Four Runners Earn All-GPAC Honors

Dordt_Defenders logoFour Dordt College Defender women’s cross country runners earned all-GPAC honors at the GPAC Championship Meet held on Saturday, November 7 at Crete, Nebraska.

Top-15 finishers were automatically accorded the honor.

Kayla Byl (Senior; Sioux Center, Iowa) earned the honor for the fourth time in her career with a second place finish of 18:33. Byl has finished in the top-5 at the GPAC Championships each of her years at Dordt and has helped the Defenders to four straight GPAC titles.

“Finishing four times in the top five at the conference meet is an amazing accomplishment. Not only the level of performance it takes to do so, but also the consistency shown with those finishes. Kayla is an incredibly disciplined and focused runner, and that shows in her ability to train at a high level and avoid injuries. I am thankful I have been able to coach her this year,” said Dordt College coach Nate Wolf.

Justine Van Zee (Junior; Sioux Falls, South Dakota) was right behind in third place with a time of 18:47 and Erika Douma (Sophomore; Sioux Center, Iowa) claimed eighth place with a time of 18:57. Both are repeat honorees after claiming sixth and 13th respectively last season. Van Zee placed 16th at the GPAC Meet in 2013.

“Justine and Erika put together their strongest races thus far this year, at the GPAC meet. Both have had to persevere through some adversity this year and it was fun to see them finish top 10. From a team perspective, we needed them to step into those positions and provide a bridge between Kayla and the rest of the pack. I am excited to see them race again at the national meet in two weeks,” said Wolf.

Kaylie Ogle (Senior; Clovis, California) claimed the final all-GPAC spot with a time of 19:10 and improved her placement from the 2014 meet where she finished 22nd.

The Defenders will run at the NAIA Championships on Saturday, November 21 at Charlotte, North Carolina.

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