SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The North Dakota State women's cross country team earned its highest NCAA Midwest Regional finish of the Division I era on Friday afternoon, placing seventh out of 31 teams at the Missouri State University Cross Country Course.
North Dakota State was ranked eighth in the Midwest Region entering the meet. The Bison placed 13th at the regional meet in 2011.
While the seventh-place finish won't earn NDSU a bid to the NCAA Championships, head coach Ryun Godfrey was extremely pleased with his team's effort.
"I'm really proud of the girls and the way they ran today," said Godfrey. "The Midwest Region is tough, so for us to come out of it with a seventh-place team finish - the highest we've ever finished - is very impressive."
The Bison were just 12 points behind sixth-place Iowa and 14 points behind fifth-place Tulsa.
Redshirt freshman Brecca Wahlund capped her outstanding debut season with another remarkable performance, placing 14th out of 211 individuals. Wahlund completed the 6k course in a personal-best 21:06.60.
"For Brecca to get 14th overall was extremely impressive," noted Godfrey. "The top 25 finishers are medalists, so for a freshman to be on the podium is pretty impressive."
Wahlund was one of only two freshmen to finish in the top 15 on Friday.
Juniors Heidi Peterson and Maddie McClellan were NDSU's No. 2 and No. 3 finishers, taking 36th and 46th place, respectively. Peterson finished in 21:46.20 and McClellan clocked in at 21:55.25.
Sophomore Abbi Aspengren was close behind, taking 52nd place in 21:59.57. Freshman Tarin Lachowitzer completed the Bison scoring with a 90th-place finish in 22:38.49.
Aspengren improved 28 places from her 2011 finish at the Midwest Regional, McClellan moved up 14 spots, and Peterson climbed six places.
As a team, North Dakota State finished in front of Big 12 schools Kansas and Kansas State, Big Ten schools Illinois and Nebraska, and Missouri Valley Conference schools Illinois State, Southern Illinois, Wichita State, Bradley and Northern Iowa.