2012 Iowa Conference champions
WEST SALEM, WIS.— Senior Angie Berry (Norwalk) and freshman John Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas, Brackenridge HS) led the Central College men’s and women’s cross country squads at the highly-competitive Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational Saturday morning. The women placed 11th in a 27-team field while the men were 22nd among 29 teams.
The Dutch women scored 308 points with Wis.-Eau Claire scoring 51 points to take the team trophy. Iowa Conference rivals Wartburg and Luther placed fifth (154 points) and eighth (246 points) respectively while Simpson was 19th (503 points) The Central men accumulated 584 points with Division I powerhouse Wisconsin scoring only 32 points for the win. Luther was 11th (333 points), Wartburg was 17th (430 points), and Simpson was 20th (569 points).
Head coach Joe Dunham was pleased with how the women’s squad competed against their toughest competition this season.
“It was great to see our women’s team run well against the top teams in the region,” said head coach Joe Dunham. “It certainly wasn’t our best race but for us to finish where we did was still encouraging.”
The Dutch women were again led by a trio of seniors. Berry continued her strong season finishing 19th in a time of 22:35.0. Seniors Amber Mayer (Essex, Shenandoah HS) and Amy Ledvina (Toledo, South Tama HS) were the next Dutch runners across the line in 34th (22:51.6) and 68th (23:33.1) respectively. Mel McDermott (freshman, Britt, West Hancock HS) was 108th (23:52.8) and Hannah Anderson (senior, Goodell, Garner-Hayfield HS) rounded out Central’s scoring runners in 149th place (24:18.8). Five of Central’s top seven runners set personal bests. Wartburg’s Anna Kraayebrink’s was the top finisher with a time of 21:43.5.
Dunham cited progress for the men’s squad but was not satisfied with how the race played out.
“The men have improved at every race and we’re looking to continue in that direction,” said Dunham. “We were disappointed with their ability to stay in a pack today, which is a difficult challenge in a race like this with so many runners.”
Gonzalez was the top Central finisher for the first time this season, finishing with a time of 26:34.6 (107th) and setting a personal best by over 30 seconds. A blistering early pace slowed normal frontrunner Teddy Clark (senior, Montgomery, Ill., Oswego HS) in the final two miles as he finished in 27:06.6 (156th). Pierre Taylor (senior, Montgomery, Ill., Oswego HS) was 164th (27:10.3), Andrew Hamer (sophomore, Murray) was 204th (27:30.4), and Austin Vondracek (junior, Swisher, Cedar Rapids Prairie HS) was 206th (27:32.0) to round out the scoring runners. Wisconsin’s Landon Peacock was the individual champion in a time of 24:27.1.
Dunham cited Gonzalez for the second week in a row.
“It was exciting to see John step up like he did and show leadership as a freshman,” Dunham said. “He just keeps getting better.”
The Dutch will take next weekend off in preparation for the Iowa Conference championship meet on Oct. 31 in Waverly. The women were fourth last year while the men’s squad was sixth.
“After this weekend it is clear where we are at and we know what we need to do at conference,” said Dunham. “We’re really looking forward to getting back out there.”