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CROSS COUNTRY: Freyholtz guides Oak Hills to nationals

The Oak Hills Christian College men's cross country team will compete at the National Christian College Athletic Association Division II National Championships in Jackson, Miss., on Saturday, Nov. 11. Members of the team who are headed to nationals include, in the back row (left to right): Billy Freyholtz, Timmy Kue and Dezmond Ramirez. In the front row (left to right): Landon Peterson, Brandon Reller and Joseph Weeks. (Submitted photo)

BEMIDJI -- Billy Freyholtz will be looking to claim his second straight national title when the Oak Hills Christian College men’s cross country team competes at the National Christian College Athletic Association Division II National Championships this Saturday, Nov. 11.

The Wolfpack have qualified as a team for the national meet, which is hosted by Belhaven University at Choctaw Trails in Jackson, Miss.

The Oak Hills cross country program is only in its second year of existence.

“We’re really excited about the progress that we’ve made as a program,” Oak Hills coach Matt Myrick said. “We’re excited to see what we can do down there.”

Freyholtz, a Bemidji High School graduate, has continued where he left off after his national title-winning season in 2016 where he beat the field by more than 25 seconds with his time of 27:45.27. The sophomore All-American currently owns the fastest 8K time nationally in NCCAA Division II this season.

“We’re excited about what Billy can do,” Myrick said. “He’s ranked No. 1 in our conference right now. We’re gonna prepare for it to perform at our best to win. We’re just gonna keep preparing, training and focusing like we would with any other meet.”

The national championship Freyholtz won last season also set a milestone for the Wolfpack athletic program as it was the first Oak Hills has won since joining the NCCAA.

The Wolfpack qualified three individuals for nationals last season but the program will compete for the team title this year, entering the meet ranked No. 5.

Other members of the team who are headed to nationals include Dezmond Ramirez and Joseph Weeks of Bemidji, as well as Landon Peterson of Bagley, Brandon Reller of Melrose and Timmy Kue of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Freyholtz and his Oak Hills teammates will set out on their quest for individual and team national titles at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11.

Austin Monteith

Austin Monteith is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He is an Illinois native and a Butler University graduate. Follow him on Twitter @amonteith92.

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