McKinney leads Central at NCAA Division III cross country regional

Central Dutch Athletics

Central Dutch Athletics

NORTHFIELD, MINN. — Central College senior Holly McKinney (Saint Charles, Interstate 35 HS) led the women’s cross country team to a 15th place finish in the 32-team NCAA Division III Central Regional Saturday.

In potentially the senior’s last race, she ran the 6,000-meter course in 22 minutes, 39.7 seconds just a second off her season best.

“Really proud of how Holly ran today,” said coach Joe Dunham. “She’s still waiting to find out whether or not if she will qualify for nationals. If five teams from our region go to nationals, she will go as an individual but regardless I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Carleton College (Minn.) won the regional with 48 points and Nebraska Wesleyan finished runner-up with 103 points while Central tallied 434 points.

Senior Evie Kammeyer (Urbandale) ran a career race in her final collegiate race, finishing in 23:27.9, good for 50th.

Running in her home state, sophomore Lauren Moll (Faribault, Minn.) placed 80th with a career best 24:08 time.

“Lauren ran a really good race today as well,” said Dunham. “She ran a personal best and has us really excited for her to continue to grow during track season.”

Junior Jenna Murray (Grandview, Louisa-Muscatine HS) was fourth for the Dutch finishing with a career best 25:31.8 and placing 138th.

Sophomores Ashley Meldrum (Cambridge, Ballard HS) and Savanna Henning (Ankeny, Centennial HS) also ran their best times in their short careers Saturday. Meldrum ran 25:46.7, placing 145th and Henning ran 25:50.2, finishing 150th.

Freshman Sarah Roberts (Lake in the Hills, Ill., Huntley HS) continued the trend of personal records, placing 165th with a career best 26:23.3.

There’s plenty of optimism for the program with five of its seven regional runners returning next season. Also returning will be junior Rachel Peter (Prairie City, PCM HS), who was Central’s top runner in the 2016 regional but missed most of the 2017 campaign due to injury.

“I’m extremely excited about our women’s program,” said Dunham. “I feel like we are trending in the right direction and will continue to work to improve.”

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