Luther hosts 45th annual All-American

Gillian Klein, Staff Writer

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Luther hosted the 45th All-American Cross Country Meet on Saturday Sept. 9. The annual race brought together both men’s and women’s teams in a four mile and a 5k race, respectively.

The Luther women’s team placed fourth out of six teams. University of St. Thomas took first, St. Ambrose University came in second, and the College of St. Benedict finished third. Luther’s McKenzie Carney (‘18) placed fourth with a time of 19:15.0 for the women’s 5K. Anna Ryden (‘18), placed sixth for the women, crossing the line with a time of 19:24.0.

The All-American meet courses consist of hills and winding trails across Luther’s lower campus.

“Each individual runner aims to have a patient start with there being a hill half a mile into the race, work in the middle through the athletic fields, woods and prairie, and race it home with a downhill to the finish.” Head Cross Country Coach Steve Pasche said.

Luther cross country alumns were also in attendance to race the course alongside the collegiate runners. Many performed well, with alumn Adam Bohach (‘07) taking first with a time of 20:41.2 over the four mile race.

According to Ryden, the preparation for this race and the rest of the season began months ago for the runners.

“We spent most of the summer logging many miles in order to keep our endurance ready for this upcoming season,” Ryden said.

The team received a taste of racing last week with the season opener at St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN. In the men’s and women’s competition, Luther placed first against St. Mary’s University, Martin Luther College, and Viterbo University.

To prepare for the competition this past weekend, the teams went into the St. Mary’s opener with a strategy, according to Ryden.

“St. Mary’s was about adjusting to racing and getting over some pre-race jitters,” Ryden said. “We ran in packs according to similar mile times.”

The All-American race this weekend held a different strategy and purpose for the teams than that of the St. Mary’s University opener.

The top ten finish for Ryden aligned with Ryden’s prior reaction to building up to the All-American race.

“The whole team is pretty excited,” Ryden said. “It will be the sophomores first time running the All-American due to flooding last year and the meet being cancelled.”

The men’s team ran immediately following the women’s race. The men’s team focused on one goal for the meet, according to team captain Tanner Gibbons (‘18).

“The main goal for this weekend is to emphasize racing being more than running hard and fast,” Gibbons said. “It’s also about learning to feel good racing.”

Luther Alumns placed third and Luther’s team placed fourth. Luther’s own Collin Kern (‘20) took 11th place with a time of 21:39.5, Hunter Prueger (‘18) took 12th place with a time of 21:41.2, and Patrick Finnegan (‘18) took 13th with a time of 21:43.5.

After the race this weekend, both men’s and women’s teams have a two-week hiatus from racing to focus on goal setting and training.

Vera Lindhorst (‘20) commented on the state of the team.

“We did lose some seniors last year, but we have a promising [first-year] class,” Lindhorst said. “With our hard work and hardly any injuries so far, we have a bright future.”

The women’s and men’s team will run again on Sept. 30 at the Carleton Invitational in Northfield, MN, but for now, the team continues training for the races to come. 

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