Ortiz Narrowly Misses Spot at Cross Country Nationals

Nov 14, 2015

PELLA, Iowa - Stellar junior Fabiola Ortiz finished one place out and less than one second away from securing a spot at the national meet after placing 12th with a time of 22:51.69 at the NCAA Division III Central Regional meet hosted by Central College on Satruday morning. The two-time All-IIAC finisher led the Spartans to 25th overall.

UD tallied 684 points as St. Thomas took home the Regional team title with 118 points and Carleton placed second with 127 points in a field of 30 teams. The top two teams and top seven individuals not on qualifying teams will compete at the Division III National meet held at Wineconne, Wis. next Saturday, November 21. Sixteen other teams will receive at-large bids once all results are in.

Ortiz, looking for her first national berth, was edged out by the 11th-place finisher by a mere 0.76 seconds after Luther's Lauren Mordini clocked a 22:50.93. Nevertheless, Ortiz was the third-highest Iowa Conference finisher behind Coe's Lucy Conroy in 10th and Mordini in 11th. The Elgin, Ill. native capped a stellar season in which she broke the 23-minute mark for the fourth times, set a new school record, and improved on her time of 24:29 set in the season opener at the Central College Invitational. 

Ortiz was followed by sophomore Kayla Kinateder (133rd, 25:34), junior Kiersten Wenthold (160th, 26:18), sophomore Kristin Mackenburg (177th, 27:18), sophomore Katrina Pagel (202nd (31:42), and Bobbi Jo Helgemoe (204th, 33:23).

The Spartan women will be back in action on December 5 at the Spartan-Duhawk Dual meet as they transition to indoor track and field.