Kortenhof races to Midwest Conference cross country title

Lawrence cross coutnry action Joe Kortenhof
Lawrence's Joe Kortenhof will run in the NCAA Division III CHampionships.

OAK RUN, Ill. -- Lawrence University cross country runner Joe Kortenhof stepped into the spotlight Saturday at the Midwest Conference Championships, and he showed some real star power for the Vikings.

Kortenhof raced to victory in the men's race to collect his first conference title and ran Lawrence's win streak on the men's side to four years.

"The race went according to plan," said Kortenhof, a senior from Portland, Ore. "I got out and tried to separate myself and then I was able to maintain my tempo. It feels so great to win. I've been working toward this moment for four years. I'm so glad everything came together."

Kortenhof covered the 8,000-meter course at Oak Run Golf Course in 26:54.72 to claim the title and his fourth consecutive all-conference honor. Griff Morrill of Monmouth College was nearly 10 seconds behind Kortenhof and took the runner-up spot in 27:05.44. Lawrence has now won the men's race four straight times as Kortenhof added to the run started by Josh Janusiak, who took the previous three titles.

Lawrence's Cullen Allard also earned all-conference honors as he finished 13th in 27:59.12. Teslin Stecher was 28th for the Vikings 29:05.77, Aaron Arthur was 32nd in 29:13.30 and Sam Marrese-Wheeler completed the scoring for Lawrence by taking 41st in 29:51.90.

The Vikings were sixth in the team standings with 115 points, and Grinnell College won the title with 65.

On the women's side, Leah Hawksford led the way for the Vikings and earned all-conference honors. Hawksford finished 10th and completed the 6,000 meters in 25:00.96.

Natalie LaMonto was next for the Vikings as she placed 40th in 26:36.20. Rounding out the scoring for Lawrence were Madeline Taylor, who was 49th in 28:18.26, Amanda Endicott, who was 55th in 31:07.52, and Mikaela Hintz, who was 59th in 32:55.43.

Lawrence was seventh in the team standings with 213 points, and Grinnell took the title with 31.