends and families a chance to see us run.” The race location has yet to be determined.

The following week on Saturday, September 12 the squads will have a chance to preview the site of the DAC Championships when it faces conference rival South Dakota School of Mines and Technology at the Tech Invitational in Rapid City.

The Running Yellow Jackets will then travel to Lincoln, NE for the Woody Greeno Invitational on September 19. “We have traditionally gone to the University of Minnesota in September but decided to go to Lincoln this year because of the quality of the meet,” stated Walkinshaw. “The meet will be run in Pioneer Park.”

After a weekend off from competition, the teams will head to another high powered meet, the Rocky Mountain Shootout in Boulder, CO on October 3. “We have been down there before and it is a quality meet on a challenging course,” Walkinshaw said. “Plus we have some athletes from Wyoming and Colorado and it will give their families a chance to see them compete a little closer to home.”

On the 10th of October the teams will be competing in Billings at the MSU-Billings Invitational.

A week after Billings the team will travel to Santa Clara, CA for the Santa Clara Bronco XC Invitational.

“This year, the schedule is a little more competitive with the meets in Lincoln, Boulder and Santa Clara” Walkinshaw said. “The University of Colorado has great cross fans that support their program amazingly and all three meets will give us a chance to compete against some teams that we normally don’t see.” “The course in Santa Clara should be one of the fastest courses we run this year.”

Before heading into the championship portion of the schedule, the Yellow Jackets will host a dual meet with rival South Dakota School of Mines and Technology on October 30.

On Friday, November 6 the squads will look to qualify for the national meet when they compete in the DAC Championships in Rapid City. The Yellow Jacket women have won nine out of the last ten conference titles while the men have won seven out of the last eight.

The Yellow Jackets hope to compete in the NAIA National Championships to be held in Vancouver, WA on November 21.

For more information on Black Hills State Athletics and the Running Yellow Jackets, visit www.bhsu.edu.