Spearfish, S.D. - The Black Hills State men’s and women’s cross country teams are both ranked No. 6 to start the 2006 season.

Last season the Yellow Jacket men finished eighth at the national meet and the women placed second overall. The leading point getter in the preseason poll on the men’s side was Virginia Intermont with 209 points and six first place votes. Simon Fraser grabbed all seven first place votes on the women’s side. Both the men and women finished as conference and regional champions in 2005.

Head Cross Country Coach Scott Walkinshaw was pleased to see both teams ranked in the top ten.

“It is really nice to be recognized and have both our men’s and women’s cross country teams ranked,” said Walkinshaw. “I really don’t put much stock into preseason rankings though. Right now our focus will be on becoming the best team we can be.”

The Yellow Jackets have the distinction of being the only team in the NAIA to have both the men’s and women’s cross country teams qualify for the national meet in each of the last six seasons.

Walkinshaw explained, “We have something really special going on here. Being the only team to finish in the top twenty at the national meet for the last six year with both the men’s and women’s teams says a lot about the kind of student-athletes we have here and their commitment to success.”

The Yellow Jackets will open the 2006 season Sept. 9 at the South Dakota Tech Invitational at Robins Dale Park in Rapid City, S.D.