PELLA— Taking seven of the top-nine spots, the Central College men’s cross country team breezed past the competition to a team title at the Dutch Invitational Friday night.
In the four-team field, Central tallied 22 points, topping second-place Grinnell’s 51 points. With a strong lead pack of runners in the 6,000-meter race, Central finished seven points away from a perfect score.
“Our men are very fit right now,” coach Joe Dunham said. “My biggest concern is keeping them healthy and making it last for the next two months. I was really pleased with the way it all come together and how smart they ran.”
Senior Daniel Sunvold (Monroe, Southeast Polk HS) was the top finisher for Central, crossing the line second with a time of 19 minutes, 34.9 seconds. He was edged at the line by Jeremy Fopma of Maranatha Baptist University (Wis.).
“He ran two minutes faster than he did at this meet last year,” Dunham said. “It’s hard to fathom what he did. He put in 900 miles this summer and his success is a tribute to his hard work and desire.”
Sophomore Will DeHaan (Dewitt, Central DeWitt HS) never cracked Central’s varsity lineup in 2018, but he debuted as the team’s No. 2 runner Friday (19:39.5) Nate Sanders (junior, Waukee) had his first career top-five finish, placing fourth in a time of 19:53.1.
Bryant Seuferer (senior, Milo, Southeast Warren HS) and Cutler Owens (sophomore, Runnells, Southeast Polk HS) were Central’s fourth and fifth scorers, placing sixth (20:00.3) and seventh (20:10.7), respectively.
Rounding out Central’s top seven were sophomores Easton Sabala (Wheatland, Mo., Hermitage HS) and Ben Lamparek (Williamsburg). Sabala was eighth (20:10.9) and Lamparek was ninth (20:22.7)
“Our men didn’t get out too fast early in the race,” Dunham said. “They ran really intelligently.”
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