Cross country team competes European-style at the Olde English Invitational

LORAS COLLEGE – The Olde English Invitational held at Beloit, WI, last Saturday Sept. 22 was a bit of a new experience for the Loras cross country team. This race featured a European-style course, complete with hay bale hurdles, creek-crossing, and log-jumping. The race distance was 6k for women and 8k for men.

While half the team competed at Notre Dame two weekends ago, the other half of the team competed at Beloit this past weekend. Coach Bob Schultz scheduled this meet as an opportunity for everyone on the team to compete, whether they made the Notre Dame lineup or not. The race he chose was an especially fun, challenging course.

“I thought it was a great race,” sophomore Shania Kelly said after competing. “The competition was fun and the course was decent, with just a few hills. The hay bales were very distracting from the pain, and the creek was a nice ice bath during the second and last mile. I watched a few of the boys fall in it during their race, and it was difficult not to laugh.”

And fall, they did. Fortunately, the Duhawks who fell during the creek-crossing portion of the race were not deterred by their setback. Despite a brief swim in the creek, sophomore Ethan Hammerand averaged 5:48 per mile, finishing 10th overall in the race with a time of 28:46. Finishing one spot in front of Hammerand was sophomore Brian Maty, with a time of 28:43. Crossing the line first for the Duhawk men was first-year Sam Webster, who finished 6th overall with a time of 28:33. The men’s team took 2nd overall, behind UW-Platteville.

On the women’s side, juniors Maeve Dunaway and Averi Leitzen made their 2018 season debuts at the Olde English Invite, taking 5th and 7th places respectively. Both have had histories of injury but are making substantial progress, including racing again. Behind Dunaway and Leitzen were first-year Grace D’Antico (13th overall) and sophomores Shania Kelly, Rachel Krein, and Carlin McNulty (28th, 29th, and 30th, respectively). The women’s team came in 4th overall.

“I was really happy with how well our men and women raced at Beloit,” said Coach Robert Schultz after the race. “It was a fun and unique experience for our athletes with the European-style course.”

Next weekend, the Duhawk cross team will head to Waverly, IA, to compete at Wartburg’s home course, where the Central Region’s annual regional meet will be held. The Duhawks’ home meet will be held the weekend after that, at the Dubuque soccer complex on October 5th.

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