For the fifth 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 (AD3I).
Senior Jackie Spelts (Burwell, Neb.) was named the Female Runner-of-the-Year for the second consecutive year after placing ninth at the NCAA Championships to earn her second All-American honor. Teammate Amanda Costello(Lincoln, Neb.) was named the Female Rookie-of-the-Year. The top runner for the NWU men, Logan Watley(Lincoln, Neb.) was named the Male Runner-of-the-Year while head coach Ted Bulling was named the AD3I Coach-of-the-Year for both the women and the men.
Joining Spelts and Costello on the women’s first team was junior Hayley Sutter (Lincoln, Neb.) and sophomore Hannah Kinberg (Walton, Neb.). Named to the Second-Team was sophomore Katie Nelson (Lincoln, Neb.).
Spelts was the top NWU women’s runner all season and topped her season by placing ninth at the NCAA III Championships marking the second year she placed in the top 10 after taking fifth last season. Her fifth place finish is the highest in NWU history, and she is just the second two-time NCAA III All-American for Nebraska Wesleyan. She was also the GPAC Runner of the Year for winning the GPAC Championship.
On the men’s side, NWU had four runners on the first team. Watley was joined by Brian Copley (Syracuse, Neb.), Neil Wolford (Hastings, Neb.) and Kyle Wagner (Fairbury, Neb.) Junior Ryan Osberg (Omaha, Neb.) was named to the Second-Team.
Watley was NWU’s top male runner this season as he finished 88th at the NCAA III Championships in a time of 26:40 to help NWU place 27th as a team. He was second at the Central Regional meet as he led the Prairie Wolves to a tie for first place with St. Thomas.
Coach Bulling led the NWU men to their 13th straight appearance at the NCAA III Championships, which is the fifth longest streak in the country. The Prairie Wolves have won the Central Region title three years in a row. He helped the NWU women place 12th at the NCAA III Championships and earn their fifth straight GPAC Championship.
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, Sr., Burwell, Neb./Burwell H.S. (Women’s Runner-of-the-Year)
Hayley Sutter, Jr., Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln Southeast H.S.
Hannah Kinberg, So., Walton, Neb./Lincoln East H.S.
Amanda Costello, Fr., Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln H.S.
Women’s Second Team
Katie Nelson, So., Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln Southeast H.S.
Men’s First Team
Logan Watley, Sr., Lincoln, Neb./Lincoln Christian H.S. (Men’s Runner-of-the-Year)
Brian Copley, Sr., Syracuse, Neb./Syracuse H.S.
Neil Wolford, Sr., Hastings, Neb./Hastings Adams Central H.S.
Kyle Wagner, Jr., Fairbury, Neb./Fairbury H.S.
Men’s Second Team
Ryan Osberg, Jr., Omaha, Neb./Millard South H.S.
AD3I Men’s/Women’s Coach-of-the-Year
Ted Bulling, Nebraska Wesleyan