Four Dakota State University cross country runners are preparing for the 54th Annual NAIA Men's and 31st Annual Women's Cross Country National Championships Saturday. The meet will be held at the Fort Vancouver Historical Site in Vancouver, Wash. It is hosted by the Cascade Collegiate Conference and Concordia (Ore.) University for the second straight year.
The NAIA Cross Country National Championship meet will consist of 32 men's teams and 32 women's teams. There will be over 700 student-athletes combined and over 130 institutions will be at the Nationals meet. Included in the meet, there will be individual qualifiers from non-championship conference teams.
DSU junior Stephanie Warnke (Fairfax, S.D.) qualified for the NAIA Women's Cross Country National Championships. She placed eighth at the DAC Conference meet on Nov. 5 in Jamestown, N.D. with a time of 19 minutes and 17 seconds. Warnke earned her third straight DAC All-Conference honors.
The women's race will start at 12:30 p.m. (Central Time)/10:30 a.m. (Pacific Time).
Three DSU men's runners qualified for NAIA Men's Cross Country National Championships. They are seniors Devon Berkness (Madison, S.D.) and Matt Fideler (Volga, S.D.) along with sophomore Andy Coy (Hill City, S.D.).
Berkness captured the DAC Cross Country individual title with a time of 26 minutes and 20 seconds. He was named to DAC Most Outstanding Runner and earned DAC All-Conference honors for his second straight year. Coy was third with a time of 26:31. Fideler placed sixth in 26:57. Both Coy and Fideler earned DAC All-Conference honors.
The men's race starts at approximately 1:45 p.m. (Central Time)/11:45 a.m. (Pacific Time).
There will be a post-meet championship awards ceremony following the meet. It will be held at Hudson Bay High School in Vancouver, Wash. (http://corban.nmtvsports.com)
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director