On Sept 5, the men’s and women’s cross country team traveled to Dordt University for the Sunflower Opener.
The event started with the women, which consisted of nine teams and 12
8 runners. NW registered 11 women for the 75-degree, calm winded, mid-morning 5K.
Autumn Muilenburg was the first Raider to cross the finish line with the time of 19:45, placing her 24th for the event. Close behind her was Anna Hiebner, finishing 26th with a time of 19:48. Hunter Koepke clocked in at 20:26, placing her at 39th. Katlyn Wiese finished 60th in 21:19 for her first career GPAC meet. Megan Shulstad was the next Raider that crossed the finish line, placing 62nd and beating her previous personal best with a 21:24. Angela Brinkman , 71st – 21:43 and Lindsey Groen, 76th – 21:48, rounded out the top seven for the raiders.
In total, the Raiders accounted for 109 points, finishing the day in fourth place overall. With a brief intermission and stretch, nine teams and 122 men took their places.
After 26:15 of running an 8K, Dylan Hendricks crossed the finish line, placing 14th overall, fifth among NAIA runners. This would be his 10th time finishing a race in the top 20 in his Raider career. Eighteen seconds behind Dylan was Joshua Starr, placing 23rd overall. Dawson Jacobsma, and Levi Cross were the next Raiders that crossed, finishing 35th and 36th with ti
mes of 27:26 and 27:27. Nick Bernhagen was able to compete for the first time since 2018. He finished 42nd with a time of 27:46. Chase Bulten was next, finishing 45th with a time of 27:54. To complete the top seven for the Raiders were Riley Chartier, who ran a personal best of 28:01 and placed 48th overall. In total, the Raiders accounted for 74 points and finished second behind the Defenders.
Coach Scott Bahrke is excited for what is to come for this year.
“I felt our team members competed well for their first race in six months,” he said. “Our women had strong representation by our seniors with five of the top six finishers for NWC in their final season of cross country, [and] we had six men in our top 10 finish that were not able to race last season due to injury or not competing.”
Both men’s and women’s teams are preparing for their next meet at the Morning
side Invite on September 19.
“We were so blessed just to be able to compete when you think of other colleges and universities that are not having sports on their campuses right now,” Bahrke said. “God is good.”