2012 Iowa Conference champions
WEST SALEM, WIS. — The Central College men’s and women’s cross country teams excelled on the the course at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational Saturday morning with top marks, finishing third and 17th, respectively.
O’Brien second in men’s race—Austin O’Brien (senior, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) led the Dutch men, finishing second overall in a field of 496. He completed the 8,000-meter course in 24 minutes, 48.6 seconds. O’Brien’s finish was his career best.
“Today was a great opportunity for our men to race against top-notch competition,” said coach Joe Dunham. “We still have a little ways to go in terms of running to our potential, and I would like to see everyone running to their maximum potential at the same time. It is not a matter of effort with the team, but just a matter of hitting our day.”
The No. 10-Dutch varsity squad all finished in the top 100. Cole Decker (sophomore, Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) took 16th place (25:30.2). Eli Horton (junior, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) was 19th (25:31.9) and Drew Jackson (junior, Johnston) took 32nd (25:49.4), with Isaac Steffensmeier (freshman, St. Paul, Fort Madison HS) placing 35th (25:53.3). Brent Ewing (senior, Cincinnati, Centerville HS) andTimothy Shepard (junior, Knoxville) rounded out the Dutch varsity in 62nd (26:28.8) and 94th (26:53.2) respectively.
“I thought all of our men fought hard throughout the race,” Dunham said.
The men’s team placed third in a 31-team field and accumulated 104 points. No. 5 St. Olaf placed first with 41 points and host Wis.-La Crosse took second with 96 points. Iowa Central’s Frankline Tonui won the individual title with a time of 24:29.0.
Eaves leads Central women— Junior Alyssa Eaves (Johnston) led the Dutch women as Central’s top finisher in 61st place with a time of 23:31.6 on the 6,000-meter course. There were a total of 471 runners.
Kasey Wiedmaier (freshman, Indianola) placed 112th (24:05.5). Gabi Wilson (sophomore, Des Moines Christian HS), Daphne Baugartner (senior, Perry) and Emma Nelson (senior, Pekin) crossed the finish line within a second of each other in 118th (24:09.2), 119th (24:10.2) and 120th (24:10.8), respectively. Freshman Maleaha Earnest (Hendrick, Pekin) took 145th (24:28.2) and Amanda Dunkin (senior, Pella) was 161st (24:36.5) to round out the Dutch top seven.
“I’m very proud of the women today,” Dunham said. “We beat some good teams today and we are beginning to see this team really come together. I can’t wait to see how we stack up against the rest of the conference in two weeks. Overall, it was a great day for the Dutch.”
The women’s squad placed 17th in a field of 32 teams and scored 475 points. No. 2 Wartburg College won the race with 81 points and Luther College’s Tricia Serres won the individual race with a time of 21 minutes, 19.3 seconds.
The Dutch will be off next weekend before hosting the Iowa Conference championship meet Nov. 2.