All the news from Division III Mens and Womens Track.

Mark Fairley-Dubuque-Central
©Dutch Athletics-Dan L. Vander Beek-2017

Fairley Leads Dutch at La Crosse

Holly McKinney-I 35-Central  ©Dutch Athletics-Dan L. Vander Beek-2017

Holly McKinney-I 35-Central
©Dutch Athletics-Dan L. Vander Beek-2017

Men

Central College senior Mark Fairley (Dubuque) finished sixth at the Wis.- La Crosse Jim Drews Invitational Saturday afternoon.

Courtesy Dutch Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Mark Fairley-Dubuque-Central ©Dutch Athletics-Dan L. Vander Beek-2017

The senior finished the 8,000-meter race in a season-best 25 minutes, 22 seconds. Fairley was 46 seconds behind Iowa Central Community College’s Karim Achengli, who took home the individual crown.

Iowa Central placed five runners in the top 11, including the top three finishers, to win the 21-team invitational with 25 points. Host Wis.-La Crosse was second with 35 points while Central finished 11th with 272 points.

“We made some progress today and I saw some really good things,” said coach Joe Dunham.

Senior Tanner Rathje (Marion, Linn-Mar HS) ran a season-best 26:07 to finish 29th in the 357-runner field.

“Tanner also had a little bit of a breakout race for the season,” said Dunham.

Junior Jordan Toomey (Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) posted a season-best 26:45, good for 68th, freshman Nathan Sanders (Waukee) continued the trend of season bests after placing 78th with 26:53, senior Taylor Donner (Dubuque) had a season-best time of 27:13 and placing 91st, sophomore Preston Kizer (Dubuque) finished 97th with a career-best 27:22 and junior Kyle Pape (Dubuque, Wahlert HS) was 104th with 27:36.

“Overall, we still have work to do but I’m pleased with the improvements across the board,” said Dunham.

Central turns its attention to the Iowa Conference Championships October 28 in Waverly. The Dutch finished fifth at the Dan Huston Invitational Sept. 30 in a preview of the league championship course.

Women

The Central College women’s cross country showed its continued development Saturday when six of its seven runners shattered season-best marks at the Wis.-La Crosse Tori Neubauer Invitational.

Courtesy Dutch Athletics, click here! Feature photo:

Central finished 14th in the 21-team field with 360 points. Iowa Central Community College won the 6,000-meter invitational with 53 points and host Wis.-La Crosse was runner-up with 58. Iowa Central’s Adva Cohen won the 298-runner invitational, finishing in 21 minutes, 23.7 seconds.

Senior Holly McKinney (Saint Charles, Interstate 35 HS) was 32nd (23:17), senior Evie Kammeyer(Urbandale) was 51st (23:55), sophomore Lauren Moll (Faribault) placed 71st (24:22), freshman Sarah Roberts (Lake-in-the-Hills, Ill., Huntley HS) finished 97th (25:22), sophomore Ashley Meldrum(Cambridge, Ballard HS) was 109th (25:46), junior Jenna Murray (Grandview, Louisa-Muscatine HS)placed 113th (26:01) and sophomore Savanna Henning (Ankeny, Centennial HS) finished 115th (26:02).

“Sarah, Ashley and Jenna all had solid performances,” said coach Joe Dunham. “Very pleased with their improvement.”

McKinney and Kammeyer set season bests while Roberts, Meldrum, Murray and Henning set career bests.

The Dutch turn their attention to the Iowa Conference Championships October 28 in Waverly. Central finished in a tie for fourth at the Dan Huston Invitational Sept. 30 in a preview of the league championship course.

“If we can put a complete race together, I believe we have a good shot to surprise some teams,” said Dunham.

Loras Cross Country 2017
©Duhawks Athletics

Duhawks Collect Conference Awards

Mason Tope-Dav. Central-Loras ©Duhawks Athletics

Mason Tope-Dav. Central-Loras
©Duhawks Athletics

The Iowa Conference announced its weekly award winners on Tuesday which highlight the success of freshman Kristan Brown (women’s cross country), junior Elizabeth Mills (women’s soccer) and senior Mason Tope (men’s cross country) as players of the week for their respective sports.

Courtesy DuHawks Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Loras Cross Country 2017 ©Duhawks Athletics

In front of her hometown crowd, Brown shined at the Loras Invite, finishing as the top collegiate runner in the field. The Hempstead prep ran 24:56 in her second 6k race of the season, cutting 38 seconds off last week’s performance. With Brown at the front, the Duhawks won their home invite with 16 points for their first team victory of the season.

Mills and the 15th-ranked women’s soccer team posted a pair of clean sheets last week in conference play, besting Buena Vista, 8-0, and Luther, 2-0. With two goals and an assist, Mills ran her season point total to 23 and her career point total to 50, scoring two goals and an assist last week. The Peoria Notre Dame prep tallied her fourth and fifth game-winning goal of the season and eighth of her career.

For the third time this season, Tope was heralded as the conference’s top runner for the week. The Davenport native won the Loras Invite for his sixth collegiate victory and fourth in his last six races. On Friday at the Dubuque Soccer Complex, Tope finished 34 seconds ahead of second place, Loras senior Timothy Sevcik. As a team, the Duhawks won their home invite with a combined score of 17 points.

Cross country returns to action on Saturday at the Pre-Nationals Race hosted by Principia College in Elsah, Ill. Women’s soccer is off from competition midweek and hosts Simpson on Saturday in the Rock Bowl at 1 p.m.

Mason Tope-Cent. Dav.-Loras
©Jim Kirby 2017

DuHawks Sweep at Home

Kristan Brown-Dub Hempstead-Loras ©Duhawks Athletics

Kristan Brown-Dub Hempstead-Loras
©Duhawks Athletics

The No. 11 men’s cross country team and women’s cross country team completed the sweep on Friday night of its home meet, scoring 17 and 16 points, respectively. Senior Mason Tope was the top finisher for the men with his time of 26:05 while freshman Kristan Brown was the top finisher with her time of 25:56.

Courtesy DuHawks Athletics, click here!  Feature photo: Mason Tope-Cent. Dav.-Loras ©Jim Kirby 2017

NOTABLES
-Tope earned his third individual win on the season, with a 34 second lead over teammate and senior Timothy Sevcik
-Loras went 1-2-3-4-7-8-9-10 in the race, finishing with 17 points
-Sevick took second with a time of 26:39 followed by senior Justin Adams at 26:41
-Senior Brien Nugent took fourth on Friday with his time of 26:48
-The Duhawks rounded out the top-10 with finishes from sophomore Patrick Wolak (27:09), junior Preston Kauder (27:11), sophomore Cole Conklin-Little(27:21) and junior Jack Carroll (27:32)
-Loras went 2-3-4-5-7-8 in the women’s race, finishing with 16 points
-In the women’s race, Brown’s time led the way for the Duhawks followed by senior Kelly Minear (25:01), junior Liz Venezio (25:11) and sophomore Kemunto Ondande (25:16)
-Rounding out the top-10 for the women was senior Carrie Piper (25:20), sophomore Averi Leitzen (25:29) and sophomore Molly MacDuff (25:30)

UP NEXT
Loras travels to the Pre-Nationals Race in Elsah, Ill., hosted by Principia, the host of the 2017 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships on Nov. 18.

Mason Tope-Dav. Central-Loras
©Duhawks Athletics

Duhawk Men Roll at Dan Huston

Coach Bob Schultz-Loras ©Duhawks Athletics

Coach Bob Schultz-Loras
©Duhawks Athletics

The 10th-ranked Loras men’s cross country team kept its streak in tact on Saturday, winning for the third consecutive race this season. With four finishers in the top-10, the Duhawks collected 41 points, led by senior Mason Tope‘s second place finish with a time of 25:18.

Courtesy DuHawks Athletics, click here! Feature photo:  Mason Tope-Dav. Central-Loras ©Duhawks Athletics

NOTABLES
-Saturday marked the first races of the season at the traditional 6k and 8k distances
-Loras wrapped up its third men’s team win of the season, scoring 41 team points … Wartburg finished in second with 45 team points
-The Duhawks earned four top-10 finishes, led by senior Brien Nugent at 25:33 and followed by seniors Timothy Sevick at 25:52 and Justin Adams at 26:12
-Loras’ men finished with a spread of 1:02, two seconds better than second place Wartburg
-Division I Northern Iowa won the women’s race as the Loras women finished seventh with 184 points
-Senior Kelly Minear led the way for the Duhawks with a 27th place finish and a time of 24:17
-The junior tandem of Kemunto Ondande and Liz Venezio were second and third, respectively, for Loras at 25:02 and 25:14
-Senior Carrie Piper and freshman Hannah Insko rounded out the scoring for the Duhawks with times of 25:20 and 25:24

UP NEXT
Loras host its annual home invite on Friday, Oct. 6 at the Dubuque Soccer Complex. The women’s race is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. with the men’s race set for 5:30 p.m.

Wartburg Women XC
©Knights Athletics-2017

Knights Run a Hot 2nd Place Finish at Auggie

Wartburg Men's Cross Country-2017 ©Knights Athletics

Wartburg Men’s Cross Country-2017
©Knights Athletics

Wartburg’s women’s cross country team ran to a second place finish at the Augustana Invite Friday with 115 points.

Courtesy Knights Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Wartburg Women XC ©Knights Athletics-2017

The top finisher for the Orange and Black was freshman Cassidy Christopher (Cedar Falls), who finished in 13th place with a time of 19:48.6.

Wartburg’s competitors:
13th: Cassidy Christopher, 19:48.6
15th: Beth Mallon, 19:52.5
23rd: Nicole Breitbach, 20:12.0
29th: Gabrielle Marchino, 20:19.3
38th: Carina Collet, 20:32.7
43rd: Ashley Stevens, 20:35.5
45th: Aryka Parsons, 20:38.0
47th: Shae McEnany, 20:43.3
59th: Kylie Kelchen, 21:01.6
84th: Miranda Fober, 21:29.0
102nd: Janelle Baeskens, 21:47.1
107th: Jackie Falconer, 21:54.4
129th: Maddie Kemp, 22:21.5
190th: Gabi Gonzalez, 24:09.7
210th: Jackie Garza, 25:00.1

Complete race results can be found here.

In the men’s race, Wartburg finished in 15th place with 374 points.

The top Knights JV finisher was Jay Mixdorf in 65th place with a time of 21:57.7.

Wartburg’s competitors:
65th: Jay Mixdorf, 21:57.7
71st: Jordan Yessak, 22:01.4
96th: Curren Matthias, 22:24.5
107th: Noah Worthington, 22:40.9
108th: Drew Hoffman, 22:41.7
128th: Sam Madson, 23:11.6
129th: Christian Brothers, 23:13.1
137th: Matt Heinzman, 23:18.5
144th: Sam Lorimer, 23:23.7
152nd: Conor Sapp, 23:34.6
186th: Trevor Sode, 24:15.5
192nd: Zac Sapiot, 24:29.5
198th: Matthew Schneider, 24:37.5
206th: Karl Jaeschke, 24:58.9
233rd: Ben Coleman, 27:21.9

Wartburg will return to action on Sept. 30 at their own course for the Dan Huston Invitational in Waverly, starting at 10:30 a.m.

Mason Tope-Dav. Central-Loras
©Duhawks Athletics

Tope Leads Non D1 Runners in DuHawk Effort

Brandon Gradoville-Xavier-Loras ©Jim Kirby 2017

Brandon Gradoville-Xavier-Loras
©Jim Kirby 2017

For the fourth time in program history, the Loras men’s cross country team claimed top honors at the National Catholic Championships, hosted by Notre Dame. Senior Mason Tope finished as the top non-Division I runner, running the 8k race in 25:27.2.

Courtesy DuHawks Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Mason Tope-Dav. Central-Loras ©Duhawks Athletics

NOTABLES
-As a team, Loras’ men finished fourth in 2016 with 105 points, cutting down to 32 points on Friday to win the non-Division I race
-Tope ran 43 seconds faster than his 2016 time, moving up from 12th as a junior to first as a senior … Friday’s performance was the second in as many races for the Davenport native
-Senior Brien Nugent shed nine seconds off last year’s time and moved up to fifth in the field
-Sophomore Patrick Wolak went from 26:54 as a freshman to 26:25 and finished ninth
-The Duhawks scored its top-five runners inside the top-10 in the field
-Loras’ women earned a fifth-place finish on Friday with 133 team points
-Senior Kelly Minear turned in the top time for the Duhawks, finishing 20th at 19:54, a 2:24 second improvement from her performance in 2016
-Junior Kemunto Ondande placed 26th with her time of 20:19
-Senior Liz Venezio was right behind Ondande, fininshing 28th with a time of 20:24, an eight-second improvement from last year’s time

UP NEXT
Loras is next in action on Saturday, Sept. 30 at the Wartburg Invitational. The race serves as a preview for the 2017 Iowa Conference Championships, set for Saturday, Oct. 28.

Central Men-2017
©Dutch Athletics

Dutch Men and Women Off to a Good Start

Mark Fairley-Dubuque-Central ©Dutch Athletics

Mark Fairley-Dubuque-Central
©Dutch Athletics

Men

After a season-opening win at the home Dutch Invitational, the Central College men’s cross country team made a three-spot leap to No. 6 in the latest U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Central Region poll.

Courtesy Dutch Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Central Men-2017 ©Dutch Athletics

Loras College stayed atop the rankings in the second week, and St. Olaf College (Min.) was unchanged at No. 2. Wartburg College (No. 3) Nebraska Wesleyan University (No. 4) and Luther College (No. 10) also represent the Iowa Conference.

The Dutch are back in action Saturday following an off weekend and will venture to Northfield, Minnesota for the St. Olaf Invitational. The race will start at 10 a.m. on the campus of St. Olaf.

Women

Senior Holly McKinney (Saint Charles, Interstate 35 HS) led the Central College women’s cross country team in the 5,000-meter Dutch Invitational Friday.

Courtesy Dutch Athletics, click here!

Central finished second with 49 points with Grinnell College winning the three-team invitational with 24 points.

McKinney finished the race in 20 minutes, 9 seconds placing fifth. Right behind McKinney was junior Rachel Peter (Prairie City, PCM HS) with 20:12.

“Holly and Rachel are both coming back from injuries and they ran a solid race tonight,” said associate head coach Stephen Fyfe.

Sophomore Lauren Moll (Faribault, Minn.) finished 11th with 20:50, senior Evie Kammeyer (Urbandale)finished 13th with 21:10, freshman Sarah Roberts (Lake-in-the-Hills, Ill., Huntley HS) followed Kammeyer with 21:44, sophomore Carly Klavins (Urbandale) finished 15th with 21:57 and sophomore Ashley Meldrum (Cambridge, Ballard HS) finished 16th with 21:59.

“I was extremely pleased with how our women ran,” said Fyfe. “Carly, Lauren and Ashley have really taken a step forward from last year which is great to see.”

The Dutch turn their attention toward the September 16 St. Olaf Invitational in Northfield, Minn. The invitational serves as a preview for the NCAA Division III Central Regional.

Wartburg Men's Cross Country-2017
©Knights Athletics

Knights Earn High Rank at Les Duke

Ashlyn Bagge-Independence-Wartburg ©Knights Athletics-2017

Ashlyn Bagge-Independence-Wartburg
©Knights Athletics-2017

The Wartburg men’s and women’s cross country teams were in action at the Les Duke Invite.

Courtesy Knights Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Wartburg Men’s Cross Country-2017 ©Knights Athletics

The Men

The  men’s cross country team won their second-straight meet by 40 points. In addition, this was the fourth-straight year the Orange and Black won the team title at this race.

The top finisher for the Knights was freshman Sam Pinkowski (La Crosse, Wis.), 2nd, 25:00.

Finishing fourth was senior Eli Kaczinski (Charlotte), 25:25. Junior Casey Roberts (Ankeny) finished in seventh with a time of 25:51. In 11th place for Wartburg was senior Joel Toppin (Clear Lake), 26:00. Freshman Ali Ali (Iowa City) finished in 16th place (26:23). Rounding out the top 25 for the Knights was sophomore Caleb Appleton (Bemidji, Minn.) and freshman Liam Conroy (Mount Vernon) with times of 26:31 (18th) and 26:41 (21st), respectively.

Wartburg’s next meet is at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. at 4:30 p.m on Sept. 22.

Women

The Wartburg women’s cross country team ran to a first place finish in the meet with 33 points.

Leading Wartburg was senior with a first place individual finish with a time of 21:29. This individual title marked Bagge’s third in her career, following last weekend’s win at Crown College and Wartburg’s own Dan Huston invitational last season.
Senior Beth Mallon (Davenport) finished in fourth with a time of 22:37. Freshmen Cassidy Christopher (Cedar Falls) and sophomore Nicole Breitbach (North Buena Vista) ran times of 23:07 (8th) and 23:11 (9th), respectively. Rounding out the top 15 for the Knights was junior Shae McEnany (Independence) and junior Ashley Stevens (Windsor Heights) with times of 23:21 (14th) and 23:22 (15th), respectively.

The Orange and Black return to competition on Sept. 22 at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill at 4:30 p.m.

Complete team results:

 1 Wartburg College         40    
  2 Grinnell College        101   
  3 Cornell College         112   
  4 North Iowa  C C         117  
  5 Principia               123   
  6 Hawkeye C C             170   
 7* Indian Hills            189   
 7* University Of Dubuque   189    
  9 Monmouth College        222   
 10 Coe College             233   
 11 Knox College            256 
 12 Grand View University   315   

Wartburg's competitors: 
2  Sam Pinkowski, Fr    25:00
4  Eli Kaczinski, Sr    25:25
7  Casey Roberts, Jr    25:51
11  Joel Toppin, Sr     26:00
16  Ali Ali, Fr         26:23
18  Caleb Appleton, So  26:31
21  Liam Conroy, Fr     26:41
27  Mitch Black, Sr     26:50
30  Spencer Warehime, Fr 27:00
33  Joe Freiburger, Fr  27:07
34  Aaron O'Leary, Sr   27:10
41  Jordan Yessak, Fr   27:28
44  Matt Schneider, So  27:49
50  Curren Matthias, Fr 28:01
55  Conor Sapp, So      28:07
57  Noah Worthington, Fr 28:19
60  Drew Hoffmann, Fr   28:23
67  Trevor Sode, Fr     28:35
70  Karl Jaeschke, Sr   28:46
83  Christian Brothers, Fr  29:08
86  Sam Madison, Fr     29:12
87  Ryan Dalton, Fr     29:12
103 Joe Mixdorf, Fr     29:40
110 Zac Sapiot, Fr      30:12
114 Matt Heinzman, Fr   30:19
117 Sam Lorimer, Fr     30:29
124 Matt Egts, Fr       30:47
128 Jon Fuentes, So     31:10
155 Ben Coleman, Sr     34:11
Clarke Men's XC Team
©Pride Athletics

Clarke Pride Opens Season This Weekend

Sydnee Hendricks-DCG-Clarke  ©Pride Athletics

Sydnee Hendricks-DCG-Clarke
©Pride Athletics

The Clarke University men’s and women’s cross country teams will open their 2017 seasons on Friday, Sept. 1, at the 24th annual Mount Mercy University Mustang Gallop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The event will begin with the women’s race at 6 p.m. with the men’s race to follow.

Courtesy   Pride Athletics by Lauren Block (JR/Tripoli, Iowa), sports information student assistant, click here! Feature photo: Clarke Men’s XC Team

“We have a great group of returners as well as a solid group of newcomers for both the men’s and women’s teams, and I see our team moving up in the conference standings,” said Clarke Head Coach Brooke Ferguson. “It is going to be very important to our team’s success that everyone believes and pushes each other to be the best runner he/she can be.”

Clarke’s men’s team includes seniors Craig Stout (SR/Doylestown, OH) and Malik McCrary (SR/Lansing, Mich.), junior Logan Fraker (JR/Wheaton, Ill.), sophomores Michael Aguilar (SO/Glendale Heights, IL) and Kevin Ockenfels (SO/Center Point, IA), and freshmen Devin Dobbles (FR), Reid Galloway (FR) and Jimmy Slowik (FR).

Clarke’s women’s squad consists of seniors Anna Cole (SR/Kenosha, Wis.) and Sydnee Hendricks (SR/Grimes, Iowa), juniors Lauren Block and Emily Riesenberg (JR/West Bend, Iowa), sophomore Alex Branham (SO/Moline, IL), and freshmen Annie Knobloch (FR), Mariah Pellino (FR), and Lauryn Pritchard (FR).

 

©Jim Kirby-2014

New Era For Dutch Men and Women

Central XC-2013

Central XC-2013

WOMEN

A group of three seniors is ready to lead the Central College women’s cross country team into a new era.

Courtesy Dutch Athletics, click here! Feature photo ©Jim Kirby-2014

“I think it’s going to be a year of transition, we have great leadership,” said coach Joe Dunham. “We have a group of young women who have been in the program for a few years and their leadership is going to be fantastic. We’re bringing in a great class, some runners who I think can contribute right away, which is exciting and a little bit different for our program.”

Central returns five letterwinners from last season’s fifth place Iowa Conference team.

Seniors

Missy Charlton (Cedar Rapids, Linn-Mar HS) returns for the Dutch after competing in three races a year ago.

“Missy has been such a committed runner to our program,” said Dunham. “She works extremely hard. We’re excited to see her go out on a positive note this season and hopefully we can keep her healthy.”

Evie Kammeyer (Urbandale) placed 19th at the league championship race, finishing the 6,000-meter course in 23 minutes and 43 seconds. Kammeyer is a three-year letterwinner for Central.

“Evie is a big-time leader for our program,” said Dunham. “We feel she’s a varsity runner for us and a major contributor for us.”

Holly McKinney (Saint Charles, Interstate 35 HS) ran a season-best 23:01 at the Connecticut College Invitational last season and placed 35th. McKinney joins Kammeyer as a three-year letterwinner.

“Holly is another great leader for our program,” said Dunham. “She’s another varsity runner for us and we expect her to be a major contributor for us.”

Juniors

Rachel Peter (Prairie City, PCM HS) is the top returning runner for Central after finishing as the lead runner in four of the seven races last season. Peter has lettered in both of her first two seasons at Central.

“Rachel is excited to have Holly and Evie back to train with after they were gone studying abroad last semester,” said Dunham. “She really came into her own last year and had some great races.”

Jenna Murray (Grandview, Louisa-Muscatine HS) and Alex Oldham (Anamosa) will add depth to the squad this season.

Sophomores

A group of committed runners has Dunham feeling extremely positive about the future of the program. The sophomore class includes Savanna Henning (Ankeny, Centennial HS), Carly Klavins (Urbandale), Ashley Meldrum (Cambridge, Ballard HS), Lauren Moll (Faribault) and Anna Roslien (Pella).

“We have a good group of dedicated runners in our sophomore class,” he said. “This group has a lot of women who are excited to step up and it’s going to be interesting to see which one of them do that. Overall, I’m excited about our sophomore class.”

Moll has shown promise and the coaching staff is ready to see her progress after a letterwinner season last year.

“Lauren is such a strong-minded woman and can really race well,” said Dunham. “I’m excited to see what her season looks like.”

Roslien was the fifth letterwinner from a year ago.

Freshmen

The freshman class has some potential immediate contributors. The coaching staff is eager to begin the development process.

“We’re looking to have some of the freshmen contribute right away and there are also runners who need a year of development and continue to improve.”

Schedule

The annual Dutch Invitational at Central’s highly regarded on-campus course gets the season rolling September 1 at 6 p.m. The Wartburg College Invitational race has extra significance this year for the Dutch.

“We’re going to Wartburg because they are hosting the conference meet, so we’ll be going there earlier in the season so we can get a feel for the course,” Dunham said. “It’s a little different course and I think experience is needed.”

Central travels to Northfield, Minn for the NCAA Division III Central Regional November 11.

MEN

After sending a lone runner to the NCAA Division III Championships a year ago, the Central College men’s cross country has its sights set on capturing the Iowa Conference title.

Courtesy Dutch Athletics, click here!

There’s an annual theme for the Dutch and this year is no different.

“Our goal every year is to win a conference championship and it is again this year,” said coach Joe Dunham.

This year’s squad is anchored by a senior class of six, all of whom have grown while in the program.

“The seniors have been a huge part of our program ever since they were freshmen,” said Dunham. “They came in as freshmen and have developed over the years. I think all six of them are going to be guys that can contribute in some way to our program. We’re reliant on their experience to help the younger guys develop in our program as well.”

Seniors

Jeremy Caracci (Johnston) finished 129th in the conference meet last season and will be looked upon as a contributor again.

“Jeremy has been such a leader on and off the course for us,” said Dunham. “He’s one of those guys that will do anything that a coach asks him to do. He’s going to be sorely missed.”

Taylor Donner (Dubuque) competed at the NCAA Division III Regional for Central and placed 98th, running the 8,000-meter course in Northfield, Minn. in 27 minutes and four seconds.

“Taylor has been one of those consistent runners for our team,” said Dunham. “He’s been a committed runner. Taylor is going to be fighting for a spot and I think he can really contribute for us this year.”
M
ark Fairley (Dubuque)
qualified for the national meet last fall and finished 61st with a 25:12. Fairley is coming off an All-American performance in the outdoor track and field season, finishing second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

“Mark’s junior year was really a defining moment for him,” said Dunham. “Last year he was forced to become the leader of the team and his confidence is extremely high coming into this year. He has to make sure that he doesn’t put too much pressure on himself and just do what he’s capable of doing.”

Tanner Rathje (Marion, Linn-Mar HS) competed in every Dutch race in 2016 and will be a key piece in this year’s squad.

“Tanner was one of the top recruits in this class and he will be a varsity runner for us,” said Dunham. “He’s a captain for us and he’s a guy who provides a lot of leadership for our team.”

Kyle Schelling (Sioux Center) raced in the opener last season but injuries cut his season short.

“Kyle has been a loyal and extremely committed member of this team,” said Dunham. “He has improved dramatically over his career at Central College despite battling some injuries. I am really excited for his last season here at Central and can’t wait to see what he accomplishes.”

Jon Specht (Dubuque, Hempstead HS) has battled injuries over his career at Central and Dunham is looking forward to seeing him have a fully healthy season.

“Jon’s commitment to this program has been unprecedented,” he said. “Jon is a guy that the team is really going to need to step up.”

Ben Stelk (Bettendorf, Pleasant Valley HS) competed in four races a year ago and finished with a season-best 28:28 at the regional meet.

“Ben has really battled injuries and our goal this year is for him to stay healthy,” said Dunham.

Juniors

Colin Thomson (Maxwell, Collins-Maxwell HS) and Jordan Toomey (Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) will be looked upon to help the varsity squad this fall.

“Colin and Jordan had great springs for us,” said Dunham. “Jordan was in the best shape of his life last spring and was really running well. Colin had probably his best overall season last spring on the track.  We expect nothing but improvement from those guys.”

Kyle Pape (Dubuque, Wahlert HS) continues to get better in Dunham’s eyes..

“Kyle is probably the most improved distance runner we’ve had in a long time at Central,” he said. “He’s a top-tier runner for us now and we’re going to be relying on him this year.”

Parker Hill (Bettendorf) is another Dutch runner that needs to lose the injury bug.

“He’s battled injuries and needs to stay healthy,” said Dunham. “He’s a very competitive runner and we are excited about him.”

After a year of experience, the sophomore class continues to develop.

“We’ve got a number of guys we’re starting to see some really good things out of,” said Dunham. “They need to continue to stick with the program. Their bodies are just beginning to adjust to what we do here at Central. We’ll know a lot more about that group after this year. That freshman to sophomore jump is huge. We saw some really good things from Nick Cooper (Sheboygen, Wis., South HS) and Preston Kizer(Dubuque) and we’re really looking forward to seeing what they can do.”

There are seven other sophomores that will add depth to the team.

Freshmen

The freshman class has some potential contributors right away but the coaching staff is eager to get to work and begin the development process for the group.

“We’re looking to have some of the freshmen contribute right away on both sides and there are also runners that need a year of development and continue to improve.”

Schedule

Central opens its campaign with its annual Dutch Invitational at Central’s highly regarded on-campus course September 1 beginning at 6 p.m.  The Dutch head to the Wartburg Invitational September 30 for a preview of the course that is hosting the league championships October 28. A highly competitive NCAA Division III Central Regional is scheduled in Northfield, Minn. November 11.