Loras Women Cross Country 2018
©A&D Photo/Duhawks Athletics

Duhawks Place 3rd in All-American International

Coach Bob Schultz-Loras ©Jim Kirby 2017

Coach Bob Schultz-Loras
©Jim Kirby 2017

The men’s and women’s cross country teams each took home a third place finish at the All-American Invitational on Saturday, hosted by Luther College. The Duhawks had two top-10 finisher’s Patrick Wolak and Kassie Rosenbum.

Courtesy DuHawks Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Loras Women Cross Country 2018©A&D Photo/Duhawks Athletics

MEN’S TOP FINISHERS – 4 MILE
9 | Patrick Wolak | 20:54.4
11 | Cole Conklin-Little | 21:00.2
15 | Luke Guttormson | 21:08.5
19 | Blake Keller | 21:23.5
20 | Jack Carroll | 21:24.7
21 | Preston Kauder | 21:26.0
30 | Joey Schultz | 21:53.6

WOMEN’S TOP FINISHERS – 5K
4 | Kassie Rosenbum | 19:14.8
20 | Brianna Renner | 20:26.2
24 | Camryn Reeg | 20:47.5
25 | Maggie Bald | 20:49.6
26 | Kaylee Osterberger | 20:49.7
27 | Emma Earles | 20:49.8
29 | Audrey Miller | 20:51.9

NOTABLES
• Five of Loras’ top seven finishes in the women’s race made their collegiate debut on Saturday
Luke Guttormson and Blake Keller each made their top-seven debut for the men
• Loras was originally scheduled to compete in Lincoln, Neb., but heavy rain caused flooding in the race course, forcing a cancellation of the meet

UP NEXT
Loras travels to Notre Dame for the National Catholic Championships on Friday, Sept. 14. The race is set to begin at 3 p.m. The men are aiming to repeat as champions and collect the fourth title since 2014.

Simpson Women's Cross Country 2018
©Jim Kirby2018

Storm Men and Women Sweep Bill Buxton Invite

Trey Thompson-Ogden-Simpson, Ian Mckenzie-Dowling-Simpson, Jon Facio-Clinton-Simpson ©Jim Kirby 2018

Trey Thompson-Ogden-Simpson, Ian Mckenzie-Dowling-Simpson, Jon Facio-Clinton-Simpson
©Jim Kirby 2018

Men:

Trey Thompson and Jonathan Facio swept the top two spots and the Simpson men’s cross country team rolled to a season-opening win at its own Bill Buxton Invitational on Friday at Pickard Park.

Courtesy Storm Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Simpson Women’s Cross Country©Jim Kirby 2018

 

Thompson ran away from the field, finishing the 6k course in 19:29 to take the gold. Facio wasn’t far behind, crossing in 19:41 to take second. A pair of sophomores in Seth Nostrala and Ryan Courtney added personal-best finishes as Nostrala took fourth in 20:22 and Courtney came in fifth in 20:24.

Simpson finished with 19 team points, easily topping the field of Southwestern CC (56), Graceland (71) and Iowa Wesleyan (109).

Luke Evans, Drew Roen and Cale Billheimer rounded out the Storm’s top-seven finishers.

Up Next
Simpson goes to the Les Duke Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8 in Grinnell.

Storm Varsity Finishers
1. Trey Thompson, 19:29
2. Jonathan Facio, 19:41
4. Seth Nostrala, 20:22
5. Ryan Courtney, 20:24
7. Luke Evans, 20:26
8. Drew Roen, 20:37
9. Cale Billheimer, 20:40

Women

Shelby Hunemiller and Emily Buchheit led a tightly-packed group of Simpson runners who occupied places 2-through-8 as the Storm rolled to a win at their own Buxton Invitational on Friday at Pickard Park.

Courtesy Storm Athletics, click here! 

Simpson finished with 20 points, easily ahead of Graceland (69), Iowa Wesleyan (80), Southwestern CC (98) and Des Moines Area CC (99).

Hunemiller turned in her top-career finish by taking second among collegiate runners, finishing the 4k course in 17:21. Buchheit was close behind in 17:24.

Freshman Kaitlyn Murano led a trio of rookies in Simpson’s top-seven, placing fourth in 17:33. After junior Audrey Klein in fifth (17:39), newcomers Kyli Orr (17:40) and Caitlyn Lucht (17:49) placed sixth and seventh, respectively, and Ashlee Litterer placed eighth (17:55).

Up Next
Simpson goes to the Les Duke Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8 in Grinnell.

Storm Varsity Finishers
2. Shelby Hunemiller, 17:21
3. Emily Buchheit, 17:24
4. Kaitlyn Murano, 17:33
5. Audrey Klein, 17:39
6. Kyli Orr, 17:40
7. Caitlyn Lucht, 17:49
8. Ashlee Litterer (17:55)

Mizzou's Iowans: Hannah Thomas-Dowling, Kate Smith-Ankeny Centenial, Jordon Kleve, Karissa Schweizer-Dowling
©Mizzou Athletics

Kleve Off to a Great Start For 2018

Jordyn Kleve-Johnston-Mizzou and Jamie Kempfer-Mizzou ©Mizzou Athletics-2017

Jordyn Kleve-Johnston-Mizzou and Jamie Kempfer-Mizzou
©Mizzou Athletics-2017

The Mizzou Cross Country team opened its season on Saturday at the Brooks Twilight Classic in Memphis, Tenn., as the women’s team took first place while the men’s team place second. Junior Melissa Menghini (Fenton, Mo.) placed second at the meet, and was the top attached scorer, while five other Tigers placed in the top-five. Redshirt junior Thomas George (Gloucester, England) finished first for Mizzou and third overall to pace the men.

Courtesy Mizzou Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Mizzou’s Iowans: Hannah Thomas-Dowling, Kate Smith-Ankeny Centenial, Jordon Kleve, Karissa Schweizer-Dowling©Mizzou Athletics 2016

 

NOTABLE TIGERS

Menghini paced the Tigers in the women’s race, crossing the finish line at 17:46.88, while five other Tigers placed in the top-10, including three freshman. Freshman Mikayla Reed (Washington, Mo.) finished sixth at 18:13.89, while freshman Tori Findley (Blue Springs, Mo.) finished seventh at 18:14.26, redshirt junior Sophia Racette (St. Louis, Mo.) eighth at 18:14.47, redshirt junior Jordyn Kleve (Urbandale, Iowa) ninth at 18:29.41 and freshman Reilly Revord (Hinsdale, Ill.) 10th at 18:34.02.

For the men, George crossed the finish line at 20:14.04 in a four-mile race, while junior Kieran Wood (Cambridge, U.K.) finished eighth at 20:36.15.

UP NEXT

Mizzou will next run in two weekends at the Illinois State Invitational, Friday, Sept. 14, in Normal, Ill., at 5 p.m. (CT). It will be the second of five regular season meets for Mizzou before opening the postseason at the SEC Championships on Oct. 26, at Auburn, Ala.

For all the latest on Mizzou Track & Field, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (MIZ_TrackField).

WOMEN’S 5K RESULTS – 1st Place (31 points, 1-6-7-8-9-10-18)
1. Melissa Menghini, 17:46.88 // 6. Mikayla Reed, 18:13.89 // 7. Tori Findley, 18:14.26 // 8. Sophia Racette, 18:14.47 // 9. Jordyn Kleve, 18:29.41 // 10. Reilly Revord, 18:34.02 // 18. Emma Roth, 18:51.74 // 27. Lexi Maddox, 19:04.31 // 29. Jenna Lutzow, 19:08.65 // 32. Karina Liz, 19:12.42 // 40. Samantha Farmer, 19:19.85 // 46. Kayla Glowacki, 19:36.06 // 54. Kayla Funkenbusch, 19:45.94 // 56. Shannon Browning, 19:49.09 // 70. Abby Hake, 20:07.50 // 71. Susan Forbis, 20:09.27 // 88. Lilly Hamilton, 20:40.53 // 93. Erica Rideout, 20:52.71 // 117. Faramola Shonekan, 21:38.88

MEN’S 4-MILE RESULTS – 2nd Place (71 points, 3-8-17-21-22-31-42)
3. Thomas George, 20:14.04 // 8. Kieran Wood, 20:36.15 // 17. Oaklee Hauschild, 20:52.82 // 21. Stephen Mugeche, 20:58.26 // 22. Michael Widmann, 20:58.45 // 31. Evan Schulte, 21:18.87// 43. Jacob Schweiss, 21:32.06 // 42. Justin Loquercio, 21:44.41 // 60. Chris Conrad, 21:54.68 // 76. Robert Kuhlmann, 22:19.14 // 83. Dylan Quisenberry, 22:25.09

Mt Mercy Cross Country 2018
©Mustangs Athletics 2018

Mustangs Take Team Titles at Mustang Gallop

©Mustangs Athletics 2017

©Mustangs Athletics 2017

The Mount Mercy women’s cross country team won the team and individual titles while the Mustang men were runner-up at the 25th Annual Mustang Gallop on Friday night at Seminole Valley Park.

Courtesy Mustangs Athletics, click here! Feature photo: ©Mustangs Athletic 2018

 

Mount Mercy’s Andrea Ertz captured the women’s 4K race by a three-second margin with a winning time of 15:55. She edged former teammate and Mustang alum Katie Hoffert, who crossed the finish line in 15:58.

Mount Mercy’s top seven also included Vanessa Cortes (3rd/16:14), Emily Erickson (6th/16:31), Samantha Croghan (7th/16:32), Allison Woods (13th/16:57), Mady Roth (15th/17:15), and McKenzie Mellecker (17th/17:30).

The Mustangs earned the team championship with a total of 30 points. That was better than runner-up Cornell (43 pts.), Coe (66 pts.), and Dubuque (88 pts.)

James Lindstrom was Mount Mercy’s top finisher in the men’s 5K, finishing fifth in 15:50. Aaron Golding (7th/16:43), Cameron Steffens (10th/16:56), Colton Forster (12th/16:58), Michael Marshall (14th/17:04), Jacob Blackmon (19th/17:23), and Chase Kress (30th/18:17) were Mount Mercy’s top seven.

Cornell defended their men’s team title, securing the win with 27 points. Next was Mount Mercy (48 pts.), followed by Dubuque (52 pts.), Iowa Track & Field Club (122 pts.), Coe (134 pts.), Scott Community College (175 pts.), and Southeastern Community College (189 pts.).

Also on the line in the Mustang Gallop was the Coe-Stang Trophy, an annual dual between Coe and Mount Mercy. Combined men’s and women’s results by the intra-city rivals determine the winner, with the Mustangs coming out on top once again.

Mount Mercy goes to Kenosha, Wis., for the Vic Godfrey Open on Saturday, Sept. 8, at 10:30 a.m. at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

Rebekah Topham-Griswold-WSU
©Jim Kirby

Guess Who’s Back?!

Rebekah Topham-Griswold-Wichita St ©Jim Kirby 2017

Rebekah Topham-Griswold-Wichita St
©Jim Kirby 2017

After deciding to take a redshirt year specifically to train, junior Rebekah Topham has her sights on becoming the next NCAA All-American for the Wichita State cross country team.

Read the full Kansas.com, article, click here! Feature photo: Rebekah Topham-Griswold-WSU©Jim Kirby

Topham came agonizingly close to a NCAA championship berth in cross country and outdoor track and field during the 2016-17 season, prompting her long-term vision to sit out a year in order to be in a better position to achieve her goals.

Now the junior from Griswold, Iowa, is in the best shape of her running career. She showed a glimpse of what might be ahead with her school-record performance in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10 minutes, 0.59 seconds), finishing 13th in the USATF Senior Outdoor Championships in June.

“That performance has given her confidence and when you inject confidence into an athlete with the potential of Rebekah, you can’t stop them,” WSU cross country coach Kirk Hunter said. “They become unstoppable.”

WSU opens its cross country season on Saturday at the J.K. Gold Classic held at the R.A.F.T. course in Augusta. The men’s 6,000 race begins at 8:30 a.m. with the women’s 4,000 slated for 9.

It will be the first time in almost two years Topham will compete in a Shocker uniform, something that she says didn’t bother her last season. She admits to sometimes longing to compete again, but she points out she was still able to run unattached at a handful of meets and she rather enjoyed being able to focus solely on training.

“I feel like I was able to stay motivated very easily,” Topham said. “I kept thinking if I just had this year to only focus on training and improving, then maybe I can make it to nationals and do big things the next few years.”

Topham’s savviness and knowledge when it comes to distance running is second to none at her age, Hunter said. Now that her foundation is so much stronger entering the season, Hunter believes Topham has the chance to be one of the best runners in the country.

“She doesn’t just want to be a good Division I runner, she wants to be a NCAA All-American, a champion,” Hunter said. “And she has that kind of talent.”

Read more here: https://www.kansas.com/sports/college/wichita-state/article217598875.html#storylink=cpy
Rebeka Topham-Griswold-Wichita State 
©Jim Kirby-2016

Shocker’s Topham and Ready to Romp

Rebekah Topham-Griswold-WSU ©Jim Kirby

Rebekah Topham-Griswold-WSU
©Jim Kirby

After deciding to take a redshirt year specifically to train, junior Rebekah Topham has her sights on becoming the next NCAA All-American for the Wichita State cross country team.

Read full article, click here! Feature photo: Rebekah Topham-Griswold-Wichita State ©Jim Kirby-2016 

 

Topham came agonizingly close to a NCAA championship berth in cross country and outdoor track and field during the 2016-17 season, prompting her long-term vision to sit out a year in order to be in a better position to achieve her goals.

Now the junior from Griswold, Iowa, is in the best shape of her running career. She showed a glimpse of what might be ahead with her school-record performance in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10 minutes, 0.59 seconds), finishing 13th in the USATF Senior Outdoor Championships in June.

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“That performance has given her confidence and when you inject confidence into an athlete with the potential of Rebekah, you can’t stop them,” WSU cross country coach Kirk Hunter said. “They become unstoppable.”

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WSU opens its cross country season on Saturday at the J.K. Gold Classic held at the R.A.F.T. course in Augusta. The men’s 6,000 race begins at 8:30 a.m. with the women’s 4,000 slated for 9.

It will be the first time in almost two years Topham will compete in a Shocker uniform, something that she says didn’t bother her last season. She admits to sometimes longing to compete again, but she points out she was still able to run unattached at a handful of meets and she rather enjoyed being able to focus solely on training.

“I feel like I was able to stay motivated very easily,” Topham said. “I kept thinking if I just had this year to only focus on training and improving, then maybe I can make it to nationals and do big things the next few years.”

Topham’s savviness and knowledge when it comes to distance running is second to none at her age, Hunter said. Now that her foundation is so much stronger entering the season, Hunter believes Topham has the chance to be one of the best runners in the country.

“She doesn’t just want to be a good Division I runner, she wants to be a NCAA All-American, a champion,” Hunter said. “And she has that kind of talent.”

The return of Topham also instantly turns WSU’s women’s team into a contender in the American Athletic Conference.

After a sixth-place finish last year, Hunter figures WSU should be near the top with Topham pairing with Winny Koskei to form the conference’s best duo. Rita Schnacker, Yazmine Wright and Winnie Kibet also give the Shockers much-needed depth.

“We went through our bumps and bruises last year, but now it’s leading us to have a much better two years because of it,” Hunter said. “That’s because Rebekah didn’t just redshirt, she trained and improved and took her performances to another level. That’s how you’re supposed to do it.”

WSU’s men’s team finished fifth in the conference last season and returns a wealth of depth. Hunter counts as many as 12 runners who could be counted upon this season with returners Zack Penrod, Ben Flowers and Pedro Montoya leading the way and newcomers Clayton Duchatschek and Jed Helker also helping.

Read more here: https://www.kansas.com/sports/college/wichita-state/article217598875.html#storylink=cpy

UNI Women's Cross Country-2017
©Panthers Athletics

Panthers Open Season Ranked

UNI Men's XC 2016 ©Panther's Athletics

UNI Men’s XC 2016
©Panther’s Athletics

UNI women’s Cross Country opens the season ranked eighth in the Midwest Region of the USTFCCA Cross Country Preseason rankings, released Monday by the association.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here! Feature photo: UNI Women’s Cross Country-2017©Panthers Athletics

The Panthers are coming off of a second-place finish at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship and McKayla Cole is the reigning MVC Freshman of the year.

Gabby Champion also returns to the team off of her MVC Honorable Mention All-Conference Performance in 2017.

Alyssa Williams and Gabby Skopec finished top-50 at the MVC championship in 2017 and again run for the Panthers.

The Panthers take the course at the University of Iowa’s Ashton Cross-Country Course in Iowa City to kick-start the season.

Freshmen Jill Vonahme and Paige Holub join the veteran Panther squad at the first meet.

On the men’s side, MVC Top-30 finishers CJ May and Alex Johnson return to lead the Panthers. Joining the squad in Iowa City are three freshmen Addy Kalb, Andrew Kephart and Sam McCool.

Simpson Women's XC
©Jim Kirby 2017

Full Slate of XC Meets This Weekend

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm. © Jill Dahlstrom-2017

Joanna Topham-Griswald-Hawkeye Comm.
© Jill Dahlstrom-2017

The 2018 Cross Country season will begin for most Iowa colleges and universities this weekend.

The following is a list of the meets that we are aware of and the Iowa schools listed to attend them.

If you know of changes, please send them our way: mikejay59@gmail.com

Feature photo: Simpson Women’s XC©Jim Kirby 2017

Friday, August 31:

Hawkeye Invitational at University of Iowa, 6:00 PM: Iowa, Iowa State, Drake, UNI.

Augustana Twilight at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD, 8:30 PM: Buena Vista, Morningside, Northwestern College, Briar Cliff,

John Kurtt Opener at Wartburg, 6:00 PM: Wartburg, Hawkeye Comm. College.

Dutch Opener at Central, 6:00 PM: Central, Clarke, Grinnell.

Bill Buxton Invite at Simpson, 5:30 PM: Simpson, Iowa Wesleyan, Graceland, DMACC (women only), Southwestern Comm. College.

Saturday, September 1:

24th Annual Mustang Gallop at Mt. Mercy: Mt. Mercy, Cornell, Coe, Dubuque, Scott Comm. College, Southeastern Comm. College.

St. Mary’s University Open: Luther

Iowa Cross Country Course
©Jim Kirby

Hawks to Open Season by Hosting the Hawkeye Invitational

Randy Hasenbank-Iowa ©Hawkeye Athletics-2016

Randy Hasenbank-Iowa
©Hawkeye Athletics-2016

The University of Iowa cross country team opens its 2018 season hosting the Hawkeye Invitational on Friday, Aug. 31 at the Ashton Cross Country Course.

Courtesy Hawkeye Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Iowa Cross Country Course©Jim Kirby

The women’s 4,000 meters starts at 6 p.m. (CT), and the men’s 6,000-race follows at 6:45 p.m. Admission is free.

The 2018 schedule was released Thursday by the University of Iowa Athletics Department.

The Hawkeye Invitational is the first of five regular season meets for the men and women. Both squads make trips to Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Illinois. On the weekend of Oct. 12-13, the women compete at Bradley and the men travel to Wisconsin.

The postseason begins Oct. 28 at the Big Ten Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska. The NCAA Regionals are Nov. 9 at Peoria, Illinois, and the NCAA Championships are Nov. 17 at Madison, Wisconsin.

The complete schedule is available at hawkeyesports.com.

isu xc course

Coach Rudolph Set to Lead Cyclone Women

Amy Rudolph-ISU ©Cyclones Athletics

Amy Rudolph-ISU
©Cyclones Athletics

Amy Rudolph, one of America’s greatest female long distance runners, has been named Iowa State’s Associate Head Women’s Cross Country Coach/Assistant Track and Field Coach. Senior Associate Athletics Director Dr. Calli Sanders made the announcement Tuesday.

Courtesy Cyclones Athletics, click here! Feature photo: © Cyclones Athletic

Rudolph is a two-time United States Olympian (5,000 meters), seven-time World Championship team member and three-time USA National Champion. She was a finalist in the 5,000 meters (finishing 10th) at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Rudolph set an American record in 1996, running the 5k in 14:56.04.

“I would like to thank Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Martin Smith, Athletics Director Jamie Pollard and Senior Associate Athletics Director Dr. Calli Sanders for the wonderful opportunity to join the Cyclone family,” Rudolph said. “I am excited to get to Ames, meet the team and get the season underway. I am looking forward to leading this very talented women’s distance squad to continued success in the Big 12 Conference and NCAA Championships.”

She was a two-time (1997 and 2002) U.S. Indoor Champion in the 3,000 meters, a two-time (1998 and 1999) U.S. short course cross country champion and the 1998 U.S. 8-kilometer road racing champ.

As a collegian at Providence, she won two NCAA Championships (indoor mile and outdoor 1,500) in 1994, earned 10 All-American awards and was a three-time BIG EAST champion in the 3,000. Rudolph was inducted into the Friars’ Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008.

“Amy’s credentials as one of the premiere long distance runners in American history speak for themselves,” Sanders said. “Her accolades as a competitor are world elite, but we were equally impressed with her personal attributes and vision for teaching her sport and training student-athletes as a coach. Amy inherits an outstanding group of runners and her experience is a perfect match for our nationally ranked program.”

An assistant coach at Drake last year, she also served as a volunteer assistant coach at Auburn (2010-17), assistant coach at Providence (2005-07) and an assistant coach at Bryant (2004).

“We are thrilled to be able to add Amy to our staff, especially at this late date,” Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Martin Smith said. “She brings instant credibility, understands the work ethic of championship runners and, most importantly, will fit seamlessly with our current staff and student-athletes. Amy’s running credentials, both as a collegian and professional, put her in an elite category. Her championship pedigree matches well with the championship culture in place with our Iowa State women’s program.”

A life-long runner, she ran her first competitive race – 50-yard dash – at the age of 6. An eight-time state champion in Pennsylvania, she never lost a dual as a prep.

Rudolph earned a Bachelor of Science degree (1995) from Providence in Health Policy and Management. Her husband (Mark Carroll) is the Director of Track & Field and Cross Country at Drake. He was also an accomplished runner having represented Ireland in both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

UNI Women's XC 2017
©Jim Kirby 2017

Panthers Predict Big Things in 2018

UNI Men's XC 2016 ©Panther's Athletics

UNI Men’s XC 2016
©Panther’s Athletics

The UNI women’s cross country team was picked to finish fourth in the 2018 MVC preseason poll released today by the league.

The women’s team is coming off a year that saw the program’s highest finish at a regional meet after claiming seventh overall at the NCAA Midwest Regional.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here! Feature photo: UNI Women’s XC 2017 ©Jim Kirby 2017

The Panthers graduated Brette Correy, Ashley Norem and Tiffany Christensen but return McKayla Cole, Gabby Champion and Alyssa Williams from that regional roster.

Cole was named MVC Freshman of the Year. She was 10th at the MVC Championships. The Panthers were picked to finish first and took second place at the 2017 championships. In 2016, UNI

CJ May returns to lead the men’s team, which was picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll. His finish at last year’s championships was a personal best placing at the meet for the junior. May took 22nd and Alex Jackson took 28th. The men return Ben Alrichs. Logan Murray and Ethan Smith who competed on the MVC championship lineup.

UNI finished seventh in last year’s men’s race.

SCHEDULE

UNI will open its schedule at the Hawkeye Invite 6 p.m. Aug. 31. The team will head to Bradley’s course in Peoria, Illinois, at least three times to compete this season. The Braves will be hosting the Missouri Valley Conference Championships Oct. 27.

  • Aug. 31 – Hawkeye Invite | Iowa City, Iowa | 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 14 – Bradley Intercollegiate | Peoria, Illinois | 5:45 p.m.
  • Sept. 29 – Roy Girak Invitational | Minneapolis, Minnesota | TBD
  • Oct. 12 – Bradley Pink Classic | Peoria, Illinois | 4 p.m.
  • Oct. 27 – MVC Championships | Peoria, Illinois | 11:30 a.m.
  • Nov. 9 – NCAA Midwest Regional | Peoria, Illinois
Drake Mens XC Team
©Jim Kirby-2016

Bulldogs Earn Academic Awards

Coach Mark Carroll-Drake  ©Drake Athletics

Coach Mark Carroll-Drake
©Drake Athletics

The Drake University men’s cross country team has been honored with the NCAA Division I Public Recognition Award for ranking as one of the highest-performing teams in the nation in the Academic Progress Rate (APR).

Courtesy Bulldog Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Drake Mens XC Team©Jim Kirby-2016

The Public Recognition Awards are given each year to teams with APRs in the top 10 percent in their respective sports. Those receiving Public Recognition Awards recorded multi-year APR that ranged from 985 to a perfect 1,000. The Drake men’s cross country team was one of those elite programs to achieve a perfect score of 1,000 for the year ending 2016-17.

The Bulldogs’ perfect score marks the third-straight year in which the program has achieved a perfect APR score and the the fifth time in program history it has earned the Public Recognition Award.

The Bulldogs were the only men’s cross country program in the Missouri Valley Conference to earn the Public Recognition Award and the only one in the state of Iowa as well.

Drake teams have earned a total of 25 Public Recognition Awards since the program was instituted following the 2004-05 academic year.

Mark Fairley-Dubuque-Central
©Jim Crawford 2018

Dutch Alum Fairley Gains International Experience

Mark Fairley-Dubuque Sr-Central ©Jim Kirby 2018

Mark Fairley-Dubuque Sr-Central
©Jim Kirby 2018

While in Brazil competing at the FISU America Games last month, former Central College men’s distance runner Mark Fairley made memories both on and off the track.

Courtesy Dutch Athletics, click here! Feature photo: Mark Fairley-Dubuque-Central ©Jim Crawford 2018

Sanctioned by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), the American Games are held in even numbered-years for North American and South American nations. This year’s version featured 1,200 athletes from over 20 participating countries in 13 sports.

On the track, Fairley had not raced competitively since the NCAA Division III Championships at the end of May. In his marquee event, the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Fairley was fourth in 9 minutes, 40.15 seconds. Daniel Reyes Morales of Mexico was the winner in 9:11.12. He also placed fifth in the 1,500-meter run in 4:04.76 while Michael Alba Jofre of Chile was the winner in 3:54.53.

“The competition was really good,” Fairley said. “At this point in the year, I am in the summer and just finished my season. Most of them are in the winter and in the beginning of their season. The other competitors all had similar PR’s, but they just happened to be in a little bit better shape because they had probably gotten better training over the previous month.”

The international nature of the event allowed Fairley to rub shoulders with athletes from other countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia and Uruguay.

“All of the athletes from all of the different sports stayed in the hotel,” Fairley said. “It was cool to have conversations with athletes from so many different countries.”

Service work also featured prominently on the week-long trip as the USA Track and Field team helped put together a mini-Olympics for Brazilian school children. The event was organized to lay the groundwork for the planting of a church in the area.

“There was a lot of opportunity to share my faith in Jesus Christ with people from other countries as well as my American teammates,” Fairley said. “God showed me the importance of trusting in him no matter what life throws at me.

“I was in charge of one of the soccer stations. It was like teaching a physical education class, which my education and student teaching experiences at Central prepared me well for.”

Speaking through a Portuguese translator at local schools while promoting the event, Fairley also answered questions about life in the United States and played soccer with the children.

Despite the short duration of the trip, the experience made an impact on Fairley.

“I hope and pray that I was an encouragement and joy to the school children of Brazil, because I know they were for me,” he said.

Fairley begins a two-year stint as a graduate assistant coach with the cross country and track and field programs at Liberty University (Va.) this fall.

Ashlee Litterer-Wav. Shell Rock-Simpson
©Jim Kirby 2017

Storm’s Litterer Expands Portfolio For Her Major

Ashlee Litterer-Wav. Shell Rock-Simpson ©Jim Kirby 2017

Ashlee Litterer-Wav. Shell Rock-Simpson
©Jim Kirby 2017

Sport: Cross Country and Track & Field
Hometown: Waverly, Iowa
Class this Fall: Junior
Major/Minor: Exercise Science/Biology
Internship: Program Supervisor at Cedar Falls Recreation Center

 Courtesy Storm Sports, click here! Feature photo: Ashlee Litterer-Wav. Shell Rock-Simpson©Jim Kirby 2017
What are your primary responsibilities?

I designed an eight week track camp for 3-6 graders. I coach at the camp, as well as manage the four other coaches. I am also the supervisor for a program called Before & After Care, which is a child care program held in the morning and afternoons. As a supervisor, I am responsible for creating schedules and time sheets, as well as other duties that come with managing staff.

How does this position help with your career goals?

This job fits in very well with my exercise science major because I have spent the last few years learning about the importance of exercise in children, and now I get to design a program to promote that! I would love to be a Cross Country or Track coach someday, so this is the perfect way to gain experience.

Did Simpson play a role in helping you get these internships? If so, how?

The classes I have taken for my major have prepared me well and taught me how to create an effective track program.

How has your experience as a student-athlete been helpful in this position?

My experience as a student-athlete has helped tremendously because I am able to take what I have learned from my coaches and share that with the athletes that I am now coaching. Being an athlete is helpful because I can put myself in the kids’ shoes and understand what they are going through.

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

Dutch Men and Women Collect Academic Call Outs

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

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

Women

Five Central College women’s track and field athletes earned individual plaudits as the entire team was given the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team award Thursday.

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

In order to qualify for the team award, the GPA of the team’s entire roster must combine to equal 3.10. The Dutch reached a 3.44 GPA as a team.

To qualify for the individual honor, student-athletes must post a 3.3 or better combined GPA and compete in an NCAA Division III indoor or outdoor championship or finish the regular season ranked in the top 35 in the nation in an individual event.

The only repeat winner for the Dutch women, Holly McKinney (senior, St. Charles, Interstate-35 HS) finished in the top-50 nationally in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (outdoor – No. 31). She graduated with a degree in exercise science and a 3.48 GPA.

Evie Kammeyer (senior, Urbandale) qualified for the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, where she placed 18th (11:19.92). She graduated with a degree in biology and a 3.50 GPA.

Courtney Kruthoff (freshman, Erie, Ill.) finished in the top-50 nationally in the high jump (indoor – No. 33). Her major is undeclared and she has a 3.837 GPA.

Mary Gray (freshman, West Des Moines, Waukee HS) finished in the top-50 nationally in the pentathlon (indoor – No. 35) and heptathlon (outdoor – No. 45). Her major is undeclared and she has a 3.42 GPA.

Kiki Pingel (freshman, Pella) finished in the top-50 nationally in the pentathlon (indoor – No. 50). Her major is undeclared and she a 3.73 GPA,.

Central’s women’s track and field program has had 41 athletes earn USTFCCCA all-academic distinction 69 times.

Central’s USTFCCCA All-Academic women’s team honorees
Amy Olson, 1999
Jen Osteen, 1999
Hollie Reilly, 1999
Katie Button, 2000, 2001, 2002
Jenn Hansen, 2001, 2002, 2003
Abby Gonzales, 2002
Lindsay Schultz, 2002, 2003
Raegan Schultz, 2002, 2003
Alex Costigan, 2006
Chelsey Keller, 2006
Alicia Whisner, 2006, 2007
Angie Berry, 2007, 2009
Rachel Boeke, 2007, 2008, 2009
Kari Hutchinson, 2007, 2008
Chelsey Keller, 2007
Emily Teas, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Rachelle Tipton, 2008, 2009, 2010
Jill Ziskovsky, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Hannah Anderson, 2009
Felicia Coleman, 2010
Ashley Feldman, 2010
Sam Retz, 2010
Rachel Purdy, 2011, 2012
Morgan Sharp, 2012
Rachel Northrup, 2012
Miranda Wehde, 2012
Camie Kibbee, 2014, 2015
Allie McBroom, 2014, 2015
Whitney Pavlat, 2014
Monica Ruiz, 2014, 2015, 2016
Emma Drees, 2015, 2017
Morgan Koenigs, 2015, 2017
Kate Patton, 2015, 2016
Meredith Zimmerman, 2015
Holly McKinney, 2016, 2018
Lorell Stuht, 2017
Mary Gray, 2018
Evie Kammeyer, 2018
Courtney Kruthoff, 2018
Kiki Pingel, 2018

Men

Will Daniels (sophomore, Geneseo, Ill.) and Mark Fairley (senior, Dubuque) took two of the four Men’s Scholar Athlete of the Year honors in NCAA Division III Track and Field as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team Thursday.

Daniels and Fairley were two of seven Central men to be recognized by the USTFCCCA.

To qualify for the honor, student-athletes must post a 3.3 or better combined GPA and compete in an NCAA Division III indoor or outdoor championship or finish the regular season ranked in the top 35 in the nation in an individual event.

Named the Indoor Field Scholar of the Year, Daniels was the national champion in the heptathlon, at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships with 5,287 points. He also earned All-American honors in the indoor high jump (seventh place – 6 feet, 9 inches) and the outdoor decathlon (third place – 6,969 points). He is a 4.0 student as a biology major.

Also a national champion, Fairley was named the Outdoor Track Scholar Athlete of the Year. He won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in a time of a 9 minutes, 4.50 seconds at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships. He graduated with a degree in exercise science and a 3.825 GPA.

Ryan Kruse (senior, St. Clair, Minn.) qualified for both the indoor and outdoor national meet, earning All-American honors indoors by finishing third in the heptathlon (5,124 points). He graduated with a degree in mathematics and a 3.737 GPA.

Hunter Howe (senior, La Plata, Mo.) was a part of the 4×400-meter relay team that finished in the top-35 nationally (outdoor – No. 35). He graduated with a degree in athletic training and a 3.87 GPA.

Michael Firkins (senior, Centerville) finished in the top-50 nationally in the hammer throw (outdoor) and weight throw (indoor). He graduated with a double major in exercise science and biochemistry and a 3.568 GPA.

Kyle Pape (junior, Dubuque, Wahlert Catholic HS) finished in the top-50 nationally in the 800-meter run (outdoor – No. 40) and was a part of a distance medley relay team that was top-35 (indoor – No. 20). He is an exercise science major with a 3.819 GPA.

Jon Specht (senior, Dubuque, Hempstead HS) was a part of the distance medley relay team that was top-35 (indoor – No. 20). He graduated with a double major of biology and exercise science and 3.585 GPA.

The Dutch men have had 31 athletes win the honor 47 times.

Central’s USTFCCCA All-Academic men’s track and field team
Craig Cantrall, 1994
Andy Goodman, 1994
Nate Smith, 1994
Jon Rathje, 1999
Matt Webster, 1999
Marc VanderVelden, 2000
Tony Brownlee, 2001, 2002
Lucas Nims, 2001
Matt Jens, 2002
Matt McCombs, 2002
Cale Van Genderen, 2003
Tanner Whipple, 2003
Ben Bollard, 2006, 2007
Bryan George, 2006
Guy Dierikx, 2007, 2008
Cody Huisman, 2007
Alex Miller, 2007
Adam Wolf, 2007
Kurtis Brondyke, 2011
Tyler Crouse, 2010, 2011, 2012
Spencer Hammack, 2014, 2015
Drew Jackson, 2014, 2015
Eric Larson, 2014, 2015
Jaemin Powell, 2014, 2016
Jamie Vander Veer, 2015
Mark Fairley, 2016, 2017, 2018
Hunter Howe, 2016, 2018
Ryan Kruse, 2016, 2017, 2018
Will Daniels, 2017, 2018
Michael Firkins, 2018
Kyle Pape, 2018
Jon Specht, 2018