The Red Raider women stepped up to the line first and fought hard through the whole race. The women finished ninth overall, but they kept their spirits high and are excited to come back stronger next year. Sophomore Katie Bosch was the first Red Raider to cross the line for the women with a time of 19:42. Sophomore Sarah Lunn, who ran 20:20 and freshman Alicia Darling, who ran 20:28 were the next two finishers for the women’s team.
The men set their sights on an automatic bid to the national meet and they were not denied. The Red Raiders beat every other NAIA team at the meet, but came in second to a very tough Nebraska Wesleyan. Since Nebraska Wesleyan is not affiliated with the NAIA, they can win the meet, but they cannot take away the automatic nationals bid from any of the NAIA teams in the GPAC. The men defeated the defending champions, Morningside, who they struggled with all season, and advanced to No.19 in the national rankings.
Sophomore Hans Epp ran tough once again and was the first Red Raider to cross the line. Epp ran 26:20 and finished seventh overall, earning him All-Conference honors.
Epp’s sophomore counterpart, Tanner Goetsch, was the second Red Raider to cross the line. Goetsch ran a season best of 26:36 and placed 11th overall, also earning All-Conference honors.
Seniors Elliott Johnson and Caleb VanderBaan and sophomore Ryan Bauermeister finished 17th, 19th and 20th in 26:53, 26:56 and 26:59, respectively.
The men’s team will travel to Charlotte, N.C., next week to compete in the NAIA National Championships. They are aiming to finish in the Top 15 teams in the nation, which would be their highest finish of all time.