November 18, 2009
The Dakota State University cross country teams are preparing for the 53rd Annual NAIA Men's and 30th Annual Women's NAIA Cross Country National Championships Saturday. It will be held at the Fort Vancouver Historical Site in Vancouver, Wash. The meet is hosted by the Cascade Collegiate Conference and Concordia (Ore.) University.
The NAIA Cross Country National Championship meet will consist of 32 men's teams and 32 women's teams. There will be over 300 runners in each race. Included in the meet, there will be individual qualifiers from non-championship conference teams.
The Trojans men's cross country made history as they won first ever DAC Conference Championships. DSU earned an automatic bid as a team to the NAIA Nationals. By NAIA Nationals rule, seven student-athletes are able to run as a team. The Trojan men's team will consist of Anthony Drealan, Tyler Van Peursem, Devon Berkness, Matt Fideler, Andrew Manning, Ben Harrison and John Bintliff. DSU was ranked No. 19 in the final NAIA Men's Cross Country National Poll.
The men's race will begin at approximately 12:30 p.m. (Central Time)/10:30 a.m. (Pacific Time).
Trojan Stephanie Warnke qualified for the NAIA Women's Cross Country National Championships. She finished sixth in the DAC Conference Championships and earned her second straight DAC All-Conference honors.
The women's race will start at 1:45 p.m. (Central Time)/11:45 a.m. (Pacific Time).
Vancouver, Wash. had been reporting rain in the last few days. The weather prediction calls for more rain through the rest of the week. The running conditions may not be favorable for the fastest times of the season if it will be a muddy course, but it will be a very competitive field.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director