All the news from NAIA Mens and Womens Track.

Lavon Davis-Ames-Grand View
©Doug Wells

Vikings Conference Champions

Austin Hill-Pella-Grand View ©Doug Wells

Austin Hill-Pella-Grand View
©Doug Wells

Four conference event titles, 18 All-Conference athletes, and two top scorer award were earned this weekend along with the Grand View men’s track and field team capturing their first Heart of America Athletic Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships team title. The women’s team brought home third following the two-day event at Baker’s Liston Stadium. MEN’S RESULTS | WOMEN’S RESULTS | PHOTOS

Courtesy Vikings Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Lavon Davis-Ames-Grand View©Doug Wells


Grand View men tallied 25 points in the shot put and 31 points in the discus on the way to a winning total of 158 points. James Plummer (JR/Columbia, South Carolina), who was named the Male Athlete of the Meet, won both throwing events, including a meet record throw of 54.90m in the discus. The Vikings also took top billing in the men’s 4x100m relay (Gannon Svestka, Leeshad O’Neal (SO/Wharton, Texas), Brant Wrede, and Danial Headley) with a time of 42.13. This is the first Heart of America Track conference championship for the men’s Grand View track program, the last being in 2014 in the MCC.

LaVon Davis, who was named Female Athlete of the Meet, claimed two individual events as she won both the discus and the hammer with marks of 43.58 meters and 51.62m, respectively. She finished her big day by getting 2nd in the shot put with a mark of 12.13m.

Big points from the men’s throws group lead Grand View to their first team championship in the Heart Conference.  Five individuals placed in the top six for the Vikings in the discus throw. Plummer finished 1st overall with a throw of 54.90 meters. Also placing was Jake Goeller(2nd), Austin Hill (SO/Pella, Iowa)(3rd), Clay Siefken (JR/Burlington, Iowa)(5th) and AJ Cwiok(6th).

Plummer ended an amazing conference meet by winning the shot put with a throw of 15.65 meters. Also placing in the shot put was Chance Tatman(SR/Spencer, Iowa) (2nd),  AJ Cwiok(4th), and Jacob Goeller (JR/Fairbank, Iowa)(7th). Daniel Headley (JR/Melbourne, Florida) continued his big meet weekend placing fourth in the triple jump. Headley also placed third in the 100-meter dash finals with Leeshad O’Neal coming in fifth. Also, in the 200-meter dash final Headley placed sixth and O’Neal came in eighth.

Taylor Murray (JR/Clinton, Iowa) placed eighth overall in the 5000-meter race walk, and Trevor Albert (FR/Eldon, Iowa) came in sixth in the 3000-meter steeplechase.

Jorden Nathan (JR/Ankeny, Iowa) brought home the bronze in the 110 high hurdles final and placed third in the 400-meter hurdles. Gannon Svestka came in fourth place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 49.87 and his teammates Jake Thompson, and Carson Doty (FR/Clive, Iowa) placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

Brandon Young (SR/Des Moines, Iowa) finished third in a very tough 800-meter open field. The last event of the meet was run by the 4×400 team of Svestka, Young, Ben Huftalin (FR/Osage, Iowa), and Carson Doty who placed fifth overall.

Scoring points on the women’s side started with Kaitlin Holschlag (FR/La Porte City, Iowa) finishing second overall in the Heptathlon with Jada Wyrick (FR/Boone, Iowa) placing third and Megan Miller bringing home seventh.  Also, in the field, Chantel Blair (SO/Boone, Iowa) placed third in the triple jump.

Becca Krueger who placed third in the discus behind Davis, and Maryn Phillips (FR/Hamburg, Iowa) who placed seventh. Katie Halterman(FR/Cedar Falls, Iowa) came in fifth in the shot out along with teammate Becca Krueger placing seventh.

On the track, Michaela Barretta (SO/Indianola, Iowa) brought home third in the 5000-race walk along with the 4×100 team of Dimetrea Hamilton (SO/Des Moines, Iowa), Ronnoja Ayers (SR/Des Moines, Iowa), Amber Castillo (SO/Creston, Iowa), and Allie Flaws (SO/Webster City, Iowa) also placing third.

Individually, Hamilton placed fourth in the 110 high hurdles finals with Amara Taylor (FR/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) placing sixth, and Jessica VanZuuk (JR/Norwalk, Iowa) placing eighth. In the 400-meter open the women placed 4th, 5th, and 6th with Chantel Blair, Kennedy King (SR/Davenport, Iowa), and Ayers, respectively.

Hamilton finished her big day placing seventh in the 100-meter dash finals. In the 400-meter hurdles, Taylor came in seventh, with Jessica VanZuuk coming in eighth. Blair brought home fifth place in the 200-meter dash final and teammate Ayers came in seventh.

To end the days for the women’s side the 4×400 team of Kennedy King, Katie Roberts (SR/Ankeny, Iowa), Tatum Nearmyer(FR/Monroe, Iowa), and Chantel Blair placed sixth overall.

Male Athlete of the Meet – James Plummer, Grand View

Female Athlete of the Meet – LaVon Davis, Grand View

Men’s Track Co-Athlete of the Year – Isaiah Griffin, MNU; Derek Wilson, Missouri Valley

Men’s Field Athlete of the Year – James Plummer, Grand View

Men’s Coach of the Year – Jerry Monner, Grand View

Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year – Seth Roberson, Grand View

Women’s Track Athlete of the Year – Helen Thames, Avila

Women’s Field Athlete of the Year – LaVon Davis, Grand View

Women’s Coach of the Year – Nate Wiens, MNU

Women’s Assistant Coach of the Year – Kevin O’Grattan, MNU

2018 Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Champions
100m – Isaiah Griffin (MidAmerica Nazarene) – 10.64
200m – Isaiah Griffin (MidAmerica Nazarene) – 21.94
400m – Joshua Haskin (MidAmerica Nazarene) – 48.79$
800m – Alex Goertz (MidAmerica Nazarene) – 1:55.72
1500m – Shane Burns (Evangel) – 4:02.25
5000m – Derek Wilson (Missouri Valley) – 15:49.27
10000m – Derek Wilson (Missouri Valley) – 33:14.88$
110m hurdles – Michal Riha (MidAmerica Nazarene) – 14.71
400m hurdles – Joshua Haskin (MidAmerica Nazarene) – 54.60$
3000m steeplechase – Demarkous Nunnally (Missouri Valley) – 9:38.60$
5000m race walk – Jessica Watson (Baker) – 24:12.60
4x100m relay – Grand View (Gannon Svestka, Leeshad O’Neal, Brant Wrede, Daniel Headley) – 42.13
4x400m relay – MidAmerica Nazarene (Isaac Zitterkopf, Kyren Martin, Alex Goertz, Joshua Haskin) – 3:19.53
4x800m relay – Mount Mercy (Aaron Golding, Josh Long, James Lindstrom, Michael Marshall) – 7:56.68
Hammer – Derek Robinson (William Penn) – 55.76m
Javelin – Nick Patterson (Baker) – 56.98m
Long Jump – Jeremi Barnes (Avila) – 7.16m
Triple Jump – Jeremi Barnes (Avila) – 15.00m$
High Jump – Josh Benford (Avila) – 2.05m
Shot Put – James Plummer (Grand View) – 15.65m
Discus – James Plummer (Grand View) – 54.90m*
Pole Vault – Peyton Besand (Central Methodist) – 4.90m$
Decathlon – Jeremiah Connealy (Benedictine) – 5293 points
2018 Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Champions
100m – Keishonda Rose (Benedictine) – 12.05
200m – Gloria Mares (Baker) – 24.74
400m – Helen Thames (Avila) – 55.13*
800m – Tenka Stringer (Avila) – 2:16.56
1500m – Bethany Brown (MidAmerica Nazarene) – 4:50.06
5000m – Sarah White (Benedictine) – 19:10.95
10000m – Bethany Brown (MidAmerica Nazarene) – 40:01.75
100m hurdles – Dacia Harris (MidAmerica Nazarene) – 14.35
400m hurdles – Helen Thames (Avila) – 1:03.16
3000m steeplechase – McKenna Johnson (Mount Mercy) – 12:04.67
5000m race walk – Brenda McCollum (Baker) – 26:25.86$#&
4x100m relay – Central Methodist (Theresa Zehnle, Pearl Morgan, Mattie Bradley, Lexanna Morgan) – 48.39
4x400m relay – Avila (Helen Thames, Tenka Stringer, Murielle Mercier, Breonne Maltbia) – 3:54.73*
4x800m relay – Avila (Drevon Carter, Tenka Stringer, Murielle Mercier, Penny Fenn) – 9:36.58
Hammer – LaVon Davis (Grand View) – 51.62m
Javelin – Kendyl McDougald (MidAmerica Nazarene) – 45.69m*$
Long Jump – Lexus Lovan (Graceland) – 5.89m
Triple Jump – Breanna Judkins (Clarke) – 11.64m$
High Jump – Vashti Nwagbaraocha (William Penn) – 1.65m
Shot Put – Shelbie Williams (William Penn) – 12.65m
Discus – LaVon Davis (Grand View) – 43.58m
Pole Vault – Maggie Shea (Baker) – 2.95m
Heptathlon – Shelley Laures (Benedictine) – 4159 points

* – Meet record
$ – 2017 champion
# – 2016 champion
& – 2015 champion

Michelle Mumm-Neola-Morningside
©Jim Kirby 2018

Strong Showing For Mustangs at Drake

Jason Kenny-Schaller-Morningside ©Jim Kirby 2018

Jason Kenny-Schaller-Morningside
©Jim Kirby 2018

Morningside College finished second in the men’s race and third in the women’s race in the Iowa college division distance medley relays in Saturday’s action at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

Courtesy Mustangs Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Michelle Mumm-Neola-Morningside©Jim Kirby 2018


The Mustangs’ men’s distance medley team of Jacob Green, a senior from Sioux Falls, S.D.; Logan Roberts, a sophomore from Shenandoah, Iowa; Zach Ambrose, a freshman from Dunlap, Iowa; and Jason Kenny, a senior from Schaller, Iowa, combined for a time of 10:15.63 to finish as the runner-up behind Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) rival Northwestern College, which topped the nine-team field with a time of 10:09.57.

Morningside’s women’s distance medley team of Michelle Mumm, a senior from Neola, Iowa; Eleka Joseph, a senior from Saint John’s, Antigua; Emalee Fundermann, a freshman from Anthon, Iowa; and Allison Higgins, a senior from Jefferson, Iowa; combined for a time of 12:18.53 to finish third in an eight-team field behind Northwestern (12:00.62) and Central College (12:16.77).

Michelle  Mumm-Tri Center-Morningside and Payton Boer-Sioux Center-Morningside
©Mike Brynes 2017

Mumm Sparks Mustangs at Friends’ Open

Michelle Mumm-Tri Center-Morningside ©Mike Brynes 2017

Michelle Mumm-Tri Center-Morningside
©Mike Brynes 2017

Morningside athletes combined to win 11 events at Sunday’s Friends University Spring Open track & field meet in Wichita, Kan.

Courtesy Mustangs Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Michelle Mumm-Tri Center-Morningside and Payton Boer-Sioux Center-Morningside©Mike Brynes 2017


Morningside dominated the competition in the men’s hurdle events with the top three finishers in the 110-meter hurdles and the top two finishers in the 400-meter hurdles.

Reece Jackson, a junior from Cherokee, Iowa, won the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.76 seconds, followed by Jacobus Noble, a sophomore from Sioux City, in second place with a time of 14.89 and Chase Hiser, a sophomore from Shenandoah, Iowa, in third place with a time of 15.66.

Noble won the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 55.39 followed by Hiser in second place with a time of 55.97.

Aside from his victory in the 110-meter hurdles, Jackson also won the high jump by clearing a height of 6-4 3/4.

Kati Kneifl, a junior from Sheldon, Iowa, and Michelle Mumm, a senior from Neola, Iowa, also won two events. Kneifl won the women’s long jump with a leap of 16-7 3/4 and triumphed in the javelin with a distance of 122-2. Mumm doubled in the women’s 800 and 1500-meter runs with winning times of 2:16.58 and 4:43.92, respectively.



The Mustangs also had individual event victories from Megan Maaske, a junior from Woodbine, Iowa, with a time of 19:28.90 in the women’s 5000-meters and Colton Tracy, a senior from Council Bluffs, Iowa, with a distance of 154-8 in the men’s discus.

Morningside won the men’s 1600-meter relay with a winning time of 3:27.53 from the quartet of Noble, Hiser, Michael Rizzi, a sophomore from Blue Springs, Mo.; and Jason Kenny, a senior from Schaller, Iowa.

The Mustangs ran uncontested to win the women’s 1600-meter relay with a time of 4:18.97 from Rose Pelelo-Ray, a junior from Merrill, Iowa; Claire Kortlever, a sophomore from Sioux Center, Iowa; Emalee Fundermann, a freshman from Anthon, Iowa; and Mumm.

Morningside had second place finishes from Allison Higgins, a senior from Jefferson, Iowa, with a time of 11:59.45 in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase; Eleka Joseph, a senior from Saint John’s, Antigua, with a time of 12.46 in the women’s 100-meters; Alexandra George, a sophomore from Seward, Neb., with a time of 19:35.04 in the women’s 5000-meters; Logan Roberts, a sophomore from Shenandoah, Iowa, with a time of 51.10 in the men’s 400-meters; and Kenny with a time of 1:56.89 in the men’s 800-meters.

Joseph added a fourth place time of 26.00 seconds in the 200-meters to her runner-up effort in the 100-meters.



Aurora Arevalo, a junior from Lenox, Iowa, finished third in the women’s 200-meters with a time of 25.81 seconds and added a fourth place distance of 108-8 in the javelin.

The Mustangs had third place finishes from Zach Ambrose, a freshman from Dunlap, Iowa, with a time of 1:57.92 in the men’s 800-meters; and Zac Hazen, a freshman from Verdigre, Neb., with a distance of 41-11 1/2 in the men’s triple jump.

Natalie Lambert, a sophomore from Paton, Iowa, finished fourth in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 12:23.77.

The Mustangs had fifth place finishes from Meagan Anderson, a senior from Woodbine, Iowa, with a distance of 138-11 in the women’s hammer throw and Brian Johnston, a sophomore from Scottsbluff, Neb., with a distance of 40-1 1/2 in the men’s triple jump.

Morningside will compete in the Sioux City Relays on April 13 and 14.

Ronnoja Ayers-Des Moines-GVU, Kennedy King -Assumption-GVU, Katie Roberts-Ankeny-GVU, and Chantel Blair-Boone-GVU 
©Vikings Athletics

New School Record For Viking Women

Katie Roberts-Ankeny-Grand View ©Doug Wells

Katie Roberts-Ankeny-Grand View
©Doug Wells

The 2018 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships started off with a bang as Grand View’s women’s 4×400 advance to the Saturdays finals. The relay of Ronnoja Ayers (SR/Des Moines, Iowa), Kennedy King(SR/Davenport, Iowa), Katie Roberts (SR/Ankeny, Iowa), and Chantel Blair (SO/Boone, Iowa) not only hit a season best, but also broke a school record with a time of 3:55.63. This senior lead team will try to carry this momentum into the finals this Saturday as they are slated to run at 4:55 p.m.

Courtesy Vikings Athletics, click here!  Feature photo: Ronnoja Ayers-Des Moines-GVU, Kennedy King -Assumption-GVU, Katie Roberts-Ankeny-GVU, and Chantel Blair-Boone-GVU
©Vikings Athletics

For full results click here.

The Vikings kick off tomorrow with the weight throw, then head to the track for the 60 meter hurdles. Competing in the weight throw on the men’s side is Austin Hill (SO/Pella, Iowa), James Plummer (JR/Columbia, South Carolina)(, and Clay Siefken (JR/Burlington, Iowa). On the women’s side throwing weight will be LeVon Davis, and Michelle Carrillo (SO/Storm Lake, Iowa). The dynamic hurdle duo of Amara Taylor (FR/Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and Dimetrea Hamilton (SO/Des Moines, Iowa) will try to close out a record breaking indoor season with the women’s 60-meter hurdles at 12:35 p.m. Following them in the men’s 60 meter hurdles, Jordan Nathen will try to continue an already impressive season, with his race slated for 12:55 p.m.

LaVon Davis-Ames-Grand View
©Doug Wells

NAIA National Qualifiers

Michelle Mumm-Neola-Morningside ©Kevin Pottebaum

Michelle Mumm-Neola-Morningside
©Kevin Pottebaum

Here are the NAIA Qualifiers 

The Meet is this weekend, March 1-3 at Pittsburg State in Pittsburg, Kansas.  Link to meet info click here! 
Feature photo: LaVon Davis-Ames-Grand View©Doug Wells


  • 60M-Eleka Joseph-Morningside
  • 600M-Rebekah Muilenberg and Taylor Needham-Northwestern, Abby Hammer-St. Ambrose
  • 800M-Katie Landhuis-Northwestern, Payton Boer-Morningside
  • 1000M-Michelle Mumm-Morningside, Katie Bosch and Breanna Harthorn-Northwestern
  • Mile-Erica De Schiffart-Dordt, Ashley Plumb-St. Ambrose
  • 3K-Sarah Lunn-Northwestern
  • 5K-Audrey Brooks-Dordt, Karyn Paisley-St. Ambrose
  • 60H-Amara Taylor-Grand View, Dimetrea Hamilton-Grand View, Danielle Wubben-Dordt, Reveca Dubs-Mt. Mercy
  • 4×400-Grand View
  • 4×800-Northwestern, St. Ambrose, Dordt, Mt. Mercy
  • DMR-Morningside, Dordt
  • High Jump-Breanna Judkins-Clarke
  • Long Jump-Lexus Lovan-Graceland
  • Triple Jump-Breanna Judkins-Clarke, Brandi Hosford and Lauren Lamourt-St. Ambrose
  • Shot Put-Katelynn Rheingans-Clarke
  • Weight Throw-Lavon Davis and Michelle Carrillo-Grand View
  • Pentahlon-Joscelym Wind-Dordt
  • 3K Race Walk-Cassandra Delgado, Katharine Newhoff and Jenny Lopez-St. Ambrose


  • 400M-Jack Reetsma-St. Ambrose
  • 800M-Joe Heinrichs-Briar Cliff, Jacob Green-Morningside, Peter Hollinger-Northwestern.
  • 1000M-Josh Petska and Rane Nichols-St. Ambrose, Jason Kenny-Morningside
  • Mile-Tim Rose-Northwestern
  • 5K-Caleb Drake-Dordt
  • 60HH-Reece Jackson-Morningside, Jorden Nathan-Grand View, Jack Reetsma-St. Ambrose, Keith Heidema-Dordt
  • 4×400-Dordt
  • 4×800-Dordt
  • DMR-Northwestern, St. Ambrose
  • High Jump-Calvin Korver-Northwestern, Tristen Elmore-William Penn, Mofiyinfoluwa Alade-William Penn, Reece Jackson-Morningside
  • Long Jump-Tristen Elmore-William Penn
  • Triple Jump-William Snorgrass-Graceland
  • Shot Put-James Plummer-Grand View, Cody Bauman-Northwestern, Chance Tatman-Grand View
  • Weight Throw-James Plummer-Grand View, Clay Siefken-Grand View, David Davelaar-Dordt. Austin Hill-Grand View, Ike Van Kempen-Dordt, Derek Robinson-William Penn
  • Heptathlon-Calvin Korver-Northwestern
  • 3K Race Walk-Anthony Peters and Emilio Mancha-St. Ambrose, Jon Anderson-Mt. Mercy
LaVon Davis - Ames-GVU
©Doug Wells 2018

Record Breaking Day For Vikings at Conference

Kennedy King-Assumption-GVU ©Doug Wells 2018

Kennedy King-Assumption-GVU
©Doug Wells 2018

Grand View men’s and women’s indoor track and field had an extremely successful weekend at the Heart of America Championships this past weekend in Crete, NE. The women’s team finished third overall hips and the men took home the silver. This is the highest Grand View men’s track and field have finished since joining the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

Courtesy Viking Athletics, click here!  Feature photo:  LaVon Davis – Ames-GVU ©Doug Wells 2018


Both teams wrote history with 17 individual All-Conference Athletes, ten NAIA qualifying marks, six school records, six conference champions, four top ten marks in NAIA and three all-conference relays.

Grand View men finished first, third, fifth, six and seventh in the weight throw with James Plummer earning first place with a mark of 21.11 meters. LaVon Davis also won the weight throw for the women with a mark of 18.60 meters. In men’s shot put the Vikings went first, second, third and eighth. With Plummer leading with a mark of 16.05 meters followed by Tatman earning second with a new NAIA B standard mark of 15.10 meter and Jake Goeller placing third with a mark of 14.58 meters.

The Vikings men and women won the 60-meter hurdles naming two conference champions, Jordan Nathen who finished with a time of 8.30 and Amara Taylor with a time of 8.86. Dimetrea Hamilton placed second in the 60-meter hurdles following close behind Taylor with a time of 8.89. Brandon Young was named a conference champion in the 600-meter run with a time of 1:22.94 and placed third in the 800-meter run.

Other athletes to note…

Kennedy King placed third in the 600-meter run while Chantel Blair earned third place in triple jump with a personal best of 10.86-meters. In the men’s 400-meter dash Jacob Clouse finished third.

Up next … 

The Vikings are back on the road this Saturday for the Wartburg Inviational in Waverly, IA.

©Fighting Fees Athletics

Bees’ Pestka Record Setting Performance

Josh Pestka-N. Scott-SAU ©Fighting Bees Athletics 2018

Josh Pestka-N. Scott-SAU
©Fighting Bees Athletics 2018

Olivet Nazarene University’s Bryce Vollrath (Peoria, Ill.) claimed his second straight Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Week award, while St. Ambrose University’s Josh Pestka (Davenport, Iowa) used a record-setting performance to gain his first CCAC Men’s Track Athlete of the Week honor, it was announced by the league office on Thursday morning.

Courtesy Fighting Bees Athletics, click here!  Feature photo: ©Fighting Fees Athletics 2018 


Pestka, a junior, broke a Fighting Bee record that had stood for ten years when he ran a 2:29.22 in the 1,000 meter run. That eclipsed the previous mark by more than three seconds and helped him capture the race at the St. Ambrose Invitational on Saturday. It also earned him an “A” standard mark and the fourth-best time in the NAIA this year. A total of 15 individuals made up the race field.

Pestka also anchored the Bees’ distance medley relay team, which also placed first out of four teams with a time of 10:45.94. That effort ranks No. 10 in the NAIA.

Peter Smith-N. Polk-Northwestern-IA
©Red Raider Athletics

Red Raiders Hit National Auto Qualifier in NAIA Marathon

Tanner Goetsch-Spirit Lake-Northwestern-IA ©Red Raider Athletics

Tanner Goetsch-Spirit Lake-Northwestern-IA
©Red Raider Athletics

Two Northwestern College runners, Peter Smith

and Tanner Goetsch, met the auto mark and qualified for the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the marathon.

Courtesy Red Raider Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Peter Smith-N. Polk-Northwestern©Red Raider Athletics


Goetsch, Smith and Jeffrey Jeltema all competed at the Midland Warriors Half-Marathon on Saturday, Dec. 2 in Fremont, Neb. Smith won the 13.1 mile race with a school record time of 1:10.37, meeting the NAIA’s automatic qualifying standard. The senior broke the old record, set by Ryan Bauermeister last year, by 1:16. Goetsch also met the auto mark and bettered the old record, placing third with a time of 1:11.50. Jeltema crossed the finish line in 26th place with

Peter Smith-N. Polk-Northwestern-IA ©Red Raider Athletics

Peter Smith-N. Polk-Northwestern-IA
©Red Raider Athletics

a time of 1:20.18, nearly 10 minutes faster than his time in 2016.

Northwestern Men Cross Country 2017
©Red Raider Athletics

Iowans Represent at GPAC Championships

Michelle Mumm-Neola-Morningside ©Kevin Pottebaum

Michelle Mumm-Neola-Morningside
©Kevin Pottebaum

The Sioux City Journal Published an article on the GPAC Cross Country Championships, below is an excerpt from that article.  To read the full article and to see full results, click here! 

Feature photo: Northwestern Men Cross Country 2017 ©Red Raider Athletics

Northwestern and Dordt won team titles Saturday while individual firsts came from both races in the Great Plains Athletic Conference cross country championships.

The Red Raider men, NAIA’s 14th-ranked team, placed four runners in the top 11 to claim their second straight league title by totaling 38 points.

The Defender women claimed the league title for the fifth time in the last six seasons after finishing second to Morningside last fall. Dordt, ranked 11th, had four runners finish in the top 13 to total 45 points.

 Morningside senior Michelle Mumm became the first female from her school to win a GPAC individual race by finishing the 5,000-meter course in 17:47.34. Mumm edged Dordt’s Audrey Brooks who ran 17:52.12.

Bosch, the Northwestern senior, finished fourth in 18:25.87 while Hastings’ Janelle Bethea was third in 18:11.81.

Dakota Wesleyan senior Jeremiah Panec became the first male from his school to win a GPAC individual race when he crossed in 24:56.09 over 8,000-meters. Northwestern senior Tanner Goetsch led the league champs with a runner-up 24:58.50.

Northwestern men and Dordt women earn automatic qualifying berths into the NAIA National Championships on November 18 at Fort Vancouver, Wash.

The Red Raider women finished second in the team race while ranked NAIA teams Hastings (#24) and Morningside (#16), were second and third, respectively.

Mt Mercy Men's Cross Country 2017
©Mustangs Athletics

Mustangs National Qualifiers

Mt Mercy Women's Cross Country 2017 ©Mustangs Athletics

Mt Mercy Women’s Cross Country 2017
©Mustangs Athletics

The Mount Mercy men earned an automatic berth in the NAIA national meet with a runner-up finish at Saturday’s Heart of America Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships hosted by Baker (Kan.) at Baldwin City Golf Course. The Mustang women, led by national qualifiers Alexa Zamora and Molly Pruett, finished third.

Courtesy Mustangs Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Mt Mercy Men’s Cross Country 2017 ©Mustangs Athletics

James Lindstrom (26:29) and Colton Forster (26:39) finished sixth and ninth in the 8K, respectively, to lead the Mount Mercy men’s squad. Both were named to the Heart of America all-conference team. Rounding out the top seven for the Mustangs were Cameron Steffens (23rd/27:31), Aaron Golding (24th/27:34), Michael Marshall (32nd/27:57), Jacob Blackmon (37th/28:14), and Chase Kress (82nd/31:10).

“Our men’s team fed off the women’s performance and took care of business,” said Head Coach Tad Hulst. “They fought for each other the whole race and met their goal of getting to nationals as a group.”

Missouri Valley had five individuals in the top nine while cruising to the team championship with 22 points. The Vikings and Mustangs (94 pts.) earned the Heart’s automatic berths in the NAIA Cross Country National Championships on Nov. 18 in Fort Vancouver, Wash. The rest of the top five on Saturday included Benedictine (Kan.) (105 pts.), Baker (106 pts.) and Central Methodist (Mo.) (110 pts.).

Zamora and Pruett finished back-to-back in the 5K to make the women’s all-conference team. Both are headed back to the national meet, Pruett for the fourth time. Zamora crossed the finish line eighth in 19:39, while Pruett was ninth in 19:40. Mount Mercy’s top seven also included McKenna Johnson (19th/20:03), Vanessa Cortes (21st/20:09), Kathryn Vander Poel (27th/20:31), Taylor Skala (35th/20:49), and Jaelynn Folkers (38th/20:55).

“Our women’s team stepped up big-time today,” Hulst said. “By far, they ran their best race of the season at the perfect time as a squad.”

With four runners in the top seven, MidAmerica Nazarene easily claimed the women’s team title with 29 points. The Pioneers were followed by Missouri Valley (68 pts.), which earned the league’s second automatic spot in the national championships. Mount Mercy (84 pts.), Benedictine (Kan.) (110 pts.), and Baker (139 pts.) rounded out the top five.

Men’s All-Conference Team:
Paulino Sanchez (Missouri Valley), Derek Wilson (Missouri Valley), Shane Burns (Evangel), Victor Reveles (Missouri Valley), Greg Flores (Baker), James Lindstrom (Mount Mercy), Demarkous Nunnally (Missouri Valley), Jose Ruiz (Missouri Valley), Colton Forster (Mount Mercy), Liam Barnsby (Baker).

Men’s Honorable Mention:
Carlos Guzman (MidAmerica Nazarene), Dakota Myers (MidAmerica Nazarene), Joseph Linder (Baker), Austin Johnson (Missouri Valley), Joseph Barnes (Benedictine).

Women’s All-Conference Team:
Bethany Brown (MidAmerica Nazarene), Erin Krohn (MidAmerica Nazarene), Katherine Dillard (Benedictine), Kaylee Shanley (MidAmerica Nazarene), Lizeth Luciano (Missouri Valley), Melanie Cozzi (Benedictine), Rachel White (MidAmerica Nazarene), Alexa Zamora (Mount Mercy), Molly Pruett (Mount Mercy), Kirari Furumoto (Missouri Valley).

Women’s Honorable Mention:
Kami Tabor (Graceland), Lisa Sauter (Central Methodist), Lizbeth Luciano (Missouri Valley), Leslie Perona (Evangel), Kendra Alsup (MidAmerica Nazarene).