The men’s cross country team took home a fourth-place finish at the Iowa Conference championships this Saturday in Indianola.
Loras took the title with a score of 33 and all five of their scoring runners earned all-conference honors.
Loras ended Central’s reign of two straight conference championships, edging Central out by four points.
Central did have the first and second place finishers, Cole Decker (25:15.4) and Jamie Vander Veer (25:23.7). Their last three scoring runners also finished with all-conference honors.
Luther came in third with 77 points, 40 points behind Central.
Wartburg came in fourth with 84 points.
Two Wartburg runners earned all-conference honors. Chase Moser led the Knights with a sixth-place finish in 25:46.7. This is an improvement from Moser’s ninth-place finish last year. It’s Moser’s third all-conference honor.
Bennett Moser came in seventh with a time of 25:55.1 for his second all-conference honor after a 12th place finish last year.
“(Chase and Bennett Moser) are great leaders. Chase has done an awesome job being team captain,” Wartburg head coach Steve Johnson said. “They’re awesome guys.”
The next finisher for the Knights was Eli Kazcinski in 22nd place (26:48.3). Following close behind was Wartburg’s Kailas Kokare in 26:52.2 for 23rd place.
Finishing off Wartburg’s scoring was Lee Scott in 26th place with a time of 27:00.7.
Kevin Klobasa (27:05.1) and Zach Marpe (27:15.1) rounded out Wartburg’s top seven in 28th and 30th places, respectively.
Wartburg had to compete without two of its top five varsity runners in top shape.
Ryan Hermsen has been battling a virus and Jerry Frawley fell mid-race and was unable to finish.
“When two guys go down, that’s like losing your quarterback and your star running back in the same game. All of a sudden, you’re not the team that you were,” Johnson said.
Dubuque finished in fifth place with 169 points. Following Dubuque was Simpson 176, Buena Vista, 209, and Coe 214.
“The guys ran hard, but Central’s ranked in the top 10, Loras is ranked in the top 15 and they’re very, very good teams,” Johnson said. “We went after them early, and then we fell apart a little bit. The guys are heartbroken. I think it will be a good rallying point to come back and have a much better team race at the region meet.”
The Knights now prepare for the Central Region Championship in Pella on Nov. 15 for a chance to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
1. Loras (33), 2. Central (37), 3. Luther (77), 4. Wartburg (84), 5. Dubuque (169), 6. Simpson (176), 7. Buena Vista (209), 8. Coe (211)
1. Cole Decker (Central, 25:15.4), 2. Jamie Vander Veer (Central, 25:23.7), 3. Ty Wittman (Loras, 25:28.4), 4. Sam Whan (Loras, 25:37.8), 5. Steve Loran (Loras, 25:39.1), 6. Chase Moser (Wartburg, 25:46.7), 7. Bennett Moser (Wartburg, 25:55.1), 8. Tyler Broadwell (Luther, 25:58.5), 9. Timothy Sevcik (Loras, 26:01.1), 10. Mark Fairley (Central, 26:02.2), 11. Isaac Steffensmeier (Central, 26:03.1), 12. Adam Varnas (Loras, 26:09.5), 13. Timothy Shepherd (Central, 26:12.7), 14. Scott Mittman (Luther, 26:14.5), 15. Isaac Jensen (Luther, 26:17.4)