Caleb Silver

Caleb Silver rallied for 13th place at the league meet Saturday

DECORAH — Central College’s Caleb Silver (junior, Conrad, BCLUW HS) earned American Rivers all-conference distinction at the league men’s cross country championships Saturday.

Silver was 13th individually in 25:53.86 on the 8,000-meter Luther College course after placing 20th in last year’s league meet and 18th in 2019. The top 15 runners receive all-league distinction.

However, the Dutch gave up too much ground early in the race and finished fifth in the team standings for the second straight year. Wartburg College, the top-ranked team in the NCAA Division III, coasted to the title with 20 points. Loras College followed with 58, Simpson College had 80, Luther College had 110 and Central finished with 134. Nebraska Wesleyan University was sixth in the nine-team meet with 181.

“It was a disappointing day,” coach Joe Dunham said. “We just didn’t stick to our normal game plan and we kind of paid for it. It wasn’t from a lack of effort. They were trying their best but we just got out a little too slow and couldn’t recover from it.”

Silver rallied, however.

“He put together a pretty good second half,” Dunham said. “He had a lot to make up. But he was able fight through it and still get all-conference. I think that shows he’s ready to really fast fast. He’s just got to stick to his game plan and we’ll do that in two weeks (at the Nov. 13 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional).

Will DeHaan (senior, DeWitt, Central DeWitt HS), an all-conference honoree a year ago, was 20th at 26:04.8 with Noah Jorgenson (sophomore, Sidney) 40th (26:46.9), Adam Sylvia (junior, Rochester, Mass., Old Rochester HS) 43rd (26:54.6:00.4), Thatcher Krob (senior, Lisbon) 55th (27:04.4), Randy Jimenez (freshman, Liberty Center, Southeast Warren HS) 56th (27:08.9) and Easton Sabala (senior, Wheatland, Mo., Hermitage HS) was 59th (27:12.7).

Central travels to Rock Island, Illinois for the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships Nov. 12 at Saukie Golf Course. The men’s race starts at 11 a.m. Under the new regional alignment, American Rivers schools are grouped with College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Conference competition along with others, including Washington University in St. Louis. The regional meet determines qualifiers for the NCAA Division III Championships Nov. 20 in Louisville, Kentucky.

“We know we’ve got a better race in us that what we showed today and I’m excited for that to happen in two weeks at the regional,” Dunham said.

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