Ortiz Earns All-IIAC Honors, Makes School History at IIAC Championships

Oct 31, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Already a school record holder, junior Fabiola Ortiz became the first Spartan woman to garner back-to-back First Team, All-Iowa Conference accolades after placing third overall to lead the University of Dubuque women's cross country team to seventh-place at the Iowa Conference Championships on Saturday morning.

The Spartans totaled 195 points in a seventh-place performance as host Loras took home the team title with 42 points at the Dubuque soccer complex in chilly, rainy conditions.

Ortiz's third-place time of 23:42 improved on a sixth-place performance from a year ago as she made school history at the Iowa Conference Championships. The Elgin, Ill. native trailed Tricia Serres of Luther and Maggie Saenz-Ruiz of Loras, a pair of national qualifiers in both cross country and track and registered her fifth, Top-5 individual placing in six cross country races this fall. Amidst those Top-5 showings, Ortiz won her first career meet and set a new school record of 22:25 at Grinnell's Les Duke Invitational.

"I think that trying to stick her nose in to run with the top two ladies was a good thing for Ortiz and she found out how tough she could be slogging through mud and rain by herself after going out to hard," said Head Coach Geoff Gundlach. "She should be proud of her performance, an amazing accomplishment and added to school history as well."

The junior led a Varsity pack that included Kayla Kinateder (53rd, 26:21), Kiersten Wenthold (63rd, 26:39), Kristen Mackenburg (99th, 28:18), and Katrina Pagel (106th, 29:05). Pagel, in her first collegiate season of cross country, set a personal record for the third-straight meet.

Ortiz aims for a national berth as the Spartans travel to Central College for the NCAA Division III Central Regional meet on Saturday, November 14 at 11:00 a.m.