Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Student-run media of Black Hills State University. The Jacket Journal / KBHU-TV / KBHU 89.1 FM & KJKT 90.7 FM "The Buzz".

BHSU Media

Cross Country runs to best finish in school history

Both BHSU women’s and men’s cross country teams have qualified for the national meet at the NCAA DII level. This is the first time in BHSU DII history that the women’s team has ever qualified for nationals. For the men this trip to Nationals will be the second in 4 years, the last one being in 2015.

“Both teams ran very well at Regionals! It was the highest placing for our women’s team and tied the highest placing for the men,” said men’s and women’s cross country coach Scott Walkinshaw.

The Regional meet was held in Denver, Colo. on Nov. 17. It was hosted by Metropolitan State University of Denver. The men competed in a 10km race and the women competed in a 6k.

The men’s team placed 6th at the meet, when they were ranked to place 9th. The leading place finisher on the men’s side was BHSU senior Jonah Theisen, who placed 9th out of 181 runners, earning him an all-region honor. This is the 2nd highest place for a male individual at regions in BHSU cross country history.

“I was very pleased with my own individual performance, but I was more pleased with the team’s performance and how each of us ran the race we needed to come together for our team goal of qualifying for nationals,” Theisen said.

BHSU junior cross country athlete Jordan Theisen was especially pleased with how he and the rest of his team performed at regions.

“Each one of us laid everything out on the line and bled for it. And the results were worth it. Division II nationals team wasn’t a goal, but a reality that our team made for ourselves. And soon we will be living it,”  said Jordan Theisen.

The women’s team also placed 6th at the meet. This side was led by junior Nicole Allerdings. Allerdings, who did not qualify for the Regional meet last year, ended her race in 19th place out of 205 women, also earning an All-Region honor. T shis is the highest ever place for an individual female at Regionals in BHSU cross country history.

“It was the first time we’ve had two athletes earn All-Region honors…Jonah Theisen [took] 9th and Nicole Allerdings [placed] 19th,” Walkinshaw said.

In order for the teams to achieve a spot at Regionals, both teams received one of 10 at-large bids from the NCAA. This means that teams were chosen based off of their performances all season out of all of the Division II teams in the nation, excluding the teams that placed in the top three at their region meets.

Harsh weather conditions created additional challenges for both teams throughout the season.

“The sleet made the course pretty rough and bumpy as well as stung when it hit you and made it difficult to see. But I was so proud with how the team pushed through the weather,” said Yellow Jacket senior Savannah Davis.

Sophomore Abbie Fredrick agreed with Davis.

“I knew I was running but I couldn’t feel where my feet were landing,” said Fredrick

Despite the difficulty the weather presented them with, many of the running Yellow Jackets found that it played an advantage.

“We have been training in some cold days and we were pretty prepared for it, unlike some schools coming from Texas and New Mexico,” said senior Tori Moore.

Both teams have high expectations for the national meet. The men have chosen to focus more on individual performances because “if everyone has their best race, then the team will be given the best place we can as well,” said Jordan Thiesen

The women have more team-oriented goals in mind.

“We have goals of placing higher than we are currently ranked and trying to beat a few teams that got the best of us at regions” said yellow jacket senior Cailey Roth.

The national meet will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 1st. The men will compete in another 10k and them women will compete in another 6k.

“The only expectations Coach Anderson and I have for the teams is that they will compete like they have all season and that is to compete individually to the best of their ability” said Walkinshaw.