Before the start of the NAIA national cross country meet, held this past Saturday in Louisville, Ky., the Black Hills State women's team was ranked sixth and the men were tied for 10th. That is where they were expected to finish. Yellow Jacket head coach Scott Walkinshaw said before the meet that he was hoping his team would - at least - deliver a sixth- and 10th-place finish in their respective divisions. But the men did not get 10th and the women didn't get sixth - they did better than expected. "A sign of a champion is to do what is expected or maybe a little bit more," Walkinshaw said. The Black Hills State women's team finished second in the team standings Saturday, while the BHSU men's team posted an eighth-place finish. "I am proud. Coming into the season we really didn't know what to expect," Walkinshaw said. "I was really pleased with our men's and women's teamd this year. They were really supportive of each other." The Lady Yellow Jackets scored 190 points while Simon Fraser, British Columbia, took top honors for the second consecutive year with 74 points. The men's race was won by Virginia Intermont, Va, with 52 points, followed by Concordia Calif., with 112. BHSU collected 276 points. The Yellow Jackets also finished third in the combined title race, collecting 466 points. Concordia, Calif., took top honors with 384 points and Simon Fraser slid into the second spot with 458. Getting recognized in the combined standings is nothing new to the BHSU program. The Yellow Jackets have been in the Top 5, five out of the last six years, winning the title in 2000 and taking runner-up honors in 2001 and 2002. "That is something that our program takes pride in," Walkinshaw added of being so strong on a nation level.

BHSU also had two harriers earn All-American honors, as freshman Kerry Washburn and redshirt freshman Wesleigh Jastorff both qualified for the award by finishing in the Top 30. It is the first time in BHSU history that a freshman has earned that honor. During the women's race, Washburn finished 24th in a time of 18 minutes 19.10 seconds and Jastorff was just two spots back in 26th clocking a time of 18:23.60. "I thought we had an outside shot at four (All-Americans). Liz Woodruff and Crystal Hostetter have been real close all season long," Walkinshaw added. "They have really ran as a team all year. It's not been about individuals, it's been about the team. Going into the meet, we treated it just like any other meet. They really seemed focused and they were there to run. It really paid off." Woodruff was just outside the Top 30 mark, taking 40th in a time of 18:43.90 - just 11 seconds off the pace. Hostetter, who fell ill before the Region III meet two weeks ago, was still feeling the effects Saturday, as she ended the race in 62nd in a time of 18:57.40 Walkinshaw said he felt bad for Hostetter and added that the senior was very deserving of a Top 30 performance. In fact, as a sophomore, Hostetter did take 28th at the NAIA meet. "That is the real unfortunate thing about this sport. Injury and illness is so difficult to deal with. Cross country is challenging enough as it is," Walkinshaw said.

Julia Howard of Simon Fraser earned the NAIA title, finished in a time of 17:24.15. Minot State's Genevieve Binsfeld, who was the Dakota Athletic and Region III champion, earned second place in a time of 17:28.30.After a shakey start, freshman BHSU Alicia Verhulst regrouped and took 107th in a time of 19:23.70. Senior Jamie Hahn and Spearfish local was 120th in a time of 19:33.70. Walkinshaw said Hahn has been an exceptional leader to this year's women's team and gave an extra individual effort for her last two races to help the team's cause. "Jamie Hahn had her two best races of the last three years during these last two meets of the season," the coach added. "She is valuable in so many ways."
Kendra Karst, junior, rounded out the event for BHSU with a 153rd finish in a time of 19:50.10. Walkinshaw said that Karst had an impressive year after a 2004 season filled with injuries.

"I thought we had a chance to be better then sixth and I though there was a at least one or two teams (ranked higher) we had a chance to beat. I wasn't expecting second place," Walkinshaw said. Lindenwood Mo., runners Soimo Kiplagat and Aron Rono finished 1-2 respectively in the men's 8,000-meter race. Kiplagat earned top honors in a time of 23:49.10 while Rono was close behind with a mark of 23:55.60.

After an impressive Top-20 finish at the NAIA meet in 2004, senior Zach Kintzley finished his 2005 year in 60th place. Kintzley struggled with numerous injuries this season, including being hampered by a tender hip for Saturday's race. Kintzley still managed the top position for the Yellow Jackets, clocking a time of 25:42.55.
"It was tough for him," Walkinshaw said. "He is hurt, but he is still our best runner. Again a kid like that deserves an opportunity (to be an All-American). He ran for one reason - he ran for the team. And there is no way we would have been eighth without Zach Kintzley." Teammate Luke Watkins (senior), who also has had some injuries this year, was a little further back, taking 78th place in a time of 25:58.00.

"Under the circumstance, with injuries that happened throughout the season with Luke and Zach, we were very content with eighth place," Walkinshaw said. Fellow senior Brandon Bertram also broke the Top 100, clocking a time of 26:10.45 for 92nd as he posted one of his personal best times of his career. "Brandon ran his two best cross country races when it counted the most. That was the region/conference and nationals," the coach added. BHSU junior James Hansen was 97th with a 26:12.90. Newcomers Jesse Vrooman was 224th in a time of 27:42.30 and Cody Bordewyk was 254th with a 29:06.60. "I think we would have been happy with any place because we knew deep down we ran as good as we could," Walkinshaw said. "We were ranked 10th going in and to finish higher was great." Walkinshaw also said that the success the program has accomplished this season could not have been without the help of his two assistants, Trent Mack and Joe Stevens."They mean a lot to this program and mean a lot to me," Walkinshaw said. Walkinshaw also said that the program has done so good this year - because of the unselfish work ethic of every individual on the team. "I want to thank the team for their effort and their support for their teammates this year. They are a great group to coach," he said. Walkinshaw also wanted to thank parents and other program backers for supporting the team this year.

Black Hills State Results

24, Kerry Washburn, 18:19.10

26, Wesleigh Jastorff, 18:23.60

40, Elizabeth Woodruff, 18:43.90

62, Crystal Hostetter, 18:57.40

107, Alicia Verhulst, 19:23.70

120, Jamie Hahn, 19:33.70

153, Kendra Karst, 19:50.10

60, Zach Kintzley, 25:42.55

68, Mike Nekuda, 25:50.70

78, Luke Watkins, 25:58.00

92, Brandon Bertram, 26:10.45

97, James Hansen, 26:12.90

224, Jesse Vrooman27:42.30

254, Cody Bordewyk, 29:06.60

Team scores
Simon Fraser, B.C., 74; Black Hills State, 190; British Columbia, 209; Cedarville, Ohio, 212; Concordia, Calif., 262; Concordia, Neb., 263; Olivet Nazarene, Ill., 272; Malone, Ohio, 322; Spring Arbor, Mich., 338; Milligan, Tenn., 345; Cal State-San Marcos, 347; Savannah Art & Design, Ga., 354; Vanguard, Calif., 360; Oklahoma Christian, 370; Lindenwood, Mo., 400; Westmont, Calif., 406; Park, Mo., 428; Azusa Pacific, Calif., 429; MidAmerican Nazarene, Kan., 443; Lewis & Clark, Idaho, 443; Jamestown, N.D., 444; Eastern Oregon, 450; Berry, Ga., 456; Point Loma Nazarene, Calif., 467; Indiana Wesleyan, 468; St. Scholastica, Minn., 520; Aquinas, Mich., 528; Cumberland, Ky., 572.

Individual top 30
1, Julia Howard, Simon Fraser, 17:24.15; 2, Genevieve Binsfeld, Minot State, N.D., 17:28.30; 3, Jasmine Marks, Point Loma Nazarene, 17:35.95; 4, Joanna Genter, Malone, 17:41.80; 5, Krishawna Parker, Siena Heights, Mich., 17:41.85; 6, Meaghan McCollum, British Columbia, 17:42.25; 7, Hilary White, Savannah Art & Design, 17:44.20; 8, AnneMarie Byrne, Cal St.-San Marcos, 17:46.70; 9, Kristen Kolstad, Simon Fraser, 17:48.55; 10, Natalie Perkins, Concordia, Calif., 17:51.00; 11, Laura York, Taylor, Ind., 17:58.30; 12, Mancilla Lupa, Northwodd, Texas, 17:59.00; 13, Krystal Williams, St. Mary, Neb., 18:00.05; 14, Bethany McCoy, Olivet Nazarene, 18:00.75; 15, Megan Lease, Milligan, 18:01.30; 16, Meredith McGregor, Simon Fraser, 18:04.35; 17, Grace Jengetich, Vanguard, 18:07.70; 18, Rebecca Johnstone, Simon Fraser, 18:08.70; 19, Tara Collins, Oklahoma Christian, 18:11.35; 20, Star Emmert, Shawnee State, Ohio, 18:13.30; 21, Petrana Petkova, Goshen, Ind., 18:14.80; 22, Francine Nzilampa, Savannah Art & Design, 18:15.60; 23, Carmin Green, Olivet Nazarene, 18:16.90; 24, Kerry Washburn, Black Hills State, 18:19.10; 25, Whitney Jacobsmeyer, Azusa Pacific, 18:20.20; 26, Wesleigh Jastorff, Black Hills State, 18:23.60; 27, Piper Hayes, British Columbia, 18:26.65; 28, Christina Reyes, Cedarville, 18:27.55; 29, Lyudmila Anderson, MidAmerica Nazarene, 18:31.95; 30, Anna Stumbo, Westmont, 18:32.95.

Team scores
Virginia Intermont, 52; Concordia, Calif., 122; Lindenwood, Mo., 209; Oklahoma Baptist, 221; Azusa Pacific, Calif., 222; Aquinas, Mich., 243; Malone, Ohio, 251; Black Hills State, 276; Indiana Wesleyan, 287; Southern Oregon, 301; Concordia, Neb., 315; Oklahoma Christian, 349; Simon Fraser, B.C., 364; Cedarville, Ohio, 376; Westmont, Calif., 389; Wayland Baptist, Texas, 393; Albertson, Idaho, 420; Cal State-San Marcos, 424; British Columbia, 425; St. Vincent, Pa., 450; Shawnee State, Ohio, 488; Spring Arbor, Mich., 515; Doane, Neb., 541; Embry-Riddle, Fla., 602; Cumberland, Ky., 622; Berry, Ga., 628; Southwestern, Kan., 638; St. Xavier, 667.

Individual top 30
1, Soimo Kiplagat, Lindenwood, 23.49.10; 2, Aron Rono, Lindenwood, 23:55.60; 3, Endashaw Yimer, Park, Mo., 24:33.35; 4, Julius Rono, Roberts Wesleyan, N.Y., 24:44.55; 5, David Kawa, Berry, Ga., 24:46.50; 6, Luka Thor, Concordia, Neb., 24:49.05; 7, Lance Vanderberg, Taylor, Ind., 24:51.30; 8, Vincent Tanui, Wayland Baptist, 24:52.85; 9, Steve Gabart, Virginia Intermont, 24:54.65; 10, Aaron Megazzi, Westmont, 24:59.85; 11, Ryan Kienzle, Malone, Ohio, 25:01.50; 12, Andrew Walquist, Concordia, Neb., 25:02.25; 13, Denis-Bull Olinga, Missouri Baptist, 25:02.30; 14, Pat Marion, Virginia Intermont, 25:02.70; 15, Ondrej Puskar, Virginia Intermont., 25:03.10; 16, William Ngetich, Holy Names, Calif., 25:03.10; 17, Pete Belman, Southwest, N.M., 25:04.40; 18, Jeremy Cadle, Virginia Intermont., 25:04.70; 19, Travis Arment, Sioux Falls, 25:05.20; 20, Juan Robles, William Woods, Mo., 25:05.40; 21, James Mousseau, Virginia Intermont., 25:06.80; 22, Michael Kuria, Marian, Ind., 25:08.50; 23, Francis Koika, MidAmerica Nazarene, Mo., 25:09.25; 24, Antony Kariuki, Marian, Ind., 25:09.75; 25, Shane Carlos, British Columbia, 25:11.00; 26, Hunberto Rojas, Vanguard, Calif., 25:11.43; 27, Carlos Handler, Concordia, Calif., 25:12.40; 28, Diego Rocham Concordia, Calif., 25:12.55; 29, Daniel Ellis, Oklahoma Baptist, 25:13.40; 30, Landon Willets, Oklahoma Baptist, 25:14.90.

┬ęThe Black Hills Pioneer, Newspapers, South Dakota, SD 2005