In the final race of the year for the Northwestern cross country squads, a total of 15 runners ran their personal bests at the GPAC Championships at McCook Lake, S.D. on Saturday morning.
The women’s team finished seventh overall with 162 points, and the men’s side posted a sixth place finish at 163 points.
In the 5K women’s race, junior Dawn Gildersleeve was the top finisher for NW. She earned a 15th place finish in 18 minutes and 40 seconds. A downside was she missed qualifying for the national meet by two spots.
Senior Amy Van Skike closed out her career with a personal best of 18:51 and finished in 22nd place.
The next four Raider runners packed together to finish within six seconds of each other. Senior Leslie Stover ended up in 40th place with a time of 19:17.
Freshmen Kelley Thurman and Karissa De Jong were right behind her with times of 19:18.
Sophomore Amber Sandbulte was also in the pack, and finished in 45th place in 19:23.
All four runners set new personal marks.
Juniors Janet Pitsenberger (19:41) and Jackie Niewenhuis (19:48) and sophomore Sarah Wittenberg (19:58) also packed together to earn personal bests as the next Raiders in line.
The men’s squad was led in the 8K by sophomore Skyler Giddings, who crossed the line in 25:49. He was two spots away from making the cut for the national meet.
Fellow sophomore Logan Hovland earned 24th place in 26:06
Next across the tape was junior Zach Wittenberg in 39th (26:40), sophomore Anthony Epp in 40th (26:41), freshman Caleb VanderBaan in 46th (26:51) and freshman Kyle Anderson in 50th (26:55).
Junior Taylor Bodin rounded out the lineup by placing 57th in 27:16.
The top seven men’s runners set personal bests this meet.