Men win 3rd straight conference crown; Miller runs to individual title

The cross-country team traveled to Storm Lake this past weekend to take on the rest of the conference in the Iowa Conference Championships. After a stellar performance at the conference meet last season, the men looked to win both the varsity and junior varsity team title for the third year in a row. The women were focused on nabbing their second consecutive varsity team title as well as a junior varsity title.

The Duhawk women arrived short-handed on race day, missing the talents of first-years Averi Leitzen and Maeve Dunaway, who typically run second and fourth for the Duhawks, respectively. Loras still went on to put out a solid performance, as the rest of the team stepped up.

The spotlight once again shone on sophomore Audrey Miller, who added to her stellar season with a individual conference title, her first but most likely not her last. With a time of 21:43, Miller finished 22 seconds ahead of second place, further proving that she is deserving of a win at the Regional meet coming up in just over a week. Behind Miller was senior Emily Day with a solid performance of her own, finishing with a time of 22:58, good for sixth place. The top five was rounded out by sophomore Kemunto Ondande and juniors Kelly Minear and Carrie Piper, who boosted the Duhawks to a score of 91, good for fourth place in the conference. Although the women did not bring home the Iowa Conference title, Coach Bob Schultz is unwavering in his confidence in the talent his team has, especially once Leitzen and Dunaway are back in action at Regionals

“We will be a much better team in two weeks at Regionals, and I am really excited to see what our girls do there,” Schultz said.

The dominance of the Duhawk men continued in Storm Lake, as they came home with the varsity and junior varsity team titles thanks to solid performances from a multitude of runners. Junior Mason Tope, familiar with leading the Duhawks, fulfilled his duty yet again and finished with a time of 25:28, good for a sixth place finish and first for the Duhawks. Close behind was junior Brien Nugent, finishing with a time of 25:36 to finish inside the top ten. The top five for the Duhawks was rounded out by sophomore Jack Carroll and juniors Justin Adams and Timothy Sevcik, who finished 16-18 to give the Duhawks a score of 67. That score was just enough to beat out Nebraska Wesleyan and Wartburg College, who both finished with 70 points.

Schultz was not thrilled with the men’s performance at the Conference meet, but has faith that the team will get their performance back up to expectations.

“We will regroup and refocus and get ready for the Regional. I think this was a good wake-up call for us,” Schultz says.

The junior varsity men had a fantastic outing as well, grabbing another team title and showing improvements as many of the men ran new personal bests. Also noteworthy is that Coach Bob Schultz and Assistant Coach Matt Jones won Coaching Staff of the Year, an honor that the duo is becoming used to.

Next up for the Duhawks is the Regional Meet in Northfield, MN. Both the Duhawk men and women will look to qualify for the Nationals, a goal that looks within reach of both squads.

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