Back-to-back Iowa Conference champions (2012, 2013)
NORTHFIELD, MINN.—On a day when the Central College cross country teams competed against some of the top teams in the region, the men and women showed progress at the St. Olaf Invitational.
The Dutch men’s team finished seventh in the 16-team field, while the women finished 11th in the 15-team field.
Horton 15th in return for Dutch—The Central men, ranked second in the Central region, finished seventh in the 16-team field with 151 points on Saturday morning. Junior Eli Horton (Runnells, Southeast Polk HS), who missed the Central Dutch Invitational two weeks ago, led the Dutch on the eight-kilometer course with a 15th-place finish at 26:03.7. Highly-touted freshman Isaac Steffensmeier (St. Paul, Fort Madison HS) finished three seconds behind Horton in 17th. Junior Drew Jackson (Johnston) was the third Central finisher at 26:15.4, good for 19th. Senior Cody Doughan (Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) finished 47th in 27:14.4 and junior Timothy Shepherd (Knoxville) finished five seconds later in 53rd.
“We made some good progress today, but we have some work to do,” coach Joe Dunham said. “We got the chance to compete against the best teams in the region and now we have a better idea of where we stand.”
St. Olaf, the top-ranked team in the Central region, won the invitational with 52 points. The top finisher was Matt Horan of Sioux Falls at 25:01.4.
Eaves top Dutch finisher again—The Central women finished 11th in the 15-team field with 296 points on Saturday morning. Junior Alyssa Eaves (Johnston) was the top Dutch finisher on the six-kilometer course for the second-consecutive meet, finishing in 42nd place at 24:09.6. The next four runners finished in a span of 17 seconds. Senior Amanda Dunkin (Pella) was 60th in 24:53.1, while sophomore Molly Bramble (Waukee) was 63rd in 25:00.0. Daphne Baumgartner (senior, Perry) finished two seconds later for 64th and Emma Nelson (senior, Pekin) rounded out the lineup in 67th at 25:10.1.
“We have made great strides thus far this season and we took another step in the right direction today,” said Dunham. “I’m looking forward to another couple weeks of training with both programs.”
Minnesota Duluth was the team champion with 46 points. Noelle Olson of St. Olaf was the top finisher at 21:34.4.
The two teams return to competition on Oct. 4 at the Wis.-Eau Claire Blugold Invitational in Colfax, Wis.