<p>The Dordt College men's cross country team is going back to the NAIA National Championship Meet after nearly a 30 year absence after a second place finish at the Great Plains Athletic Conference Championship meet on Saturday, November 5 in Lincoln, Nebraska at Pioneers Park. The Defenders beat Concordia by 11 points for second place behind NCAA Division III member Nebraska Wesleyan to take the automatic berth to the National Meet in Vancouver, Washington.
</p><p>Dordt's top finisher was Ryan Tholen with a ninth place time of 26:44 and his teammates weren't far behind. Nathan Jackson was 12th in 26:50 with Tim Bierma and Jeremy Van Woerden finishing right next to each other in 19th and 20th place with times of 27:10 and 27:11. Dordt's fifth runner was Eric Tudor who clocked a 27:24 for 26th place. Steve Olson and Trent Kischer were the final Dordt runners to factor into scoring, pushing other places down with a 32nd and 33rd finish respectively in 27:46 and 27:52.Dordt's first and fifth runners were separated by just 40 seconds.
</p><p>Edwin Ronoh of Doane won the meet in a time of 26:12 on the 8,000 meter course. 93 runners ran in the 11 team field. Nebraska Wesleyan's finishes are removed for NAIA scoring and individual qualifications.
Team Standings:<br /></p>
<p>Nebraska Wesleyan 24<br /><br />
Dordt 80<br /><br />
Concordia 91<br /><br />
Morningside 96<br /><br />
Doane 106<br /><br />
Mount Marty 148<br /><br />
Hastings 197<br /><br />
Northwestern 235<br /><br />
Midland 276<br /><br />
Briar Cliff 279<br /><br /></p>
<p>The Defenders will now run in the NAIA Meet on Saturday, November 19 in Vancouver, Washington. This is the first trip to the nationals for the men's team since a 1980 berth.</p>