Dordt Women’s Cross Country No. 5 In NAIA Poll

!cid_image001_jpg@01D0E0AFThe Dordt College women’s cross country team was voted no. 5 in the NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 poll released Wednesday, August 26.

The Defenders took 435 points in the polling after finishing the 2014 season no. 5 postseason poll.

The Defenders return five of its top-eight finishers from the 2014 GPAC Championship. All of those runners finished in the top-14 at the GPAC Championship. Kayla Byl (Senior; Sioux Center, Iowa), Justine Van Zee (Junior; Sioux Falls, South Dakota) Nicole Slater (Sophomore; Rushmore, Minnesota), Erika Douma (Sophomore; Sioux Center, Iowa) and Kelsey Lewis (Junior; Lachine, Michigan) all return for the defending three-time GPAC Champions.

The Defenders third straight trip to the NAIA Championships resulted in a fifth place finish in the race run at Lawrence, Kansas. Dordt was ranked as high as no. 2 during the regular season in the pollings.

“It is fun to see the respect the men’s and women’s teams have earned the past few seasons manifesting in their preseason rankings,” said Dordt College Cross Country Coach Nate Wolf. “It is a testament to the strength of the GPAC and how both teams finished last year within the conference and at the national meet. However, while preseason recognition is a great compliment, we need to stay healthy, stay focused, and keep working to earn those ranking throughout the season and ultimately end the season where we want to.”

Northwest Christian (Oregon) was voted no. 1 in the poll and took 495 points. Carroll (Montana) was no. 2 with 485 points and Lewis Clark State (Idaho) claimed no. 3 with 445 points. Aquinas (Michigan) had one more point than Dordt with 436 and the The Master’s (California) was tied with Dordt.

The Defenders open the season on September 4 at the Augustana Invite in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Dordt will run in five meets before the GPAC Championship on November 7 in Crete, Nebraska.

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