Women's cross country returns to NAIA top 25

By on Sep. 16, 2015 in Cross Country

Women’s cross country returns to NAIA top 25

SEWARD, Neb. – Three days away from officially opening the season, the Concordia University women’s cross country team has returned to the national top 25 rankings. Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s Bulldogs checked in at No. 21 in the NAIA Women’s Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, released on Wednesday.

A perennial power on the conference and national scales, Concordia women’s cross country put together three-straight national runner-up finishes from 2000-02 and then did the same in 2004. From 1994 to 2009, the Bulldogs finished inside the top 20 at the national championships each season. Einspahr has led the program to five GPAC/NIAC conference titles since becoming head coach in 1992.

In the national polls, Bulldog women’s cross country has appeared as high as No. 1. Concordia rose to the top spot in the final poll of 2004, a season in which Bulldog runners claimed each of the top six spots at the GPAC championships. Between 1999 and 2009, Concordia received a national ranking in 104 out of 105 polls. In a seven-year stretch from 1999 to 2005, the Bulldogs appeared in the top five at least once each season. They were ranked third or higher at one point each season from 1999 to 2004.

This year’s squad features many familiar faces back from the 2014 group that placed fourth in the GPAC. Senior Kim Wood will attempt to build upon an all-conference season as a junior. Sophomore Emily Sievert also returns after running as the team’s No. 1 for much of her freshman season.

Both Concordia men’s and women’s teams will be in action on Saturday at the Woody Greeno Invite held at Pioneer Park in Lincoln, Neb.