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Waldorf’s Kuik, Widener reestablish school records

Waldorf Warriors LogoBy Waldorf Sports Information Director

CEDAR RAPIDS – Waldorf University women’s cross country runners Marissa Kuik and Marissa Widener rewrote the school record books during Saturday’s National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Seminole Valley Stampede.

Kuik raced to 101th place, completing the 5K course at Seminole Valley Park in 20 minutes, 45 seconds. The freshman from Coon Rapids, Minnesota made a 12-second improvement on the school record she set two weeks earlier.

Widener charged to 117th (20:59) as the freshman from Bridgeport, Nebraska turned in a 40-second personal record and put together the third-fastest time in school history.

“Marissa (Widener) is just getting better every week,” Waldorf coach Nathan Christianson said. “I’m really excited with her progress. She’s done a really good job as a freshman. I’m just proud of her and she’s really bought into the program.”

Kuik and Widener are structuring the Waldorf cross country program as it continues to grow.

“They’re the foundation and the future of this program,” Christianson said. “They’ve gone through the ups and downs with us not having a lot of girls [on the team], but as we get more next year, they’re going to know the process and the system.”

Patricia Molina captured 179th (23:21) and a personal record. The sophomore from Candelaria, Spain is using the cross country meets to provide depth to the Waldorf cross country team while preparing for her multi-event competitions during the track and field season.

“The biggest thing for her is that she’s a heptathlete and we’re just trying to improve her 800 time,” Christianson said. “I think in two weeks, she’s going to run another good race and she’s going to surprise herself. It’s going to continue to help her with the 800 and multis during the indoor and outdoor seasons. I’m really excited with the progress.”

Junior Charley Buddenhagen earned 207th (27:23) for the Warriors.

Indiana Institute of Technology’s Tiffany Rauch cruised to a 25-second victory, behind a time of 17:26. Doane University’s Marissa Dewispelare locked up second (17:51).

University of St. Francis, ranked No. 22 in the latest NAIA poll, brought home the meet crown after compiling a 55-point team score. Indiana Tech (103), Mount Mercy University (126) and Doane (152), which are each receiving votes in the national poll, took second, third and fourth, respectively. Concordia University Nebraska (195) secured fifth, finishing ahead of St. Ambrose University (227), University of St. Mary (255), Trinity Christian College (286), Kansas Wesleyan University (298) and Viterbo University (311), which rounded out the top 10 of a 25-team field.

Waldorf competes at the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Championships on Nov. 5 in Dickinson, North Dakota starting at 11 a.m. The Warriors are bringing two members from the track and field team to help turn in a team score at the conference meet.

“We’ll have six girls at conference to make sure that we get a team score,” Christianson said. “I’m excited and it’ll be interesting to see what will happen in two weeks.”

Kuik and Widener are shooting to earn a bid to the NAIA National Championships on Nov. 19 in Elsah, Illinois.

“I think the course in two weeks is going to be more up for what they’re both used to and a little bit tougher,” Christianson said. “It’s going to be a good course for them. It’ll be interesting to see what they can do. It’s going to be fun to see where they progress in two weeks.”