Spartan Runners Show Some Grit in Regional Tuneup

Sep 7, 2014

PELLA, Iowa – Fabiola Ortiz moved up the University of Dubuque record books with the sixth fastest time in history (23:54) while the UD men placed fourth (132 points) and the UD women placed seventh overall (173 points) at the Central Dutch Invite.

Winning the meet on the women’s side was Carleton College, ranked 17th nationally, who tallied just 29 points. The men’s winner was host Central College, ranked fifth nationally, who turned in a score of 25 points.

There were great performances by the Spartans in a formidable meet that featured multiple nationally ranked squads and conference foes on a course that will host the Central Regionals on November 15th.

“The course has some hills and subtle difficulties so I’m glad we can run a tougher course early and get used to conditions that will allow us to be more accustomed and acclimated for the conference and regional meet,” said assistant coach Gundlach on the course and its impact on arguably two of the most important meets of the year.

No worries though as ninth-place finisher Ortiz led the assault on the record books as three freshman Sybbie Sears (33rd, 25:20), Skylar Brooks (55th, 26:15), and Kristin Mackenburg (72nd, 27:03) followed in her wake with top-25 UD history times of their own. Their record times allowed them to beat IIAC-foe Central College by 10 points. The experienced duo of senior Brenda Nava (49th, 26:04) and sophomore Kiersten Wenthold (59th, 26:21) completed the scoring five along with Ortiz, Sears, and Brooks.

For the men it was consistent number one Payton Nevills leading the way for the Spartans with a 27:01 showing that was good for 16th place. Newcomer Alec Bass, who bagged the 21st-best time in UD history, wasn’t far behind in 27:27. Rounding out the scorers was the freshman, junior, sophomore trio of Jack Lindsay (32nd, 28:02), Jordan Murray (53rd, 29:10), and Remington Meggers (54, 29:24).

“We saw some solid opening times from a few freshmen in their first full-distance collegiate race and our veterans did a nice job of leading the way,” said Gundlach on his final thoughts. “I thought our team raced hard and we are proud of the effort once again.”

Their next test will come at the Grinnell Les Duke Invite at 10:30 a.m. next Saturday.