Women's cross country

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Central takes fourth, fifth at conference meet

Women's cross country | Oct. 29, 2011

DECORAH—The Central College men’s and women’s cross country squads took fourth and fifth respectively at the Iowa Conference championships Saturday morning.

Horton earns IIAC honors—Freshman Eli Horton (Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) led the Dutch men, placing 11th overall in a time of 25 minutes, 54 seconds. Drew Jackson (freshman, Johnston) was the second Central runner in 20th (26:27), with Austin O’Brien (sophomore, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) in 25th (26:36) and Brent Ewing (junior, Cincinnati, Centerville HS) in 28th (26:59). Brandon Clough (junior, Marshalltown, GMG HS) was 31st (27:03), Andrew Hamer (senior, Murray) was 38th (27:24), and Cody Doughan (sophomore, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley) rounded out the varsity squad in 44th (27:53).

“Drew Jackson ran pretty well. He’s shown a lot of maturity this year as a freshman,” said coach Joe Dunham. “And for Eli (Horton) to be all-conference as freshman, that says something. He’s going to be a top runner in this conference for several years.”

The Central men finished with 115 points, good for fourth place. Loras College took the team championship with 53 points. Luther College was close behind after totaling 56, with Wartburg College taking third with 79. Kyle Heineman of Coe College was the individual champion in a time of 25:15

“I think we fell victim to being a young, inexperienced team,” said Dunham. “We went out hard and weren’t able to hold onto it. We need to learn how to let the race come to us.”

But Dunham did find a takeaway from the meet.

“I’m proud of their effort and desire to get out there and compete,” said Dunham. “We’ll use this as a learning experience and look forward to the regional meet in a couple weeks.

Louis leads Dutch women—Senior Melanie Louis (Davenport, Central HS) was the first finisher for the Central women, placing 20th in a time of 23:50. Shelby Mendoza (sophomore, Norwalk) was close behind in 24th (24:03), with a pack of Amanda Melcher (junior, Libertyville, Fairfield HS), Alyssa Eaves (freshman, Johnston), and Emma Nelson (sophomore, Pekin) filing in at 33rd (24:49), 35th (24:51), and 37th place (25:00). Mallory Welk (freshman, De Pere, Wis.) was 43rd (25:18) with Jenna Broghamer (junior, Iowa City, West HS) close behind in 44th (25:25) to round out the varsity lineup. Usual lead runner Mel McDermott (junior, Britt West Hancock) was unable to compete because of an injury.

“I was happy with the way our runners worked together in a pack today, especially after losing their top runner,” said Dunham. “And Shelby Mendoza had a great race after not being able to run for a couple weeks. It was a good all-around effort.”

The Dutch women accumulated 149 points to take fifth. Wartburg won the meet with 28 points, Luther was second (45), Loras was third (78) and Cornell College took fourth (101). Emma Spoon of Luther defended her individual title with a time of 22:35.

Central is off next weekend and will return to action at the NCAA Division III Central Region meet Nov. 12 in Waverly, Iowa. The Dutch men were 14th at last year’s meet while the women were 17th.

Central College