Bison Women Roll to Second Consecutive Summit League Title
Release: October 27, 2012
ROCHESTER, Mich. - Freshman Brecca Wahlund was the first North Dakota State women's cross country runner to cross the finish line at the Summit League Championships, but her teammates weren't far behind. Each of NDSU's top five runners placed in the top 15 overall on Saturday morning to give the Bison their second consecutive Summit League title.
North Dakota State totaled 36 points for the victory, outpacing second-place South Dakota's 59 and third-place South Dakota State's 63. NDSU's point total was the second-lowest at the conference meet since 2003.
It was a total team effort by the Bison, as the top four runners finished second, fourth, seventh and eighth out of the 73-athlete field.
Wahlund claimed runner-up honors with a time of 21:58.5 and became the school's highest finisher in its Summit League history. Junior Heidi Peterson placed fourth overall in 22:12.5, and junior Maddie McClellan was seventh in 22:29.1.
Sophomore Abbi Aspengren - named the league's Newcomer of the Year at the 2011 Championships - placed eighth in 22:32.4. Faith Kruchowski, the lone senior competing for the Bison, sealed the title with a 15th-place finish in 23:01.6.
"I am very proud of the way the girls ran," said NDSU head coach Ryun Godfrey. "Having a target on their back can sometimes be a difficult position to be in, but I thought they handled it great."
Oakland senior Brittni Hutton won the individual title in 21:49.8.
As top-seven finishers, Wahlund, Peterson and McClellan were named first team All-Summit League. Aspengren was a second team All-Summit League performer.
A challenging wind at Katke-Cousins Golf Course had an impact on the runners' times, but Godfrey was pleased with the way the Bison responded.
"The wind probably resulted in some times a little slower than we might normally run, but at the conference meet, you throw times out the window and run for place," noted Godfrey.
This marks the fourth straight year that North Dakota State has earned a top-three team finish at the Summit League Championships. The Bison won last year's title with 64 points. Godfrey was named the league's Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
"Last year the girls took a lot of pride in winning the Triple Crown in The Summit League - cross country, indoor track and outdoor track championships - and this is the first step in attempting to do that again. The girls are pretty excited about that."
The NCAA Midwest Regional is scheduled for Nov. 9 in Springfield, Mo.