Jackson Robelia ('21) Chips
The Luther Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams both placed second at the American Rivers Conference Championships on Saturday, Nov. 2 in Dubuque, IA.
The men scored 58 points and the women scored 59 points. The top five members of each team contribute to the score, and their place numbers are added together to create the score total; the lower the score, the higher the place. Wartburg took first in both races, scoring 19 points for the men and 36 for the women. The men raced 8 kilometers, and the women raced 5 kilometers, one kilometer less than their typical race length of 6 kilometers.
On the men’s side, Tom Altier (‘22) was Luther’s first finisher, placing second overall with a time of 26:57.7. This placement earned him All- Conference honors. Additionally, Ian Kelly (‘23), who placed 10th, and Dan Iselin (‘21), who placed 13th, also earned All-Conference honors. The others scoring for the men were Sam Schillinger (‘22) and Collin Kern (‘20) who placed 19th and 23rd, respectively.
On the women’s side, Amelia Morrow (‘22) was Luther’s first finisher, coming in sixth place overall, followed closely behind by Vera Lindhorst (‘20) who finished seventh. They completed the race with times of 20:22.0 and 20:23.4, respectively. These placements secured them both All-Conference honors. Heather Hostager (‘22), who came in 13th, and Lauren Berg (‘22) who came in 15th, also earned All-Conference honors. Completing the top five for Luther was Katie Fetting (‘22), who placed 18th.
Going into the conference meet, team member David Will (‘21) had high expectations for the team’s placement. “Wartburg is obviously one of the top teams in the nation right now, and they are in our conference,” Will said. “But I think that the team thinks that just about everyone in this conference is beatable, so I think that we will definitely be in the top two and that is definitely a strong goal for this meet, one that we have been talking about “I would like to see the men’s team be top three at regionals.”this season.”
The course had recently received a couple inches of snow, which had mostly melted by race day, leaving the ground muddy, and according to several Luther athletes, difficult to run on. Temperatures hovered around the low 30s.
Despite these conditions, women’s captain Kat Hoffman (‘20) was happy with how the women performed, as they placed two spots higher than they were seeded going into the meet.
“The conditions were definitely tough,” Hoffman said. “There were about four inches of mud and the women’s course actually got shortened [froma6k]toa5k,sothatmadeit difficult. But I still feel really good about it because we were supposed to get fourth place, so the fact that we beat Nebraska Wesleyan and Loras who were ranked above us in the region is a pretty big deal. I think that will give us some confidence going into regionals.”
The men were also pleased with the results of their race and are looking ahead in their schedule. Kern, one of the captains of the men’s team, has specific goals in mind for the regional competition.
“I would like to see the men’s team be top three at regionals,” Kern said. “That would all but guarantee our spot at nationals. We can be right in the mix there; it is probably between Wartburg, Carleton, St. Olaf, St. Thomas, and us for those top spots. And I think we have the caliber to go up against any of those teams.”
Both teams will be competing again on Nov. 16 at Wartburg College for the NCAA DIII Central Regional Meet. The men will race at 11 a.m. and the women will race at 12 p.m. Luther will only send the top seven runners of both teams to the race.