Friday morning the Black Hills State University cross country program held the final Yellow Jacket Invitational in its only home meet of the year. Alec Baldwin won the men’s race in convincing fashion but that was secondary to what was announced following the race.
Head coach Scott Walkinshaw announced following the race that from now on, the home meet for Black Hills State will be known as the Gage McSpadden Memorial Invitational. McSpadden was a member of the Yellow Jacket cross country team before being killed during the summer.
Also following Friday’s race, Vice President for University Advancement Steve Meeker announced that the Gage McSpadden Memorial Endowment Scholarship has been fully funded and will be awarded in the fall of 2016.
Meeker stated that in his 25 years at Black Hills State, he has not seen a collective effort to raise funds for a single cause as he did for Gage McSpadden’s Memorial Endowment. Meeker also noted the endowment was spearheaded by the Yellow Jackets opponents Friday morning, University of Mary’s head coach Dennis Newell.
Newell is a former All-American for Black Hills State and is a 2015 inductee into the Yellow Jackets Hall of Fame.
In the race, a dual with Mary, the Yellow Jacket men won with 21 points led by Baldwin’s 6K time of 19:08.65. Jonah Theisen crossed the line in second place in 19:52.07. Kenall Murie claimed fourth and Joshua Davis in sixth in 19:57.97 and 20:13.34, respectively.
Aaron Schone placed eighth and Isaac Iverson ninth as the final Yellow Jackets in the top-10.
The University of Mary claimed 37 points in the men’s race.
On the women’s side, Mary won the team title with 15 points led by Alexis Zeis, who was the individual medalist. The Yellow Jackets were led by a pair of freshmen for the second-straight meet as Cailey Roth placed sixth in the 4K in 16:22.87 and Tori Moore seventh in 16:37.52.
Shelby Stoltz, Katelyn Woten and Sierra Miles placed ninth, 10th and 11th, respectively. Stoltz’s time was 17:08.66, Woten in 17:17.85 and Miles in 17:30.20.
Black Hills State’s harriers next return to the course September 26 at the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minnesota. However on Saturday, the inaugural Gage McSpadden “Sherriff” 5K run/3K walk takes place at Spearfish City Park. Anyone interested in running or walking may register day of the race.