NORTH SIOUX CITY -- Highly-ranked NAIA cross country teams in the Dordt women and Northwestern men claimed team titles at the Briar Cliff Invitational held Saturday at soggy and muddy Adams Nature Preserve.
The 12th-ranked Defenders, led by individual race runner-up Audrey Brooks, scored 60 points to edge 14th-ranked Morningside (68) while 17th-ranked Hastings and Northwestern tied with 71 points.
The Red Raider men's squad, ranked sixth, scored 35 points to win the team title in a meet that included a strong unattached team, the Lincoln Running Club.
The Lincoln Running Club, though, was ineligible to compete for team points.
Nolan Zimmer, a former Northwest Missouri State athlete, won the men's 8,000-meter race in 25:15.65 while former Nebraska runner Jacob Olson was second in 25:32.76.
Northwestern's team championship was paced by senior Tanner Goetsch, a former Spirit Lake runner, who crossed in 25:46.19.
Northwestern placed four in the top 12 of the race while Doane was second in the team race with 58 points, ahead of Morningside (92) and Dordt (97).
The women's race covered a course that was a shade over the normal 5,000-meters, actually closer to 5,200 meters after alterations were made due to the ongoing rain this region received over the last 48 hours.
The race, originally scheduled for a 10 a.m. start, was delayed an hour to help the course dry a bit after morning showers had evaporated.
Northwestern senior Katie Bosch won the race in 18:45.65, the fourth time this season she has been the top NAIA runner in a meet.
Morningside was led by senior Michelle Mumm in third while Red Raiders teammates Breanna Harthoorn and Sarah Lunn finished fourth and fifth, respectively.