Luther College Chips

Luther and La Crosse: a tale of two races

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Maximilian Walker (21) cruises downhill,  a pack of La Crosse runners in pursuit during the dual.

Maximilian Walker (21) cruises downhill, a pack of La Crosse runners in pursuit during the dual.

Annie Goodroad (‘19) | Photo Bureau

Annie Goodroad (‘19) | Photo Bureau

Maximilian Walker (21) cruises downhill, a pack of La Crosse runners in pursuit during the dual.

Jonathan Kuehner, Staff Writer

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The Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams competed both at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse’s home meet in Ettrick, Wisconsin on Oct. 14 and at Luther College in the annual UW-La Crosse dual meet on Oct. 20.

At La Crosse, the men’s team finished ninth out of 21 teams. The women finished 10th out of 21.

The highly attended meet drew competitors from many states and brought in well-ranked teams.

“It’s a very competitive meet, we get teams from Minnesota, Iowa, and a lot of Wisconsin schools,” Associate Head Coach Yarrow Pasche said. “It’s very much a regional meet and has a big draw for that reason. We performed well. I think we definitely have more we can look forward to and that we’re working on.”

Finishing first in the Men’s Invitational was Iowa Central Community College with 25 points, followed by UW-La Crosse with 35 points, and St. Olaf with 169. Luther earned a total of 262 points. Leading the Luther pack were runners Eric Duethman (‘18), Patrick Finnegan (‘18), Collin Kern (‘20) finishing 44th, 50th, and 51st with times of 26:21, 26:25, and 26:25, respectively.

Co-captain Christian Deranek (‘18) explained why this meet draws a high number of competitors.

“It’s a competitive meet because La Crosse is one of the best teams in the nation, so lots of people come from all over to get this race in and race some better competition,” Deranek said.

The Women’s Invitational was also won by Iowa Central Community College with 53 points, with UW-La Crosse coming in second with 58 points, and Nebraska Wesleyan finishing third with 117. Luther scored a total of 272 points, and was led by McKenzie Carney (‘18) with a time of 22:38. This put her in 10th place individually. Anna Ryden (‘18) was the next Norse to finish, coming in 24th with a time of 23:05 Kat Hoffman (‘20) finished 77th with 24:30.

Pasche spoke about how the women’s team has sharpened their racing.

“Things look good,” Pasche said. “People are starting to figure out how to execute over the course of 6 thousand meters. As their workload comes down and we sharpen a little bit more and rest up to perform at our the best, the stars will align.”

In contrast to Saturday’s large meet at La Crosse, Friday’s dual meet on campus featured only two teams: Luther College and UW-La Crosse. This type of dual meet was once more common in the sport, however larger invitationals have become far more common today. This particular dual meet has been a long-standing tradition for both schools.

The Norse won the meet with Isiah Herout (‘19) finishing first in 16:29, followed by Jacob Warehime (‘18) finishing third in 16:40.7, and Alex Streitz (‘19) finishing fourth in 16:40.8.

UW-La Crosse won the women’s meet. Hannah Wright (‘18) lead the Luther pack with a time of 20:46, followed closely by Meredith Robinson (‘18) and Amelia Hornseth (‘21) with times of 20:47 and 20:47.4, respectively.

Neither of these meets are a part of the IIAC Championship. They are important part of the regular season however, as they give opportunities to race against a variety of schools, including some in the Iowa Conference.

“It’s been Luther’s history that throughout the season every race we slowly get faster and faster where other teams fall off,” Carney said. “Conference should be exciting.”

The men’s and the women’s teams will race at Wartburg College on Saturday, Oct. 28 at the IIAC championships.

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