Saturday, December 05, 2009
Freemont, NE
, Seven members of the Black Hills State University men and women’s cross country/track teams competed in the Warrior Half Marathon hosted by Midland Lutheran College. The half marathon serves as a qualifier for the 2010 NAIA Marathon which will be run at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships next May in Marion, IN. Six of the seven runners were under the qualifying times of 1:14:00 and 1:33:00 respectively for the men and women.

Wendy O’Lexey, Rock Springs, WY won the women’s race for the second consecutive year running the 13.1 mile course in 1:23:18. Wendy will be a junior during the outdoor track season. Senior Katie Cook, Cheyenne, WY (Central) placed fifth in the field of thirty-five women runners with a time of 1:30:41. Senior Birch Haraden, Billings, MT (Skyview) paced the men with a third place finish in a time of 1:11:48. Haraden was the second collegian across the line and was closely followed by senior Mark Mazza and sophomore Laine Parish both from Cheyenne, WY (Central). Mark finished with a time of 1:11:56 with Laine right behind in 1:11:57. Sophomore Jason Bierle, Aberdeen, SD (Roncolli) was the next Yellow Jacket across the line placing tenth in 1:12:55. Sophomore Craig Leavitt, Green River, WY suffered cramps in his calves and placed twenty-ninth in 1:17:11. There were 47 competitors in the men’s race.

“The race conditions weren’t as ideal as last year. The temperatures were pretty cold and the runners had to deal with a cross-wind for much of the race, stated distance coach Scott Walkinshaw. It was a great effort by the group!”