For the fourth season in a row, runners from Nebraska Wesleyan University earned major honors when the All-Independent Cross Country teams were announced by the Association of Division III Independents.
Junior Jackie Spelts (Burwell, Neb.) was named the Female Runner-of-the-Year after placing fifth at the NCAA Championships to earn All-America honors. Teammate Malaina Huebert (Bradshaw, Neb.) was named the Female Rookie-of-the-Year. The top runner for the NWU men, Andrew Laflin (Hickman, Neb.) was named the Male Runner-of-the-Year while head coach Ted Bulling was named the AD3I Men’s Coach-of-the-Year.
Joining Spelts on the women’s first team was senior Bridget Baldwin (Omaha, Neb.). Named to the Second-Team was Huebert and sophomore Hayley Sutter (Lincoln, Neb.).
Spelts was the top NWU women’s runner all season and topped her season by placing fifth at the NCAA III Championships, the highest placing ever for a NWU women’s runner. She also earned All-Region honors and was the GPAC Runner-up during the season.
Baldwin, a graduate of Millard North High School, earned All-Region honors by placing 19th at the NCAA Central Region Championships.
On the men’s side, NWU had four runners on the first team. Laflin was joined by Brian Copley (Syracuse, Neb.), Logan Watley (Lincoln, Neb.) and Neil Wolford (Hastings, Neb.).
Laflin earned All-Region honors by placing 7th at the Central Region Championships. He was unable to compete at the NCAA Championships because of a heart condition. He has undergone a procedure and should be recovered for the future.
Copley was the Prairie Wolves top placer at the NCAA Championships and also earned All-Region and All-GPAC recognition. Watley was All-Region and placed 4th at the GPAC meet to earn All-Conference honors. Wolford was 8th at the GPAC Championships to earn All-GPAC recognition and competed at the NCAA Championships.
Coach Bulling led the NWU men to their 12th straight appearance at the NCAA III Championships, which is the fifth longest streak in the country. The Prairie Wolves have won four straight GPAC titles and have won the Central Region title two years in a row.
The All-Independent Women’s and Men’s Cross Country teams were selected by the cross country coaches from the Association of Division III Independents member schools.
NWU All-Independent Selections
Women’s First Team
Jackie Spelts, Jr., Burwell, Neb./Burwell H.S. (Runner-of-the-Year)
Bridget Baldwin, Sr., Omaha, Neb./Millard North H.S.
Women’s Second Team
Malaina Huebert, Fr., Bradshaw, Neb./Heartland H.S. (Rookie of the Year)
Hayley Sutter, So., Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln Southeast H.S.
Men’s First Team
Andrew Laflin, Jr., Hickman, Neb./Norris H.S. (Runner of the Year)
Brian Copley, Jr., Syracuse, Neb./Syracuse H.S.
Logan Watley, Jr., Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln Christian H.S.
Neil Wolford, Jr., Hastings, Neb./Adams Central H.S.