Cross Country: Local graduates run for college teams

Annika Aho, Nathaniel Bervig and Kolby Brandt compete at collegiate level.

Annika Aho (880) competed for the University of Sioux Falls women's cross country team during the 2022 fall season.
Contributed / South Dakota State University athletics
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Menahga’s Annika Aho and Park Rapids’ Nathaniel Bervig and Kolby Brandt competed for college cross country teams this fall.

Aho ran for the University of Sioux Falls women’s team, Bervig competed for Dordt University’s men’s team and Brandt ran for the Minnesota State University Moorhead men’s team.

Annika Aho

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota – Aho capped off her junior season as Sioux Falls’ No. 6 runner at the NCAA Division II Central Region Championships at Joplin, Missouri, on Nov. 19.

Aho finished the 6K course in 22:47 as the Cougars finished ninth out of 35 teams with 264 points. Augustana won the team title with 62 points Aho finished 95th out of 229 runners with Winona State’s Lindsay Cunningham leading the pack in 19:34.

The Cougars tuned up for the regional meet by running at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championship at Wayne, Nebraska, on Nov. 5. Aho finished 40th overall as Sioux Falls’ No. 4 runner with a 6K time of 24:01. The Cougars finished sixth with 146 points as Augustana topped the 16-team field with 56 points. Minnesota State Mankato and Winona State tied for second with 68 points, Minnesota Duluth was fourth with 78 points and University Mary was fifth with 107 points. Cunningham took first in 20:22.


In the season-opening Augustana Twilight at Sioux Falls on Sept. 2, Aho finished 78th overall out of 313 runners as the Cougars’ No. 5 runner with a 5K time of 19:45. Sioux Falls tallied 202 points to take eighth out of 28 teams. South Dakota State University topped the field with 84 points as Nebraska’s Alea Hardy had the top time of 17:00.

At the South Dakota State University Classic on Sept. 9, Sioux Falls finished second out of four teams with 45 points as SDSU took first with 21 points. Aho was 24th out of 67 runners and the Cougars’ No. 6 finisher with a 5K time of 19:44. SDSU’s Leah Hanson led the field in 18:03.

Aho was the team’s No. 5 runner while placing 62nd out of 382 runners in 24:16 at the Roy Griak Invitational at St. Paul on Sept. 23. Sioux Falls finished fifth out of 30 teams with 159 points. Duluth took first with 65 points as Cunningham covered the 6K course in 21:05.

Cunningham also took first in the 185-runner field at the Lewis University Crossover at Romeoville, Illinois, on Oct. 8 in 20:50. Aho finished 88th overall as the Cougars’ No. 6 runner with a 6K time of 23:48 as Sioux Falls finished eighth out of 20 teams with 216 points. Colorado Christian led the pack with 185 points.

At the Mount Mary Invitational at Yankton, South Dakota, on Oct. 22, Aho clocked a 5K time of 19:14 to finish 12th out of 148 runners. Sioux Falls, behind champion Khot Juac’s winning time of 18:02, compiled 34 points to lead the 11-team meet. Aho was Sioux Falls’ No. 5 runner.

NathanielBervig2022 (1).JPG
Nathaniel Bervig competed for the Dordt University men's cross country team during the 2022 season this fall.
Contributed / Dordt University athletics

Nathaniel Bervig

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Bervig ran in three meets for the Defenders this fall.

The Dordt sophomore was the team’s No. 16 runner with an 8K time of 29:50 to finish 61st out of 72 runners at the SDSU Classic on Sept. 9. Dordt was third out of four teams with 62 points as SDSU took first with 29 points. Northern State’s Jackson Harrison led the pack in 25:01.


At the Briar Cliff Invitational at Sioux City on Oct. 1, Bervig clocked an 8K time of 32:22 as Dordt’s No. 14 runner to finish 81st in the 95-runner field. SDSU won the title with 18 points as Dordt finished second out of eight teams with 66 points. Will Lohr took first in 25:10 running unattached.

Dordt won the 14-team Defender Holiday Inn Express Classic in Sioux City on Oct. 8 with 27 points. Bervig was the team’s No. 23 runner and placed 148th out of 164 runners with an 8K time of 30:25. Dordt’s Joe Anderson took first in 24:19.

The Defenders captured the Great Plains Athletic Conference title for the fifth year in a row by topping the 11-team field at Jamestown, North Dakota, with 17 points on Nov. 5. Dordt followed by winning its first NAIA Championship at Tallahassee, Florida, on Nov. 18. The Defenders tallied 97 points to edge defending champion Milligan’s 115 points. Dordt entered that race rated No. 3 among NAIA schools.

Kolby Brandt

MOORHEAD – Brandt ran in one meet for the Dragons this fall.

Kolby Brandt

The MSUM junior clocked a 6K time of 23:17 to finish 88th overall at the MSUM Dragon Twilight Invitational on Sept. 9. Brandt was the Dragons’ No. 9 runner.

Jacob Jensen of Minot State led the 94-runner field with a winning time of 17:48. North Dakota State University won the team title with 20 points in this nine-team meet. MSUM finished fifth with 115 points.

Both the boys and girls teams were represented at the state Class A meet.

Related Topics: CROSS COUNTRY
1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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