GARDEN CITY, KS – Two Norse Cross Country runners made history on Saturday as the first ever Bay College athletes to compete in an NJCAA National Championship. Zoie Berg (SO, Gladstone, MI) and James Young (FR, Gladstone, MI) represented the Norse at the event.
Facing one of the most challenging courses of the season, both runners were pushed to their limits. Long, steep hills, sharp turns, 25-30 mph winds, and a crowded course presented the biggest challenge to date for the two harriers. Berg would finish the 5K women's championship race in 22:28.6. She was runner number 150 to cross the finish line out of 294 participants. Young, participating in the 8K men's championship race, would finish with a time of 34:04.1. He would be the 263rd runner to cross the finish line, out of 289 participants.
"It went well," said Head Cross Country Coach Jim Murtha. "The course was definitely the hardest course either one of them have ever run on. Zoie knew the times were going to be slow so she was hoping to finish in the top 150, which is exactly where she finished. James ran well, but was disappointed with his time and place. When it was over he said that he wasn't ready to be done and realized what kind of training it's going to take to get to where he wants to be. This was a very valuable trip and a great learning experience!"
The race marked the end of the season for Norse Cross Country. The women's team will say goodbye to two sophomores this year, Berg and Katy Combs (Escanaba, MI). On the men's side, Steven Magnuson (Cheboygan, MI) is the lone runner that has completed two seasons with the Norse.