The HLGU cross country teams competed at the AMC meet on November 8. Freshman Alec Whitener was the first Trojan to secure his bid to nationals by finishing in 6th place overall as the fastest freshman in the conference. Heiko Thiele crossed the line in 12th place with a time of 27:17 and also secured his bid to the NAIA National meet.
Overall, the Trojans finished 3rd out of the 10 teams competing in the AMC. This was not good enough to qualify to compete at NAIA nationals, but the team had already qualified to compete at NCCAA Nationals in Point Lookout, MO on November 16.
In the women’s race, the best runner from Columbia College took the lead in the race, but she was closely followed by the top 3 runners from HLGU. Sierra St. Aubyn, Shelby Kallem, and Lauren Sisco held on to those spots and claimed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively to punch their tickets to NAIA nationals. The Lady Trojans were missing one of their top runners, Meredith O’Neal, due to an injury.
Whitener, Thiele, Aubyn, Kallem, and Sisco competed at NAIA Nationals in Vancouver, Washington on November 22. The rest of the men’s and women’s teams competed November 16 at NCCAA Nationals in Point Lookout, Missouri.
At NCCAA cross country nationals, the men’s team finished 5th out of 12 teams. Top HLGU finisher was Whitener at 9th with Butenhoff at 17th, Thiele at 34th, and other racers at 40th, 41st, and 56th.
Top women finishers were Lacy, followed by Mitchell and Wagner.
At the NAIA National Cross Country Championships in Vancouver, Washington, there were 335 runners. Alec Whitener was the top finisher for the Trojans with a time of 26:49. He finished in 158th place while Heiko Thiele finished in 211th at 27:16. The ladies had 341 runners and saw Sierra St. Aubyn cross the line in 67th place with a time of 19:08. Lauren Sisco finished in 192nd place at 20:02. Shelby Kallem also qualified to run but was unable to compete due to injury.
Coach Andy Lemons stated, “I am very proud of all our student athletes. They did an exceptional job racing in a tough crowded course. I am very happy for Sierra, this was a great way to finish out her senior year. The future is bright!”
- Tyler Byars / November 2019 / HLGU Vanguard