Mon, Sep. 10, 2012 - [Men's Cross Country]
The #16 Loras College men's cross country team started their season with a bang on Saturday in Decorah, Iowa with a team win at the Luther All-American event at Luther College.
The Duhawks placed each of their five scoring runners in the top 12, with runners six and seven included in the top 20. All seven were in under the 22-minute mark and Jerry Olp was the only runner to cross the line before the 21-minute mark.
Olp won the event as the top collegiate runner in 20:58. Just a few steps behind and in second place among attached runners was teammate Rob Howe, who needed 21:05 to complete the course.
That pair was followed closely by the trio of Austin Steil, Ty Wittman, and Steve Loran – all of whom were in under 21:30.
Steil was done at the 21:15 mark, Wittman at 21:20, and Loran at 21:24.
"This is a great way to open the season," head coach Bob Schultz noted. "Any time you can get a team win, especially at Luther with their history, it is exciting."
"That being said, there is a lot of running yet to do."
After the departure of captain Dan McDermott, some might have thought that the Duhawks would have some early season struggles. This year's captain, Tyson Squiers is quick to reassure those in worry.
"Coming off of last year we have a lot of high hopes and big goals to shoot for. We graduated our #1 runner, but we still have 6 returners from our top 7 coming back," Squiers shared, "with everyone coming back this fall with last season in their back pocket and being cognizant of the returners and the recruits, I don't think there was much concern for a falloff."
Runners six and seven on the day, Chris Higgins and Kyle Wagner, weren't far off the pace either. Higgins was across the line in 21:34 and Wagner was ten seconds behind at 21:44.
"Ultimately, I'm happy our top five and top seven were that close together in the first meet," Schultz said.
Next up for the Duhawks is the annual trip to the National Catholic Championships at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. This year's event is September 14 and will begin at 4:30 p.m. central time.
"The team is very excited about the upcoming meets and got a small taste of the success we're bound to have in the future," Squiers said, "we would love to have as many followers as possible to help support us along the way and we look forward to a great season."