Evangeline Colarossi — Staff Writer
Rain, sun, or snow, the Dordt cross country team trains in all weather. The chilly Saturday, October 12th morning of Defender Days tested their strength with freezing temperatures and a 20 mile per hour wind blowing across the course. Despite the gusting wind and snow blowing in during the last lap of the men’s race, the two teams ran with the strength they had gained from training in plenty of less-than-ideal weather – and it paid off.
The women’s team sprinted away with a first place out of eight teams. The women finished with fifty-two points and the gap between first and second was a staggering thirty-five points. Dordt men competed against five other teams and claimed second place with fifty points, just seven points away from Doane’s first place.
Dordt senior Olivia Couch was second with a time of 18:44, followed by Sarah Wensink at 18:46. Couch and Wensink claimed 1-2 in the point tabulations. Sienna De Jong (5th), Jordan Bos (10th), Mary Kate Postma (11th), Eden Winslow (20th), and Greichaly Kaster (26th) filled out Dordt’s top seven runners, all running sub-twenty races.
The men’s team finished their top seven with a spread of less than a minute, the top five finishing with 0:41 of each other. Jacob Vander Plaats (3rd), Joe Anderson (8th), Anthony Ghiorso (12th), Trey Engen (15th), Brooks De Waard (16th), Nicolas Veldhorst (18th), and Davis Tebben (19th) were Dordt’s top seven runners on the men’s team.
Along with the competing teams, several runners ran with Dordt, though not on the team. Recent Dordt graduate and cross-country runner, PJ Kooima returned to race his personal best, and a visiting high school student, Isaac Dykstra, braved the weather to run a college race just for the fun of it.
“The women are running their best as they head into the last few races of the year,” said Head Coach Nate Wolf. “The men raced over six minutes faster, as a team, than they did a month ago on the same course. We are very excited for the group as they head into the last regular meet of the season.”
In the most recent GPAC poll, Dordt men were ranked 16th with 290 points and the women were ranked 21st with 198 points. Both teams will travel to Cedar Rapids, IA, this weekend for the NAIA Seminole Valley Stampede. The GPAC championship meet will be held at Dordt on November 9, giving the runners a final chance to race on their home course this season.