Women's cross country

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Central men narrowly miss title in home opener

Women's cross country | Sept. 3, 2011

PELLA—The Central College men’s cross country squad avoided late morning thunderstorms to take second in their season opener Saturday at the Central Dutch Invitational. Meanwhile the Central women finished third.

The Central men placed five in the top 10 and finished with only 31 points, but were unable to secure the title with Iowa Central CC scoring 28 points.

Freshman Eli Horton (Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) announced his arrival to the collegiate running scene by leading the Dutch with a time of time of 19 minutes, 47 seconds over the 6,000-meter course and an individual runner-up finish. Austin O’Brien (sophomore, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) was only a few second back in third (19:52.1), while Andrew Hamer (senior, Murray) took seventh (20:09.6) and Brandon Clough (junior, Marshalltown, GMG HS) was ninth (20:16.2). Brent Ewing (junior, Cincinnati, Centerville HS) placed 10th (20:20.3), with Tim Shepherd (freshman, Knoxville) and Cody Doughan (sophomore, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) finishing 11th (20:21.8) and 13th (20:24.5) respectively to round out Central’s varsity squad. Iowa Central’s Jamal Boma took individual honors in a 119-runner field with a time of 19:23.8.

“Eli really did a great job considering it was his first race at this level,” said head coach Joe Dunham. “He’s going to make a lot of noise this year.”

After Iowa Central (28) and Central (31), Grinnell College was a distant third (85), followed by Simpson College (106), Buena Vista University (148), William Penn University (172), and Southwestern CC (199).  

“I was very pleased with the how the men’s team ran today,” said Dunham. “We’re certainly not where we want to be, but for the first weekend of September we looked pretty good.”

McDermott leads women—Mel McDermott (junior, Britt, West Hancock HS) carried the momentum from her breakout 2011 track season into the fall, finishing fifth in a field of 85 to pace the Dutch women with a time of 19:40.1. Senior Melanie Louis (Davenport, Central HS) was the next Central runner, placing eighth (20:41.9), followed by Shelby Mendoza (sophomore, Norwalk) in 13th (21:00.5) and Alyssa Eaves (freshman, Johnston) in 18th (21:36.5). Emma Nelson (sophomore, Pekin) took 26th (22:03.9), with Kristen Fariss (sophomore, Batavia, Pekin HS) and Mallory Welk (freshman, De Pere, Wis.) taking 29th (22:16.2) and 30th (22:17) to round out Central’s varsity runners. Central alumna Angie Berry was the women’s individual champion in a time of 19:23.

“We’re happy with how Mel ran,” said associate head coach Stephen Fyfe. “We believe she can be an individual national qualifier this fall. And Emma Nelson has made huge strides since last year. She should have a big impact on our squad.”

The Central women accumulated 63 points to take third place behind Iowa Central (23) and Grinnell (51). Simpson was fourth (109), Des Moines Area CC was fifth (149) and Southwestern finished sixth (159) to round out the field.

“We had a few women sit out because of an illness going around,” said Fyfe. “And I think it affected a few that ran. But overall it was still a solid start.”

Both teams have next weekend off and are headed to Northfield, Minn. Sept. 17 for the St. Olaf (Minn.) Invitational.

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