The Black Hills State University men’s cross country team had its best team finish in the NCAA era at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship Saturday in Alamosa, Colorado. Alec Baldwin led the Yellow Jackets with a fifth place finish at the event as he crossed the finishing tape in 24:47.2.
The Yellow Jacket women’s squad placed 14th at the event.
Courtesy Yellow Jackets Athletics
Baldwin earned his second-straight all-conference accolades with his fifth place finish, placing just three seconds behind fourth place and 10 seconds in front of sixth place.
Adams State won the event with 36 points, sliding by Colorado Mines with 52 points. Adams State is ranked No. 4 in the nation while Mines is No. 3. Western State, who is ranked No. 10, placed third followed by Colorado Mesa with 74 and 141 points, respectively. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs placed fifth with 164 points. The Yellow Jackets, No. 17 in the nation were fifth with 186 points followed CSU-Pueblo and MSU Denver 204 and 229 points, respectively.
Kendall Murie was the second Yellow Jacket across the finish line in 26:04.3, good enough for 29th place while Jonah Theisen placed 45th in 26:28.1. Josh Davis and Aaron Schone round out the Yellow Jacket point scorers in 55th and 61st places, respectively.
Black Hills State continues its season November 7 at the South Central Region Championship in Canyon, Texas.
Kirk Pedersen is the Head Cross Country & Co-Head Track & Field Coach at the University of Central Missouri. Coach Pedersen has had some health issues over the past 6 weeks, as well as a stroke which has left him hospitalized. He struggled some this summer and went in for a check-up about 6 weeks ago. They found some blockage in his heart and put two stints in to help the problem. He was released and two days later suffered a serious stroke.
While in the hospital over the next two weeks he suffered a minor heartache and has been up and down since. After progressing well last week, he was transported to the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln Nebraska this past week. He is progressing well, but still has limited right side movement, struggles to sleep, has low blood pressure, and does not communicate well at this point. His wife Jill and Kip Janvrin say that at some moments he can seem close to normal and at other/most times he is not. The road ahead is unknown for Kirk and his family and doctors should know the effects of what his current therapy will do for him short and long term.
There is a Gofundme account that has been set up to help him and his family. The long term of his health and needs are not known at this time so any help you all want to give would be much appreciated! The Gofundme account link is below, as well as his current address in Lincoln. If you are on Facebook, you can join the group “Kirk’s Crew” for updates.
For Coach Pedersen’s Gofundme Account Click Here!
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital
Kirk Pedersen room 135
5401 South St.
Lincoln, NE 68506
Also A new link for Meals for Kirk and Jill’s Kids Click Here!
Black Hills State University senior distance runner Alec Baldwin has been named the United State Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division II National Athlete of the Week. Baldwin is the first-ever BHSU athlete to be awarded the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week.
Courtesy Yellow Jackets Athletics
Baldwin, a native of Spirit Lake, Iowa, claimed the Roy Griak Invitational’s Maroon II Division individual title in 25:27.4. The time was 15 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher and more than 30 seconds ahead of the closest division II finisher in the 8K race.
The Yellow Jackets claimed the team title at the event, the first-ever team title in school history at one of the nation’s premier meets.
Baldwin, an NCAA Championship qualifier a year ago, has not placed worse than second in 2015 with two first-places through three meets. He won the home Yellow Jacket Invitational and placed second at the South Dakota Mines Invitational.
As a team, behind Baldwin’s leadership, the Green and Gold are undefeated on the season having won all three meets.
Augustana University women’s cross country runner Leah Seivert was named Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Athlete of the Week on Wednesday. This is the first Athlete of the Week honor for Seivert.
Seivert finished first overall in the women’s college division at the Augustana Twilight with a time of 16:25.70, she finished as the fastest runner in both divisions at the twilight finishing 23 seconds faster than Division I runners.
The Vikings will be idle until Sept. 26 as they travel to Minnesota to compete in the Roy Griak Invitational.
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.
Alec Baldwin, the junior from Spirit Lake Park claimed fourth place in the D2 1,500-meter run in 3:48.73. Baldwin had outstanding XC and indoor seasons and carried that momentum on to outdoor to earn his third NCAA All-America honor after claiming the elite status in the mile run and distance medley relay during the 2015 indoor season.
Congratulations to Alec Baldwin The Next Level Iowa’s D2 Runner of the Year!