1981 NCAA Div. III champions
DES MOINES—Eli Horton (freshman, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) and Mel McDermott (junior, Britt, West Hancock HS) both recorded top-10 finishes to lead the Central College men’s and women’s cross country teams at the Grand View Viking Invitational Friday evening.
Dutch men take third—The Central men’s squad was third overall in the five-team field with a total of 53 points. Drake took team honors with 24 points. Doug Brady was the individual champion, covering the 8,000-meter course in 25 minutes, 47 seconds.
Head coach Joe Dunham employed a non-traditional approach to the race.
“We wanted them to tempo the first four miles of the race and finish strong with a fast last mile,” said Dunham. “I thought they executed the plan very well.”
Horton finished sixth overall in a time of 26:34 to lead the Dutch for the third straight meet. Austin O’Brien (sophomore, Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) was the next Dutch runner across the line in 11th (27:03), with Drew Jackson (freshman, Johnston) close behind in 13th (27:14)
“I thought Drew Jackson took another step forward today,” said Dunham.
Andrew Hamer (senior, Murray) led the next Dutch trio in 17th (27:23), with Brent Ewing (sophomore, Cincinnati, Centerville HS) and Brandon Clough (junior, Marshalltown, GMG HS) finishing in 18th (27:25) and 19th (27:26) respectively. Tim Shepherd (freshman, Knoxville) rounded out the varsity squad in 26th (27:56).
“We usually have two days between hard workouts and races,” said Dunham. “But we only had one day of recovery for this one and I was pleased with how they responded.”
Central women see improvement—The Dutch women placed fourth overall in the five-team field with 77 points. Morningside scored 38 points to take the team title. Obsie Birru was the individual winner, finishing the 5,000-meter course in 17:51.
McDermott took fifth place and crossed the line in 19:07 to lead the Dutch for the third consecutive race. Shelby Mendoza (sophomore, Norwalk) was 11th (19:55) and Amanda Melcher (junior, Libertyville, Fairfield HS) took 20th (20:24) in her first race of the season.
“Amanda Melcher really stepped up as one of our leaders in her first race back from injury,” said associate head coach Stephen Fyfe. “That was a nice surprise.”
Alyssa Eaves (freshman, Johnston) was 24th (20:34) and Emma Nelson (sophomore, Pekin) was 27th (20:39), with Daphne Baumgartner (sophomore, Perry) and Amanda Dunkin (sophomore, Pella) rounding out the Dutch varsity squad in 36th (21:29) and 37th (21:32) respectively.
Fyfe was happy with the effort but is still trying to put a full varsity squad on the line.
“We ran a lot stronger in the second half of the race than we did in our first two races,” said Fyfe. “But we held Melanie Louis out as a precaution today. Hopefully we can get everyone racing again at Oshkosh in two weeks.”
Both squads have next weekend off before traveling to Winneconne, Wis. Oct., 15 for the Brooks Invitational hosted by Wis.-Oshkosh at the Lake Breeze Golf Course.