Two points is usually not a very big deal. One person finishing two places higher wouldn’t seem like it would make that much of a difference in the outcome of a season. It did last Saturday as the Viking women challenged St. Norbert to the end, but eventually fell 64-66 for the Conference Championship meet held at Lake Forest. Star Courtney Miller came in second overall, leading the Vikings, with Colleen Detjens and Rachel Lucas finishing ninth and 12th respectively to earn all conference honors.While Lawrence claimed both the 21st and 22nd positions through Jess Moser and Kelly Scheer, St. Norbert just outdid them by taking 19th and 20th. The two points the Vikings needed to claim the championship were there, but those crucial points just managed to slip through their grasp. Rounding out the Viking team was Jamie Marincic in 43rd and Katie Kraemer in 47th.
With seniors Courtney Miller and Jess Moser absent next year, the Vikings will turn to the young blood to produce the results. Luckily, Scheer and Marincic have one more year left, while Lucas has two and Detjens produced amazing results throughout the season and is only a freshman.
With regionals approaching the weekend of the 15th and 16th, the Viking seniors will have one last chance to shine. Along with Miller and Moser, the Vikings will begin next year without Allie Dietsche, Lura Strasser and Dana Thuecks.
The men finished a disappointing ninth with 183 points. Grinnell claimed the championship with an incredible 27 points will all five scorers finishing in the top ten. Viking Paul Schonfeld was the only Lawrence runner to crack the top 15 as he finished in 26:51 for 14th place. David Quinlan was the second Viking to cross the finish line and did so in 27:39 to put him in 26th place overall.
Freshman Phil Keith had a rather rough time at conference. Accustomed to finishing right alongside Schonfeld, Keith was perhaps hampered by missing two previous meets and only managed a 38th place finish. Mitch Goodman (46th) and Pat Breese (59th) rounded out the scoring for the men.
With Schonfeld and Keith both returning next year, the men’s squad will have the talent and experience needed to vie for the top of the conference. If a number of talented freshmen can be brought in by first year coach Lee Watson, they should be able to enjoy a successful season.