In a battle for Iowa Conference supremacy, both Storm cross country teams finished 6th place out of nine teams at the Iowa Conference meet.
Catie Ellingston led the Storm women with a 2nd place finish with a time of 22:33.9 in the 6k while Ryan Edwardson finished 5th place for the men with a time of 26:18.9 in the 8k.
Two days after losing her mother to ovarian cancer, Ellingston’s performance was one to remember. The women’s team supported Catie with teal ribbons on their shoes and in their hair; teal is the color for ovarian cancer.
“With all things considered Catie ran a great race,” Head Coach Brad Hofer said. “She ran for her mom, who she learned a lot from and ran for her family. Catie probably should have won, but the Luther girl put in a great move at the half-mile mark and there was just too much ground to be made up.”
Sophomore Jade Osborne finished third on the team for the Storm women and was impressed with Ellingston’s performance.
“Her mom wanted her to run and we supported her all the way,” Osborne said. “The entire race she was so focused it showed how strong she was and how great a leader she is.”
The men’s team was competitive and was 5 points out of 5th place and 12 points away from 4th.
“I saw the men’s team finishing in the 4th to 7th place range,” Hofer said. “We were a little bit sick and had an injury. We knew it would be a dogfight with how tough our conference was.”
Sophomore Ryan Edwardson led the men with their 6th place finish.
“I got out in the lead pack and tried to stay there, and then I just sat in the 5th to 6th place spot and finished strong,” Edwardson said. “We ran decent, not amazing, but overall we were satisfied with our performance.”
Although the Storm didn’t run as well as they would have liked, they have another chance at regionals to improve and possibly advance to nationals.
“Catie has to perform well for a chance to move to nationals and I also think Ryan Edwardson has an outside shot at making it,” Hofer said. “As a team we have another chance to improve.”
Edwardson remains skeptical about his shot at nationals.
“I really am not sure if I can make it to nationals,” Edwardson said. “I’m just going to run the best race that I can.”
Osborne is optimistic that regionals will go well.
“The regional race is at Wartburg and it’s a course that we are very familiar with,” Osborne said. “We know when to push ourselves and know when to turn it on so I think we have an advantage.”
The Storm cross cou