Cross-country teams rev up for IIAC Championships
On Friday, Oct. 6, both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams claimed victory on their home course at the Dubuque Soccer Complex. The men’s team finished with 17 points and the women with 16 points.
On the men’s side, senior Mason Tope, won the meet and took his third individual win of the season, leading the Duhawks to victory with a time of 26:05. Taking the next three spots, were seniors Timothy Sevcik, Justin Adams and O’Brien Nugent with times of 26:39, 26:41 and 26:48, respectively. Rounding out the top seven were sophomore Patrick Wolak, junior Preston Kauder and sophomore Cole Conklin-Little.
On the women’s side, leading the Duhawk pack for the first time was first-year, Kristan Brown with a time of 24:56. Packing closely behind and claiming the next three spots were senior Kelly Minear, junior Liz Venezio and sophomore Brianna Bower, finishing with times of 25:01, 25:11 and 25:12, respectively. Junior Kemunto Ondande, senior Carrie Piper and sophomore Averi Leitzen rounded out the women’s top seven.
The Duhawks then made their way to Elsah, IL, on Saturday, Oct. 14, for Pre- Nationals. Battling the heat, the 11th ranked men took fourth place with 181 points in a stacked race, 16 of the USTFCCCA Top-35 teams being there. They beat out Washington St. Louis, ranked eighth, Christopher Newport, ranked ninth, and Calvin, ranked 10th. Leading the Duhawks once again was Tope, placing 18th with a time of 25:34. Also scoring were Nugent (25:49), Sevcik (25:50), Adams (25:56), and Wolak (26:09). Not far behind as the sixth and seventh runners were Kauder and first-year Joey Schultz.
“While I’m happy with finishing fourth at Pre-Nationals,” said head coach Bob Schultz, “we didn’t have our best day, which is exciting as we look to the postseason. Some guys raced really well, others did good and some were off. It’s very promising that we were just 31 points behind the second ranked team in the country and didn’t have our best day.”
The women took 22nd in a field of 36 with 687 points. Leading the Duhawks, Minear finished with a time of 24:12. The other scorers were Brown (24:44), Bower (25:10), Venezio (25:21), and sophomore Molly MacDuff (25:34). Rounding out the top seven were first-year Hannah Insko and Leitzen.
“Our women got out really controlled, but did an excellent job of moving up the whole race against such a competitive field,” said Schultz. “It was good to see, and I feel good about where we’re at heading into conference.”
On Saturday, Oct. 28, the Duhawks return to the Dan Huston Invitational in Waverly for the Iowa Conference Championships.