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Lutz caps off cross-country career at UND

Park Rapids' Lydia Lutz capped off her collegiate career by running in the final four meets while Park Rapids' Megan Olson began her collegiate running career by competing in the first three meets for the University of North Dakota women's cross-...

Park Rapids' Lydia Lutz capped off her collegiate career by running in the final four meets while Park Rapids' Megan Olson began her collegiate running career by competing in the first three meets for the University of North Dakota women's cross-country team.

Lutz was UND's No. 2 runner at the Big Sky Conference Championships Oct. 28 at Moscow, Idaho with a 5K time of 19:26. The Fighting Hawks finished 12th as a team with 313 points. Northern Arizona won the conference title with 48 points.

In her final collegiate cross-country meet, Lutz was UND's No. 6 runner at the NCAA Division I Midwest Region Championships Nov. 11 at Iowa City, Iowa with a 6K time of 24:13. Lutz finished No. 217 out of 235 individuals. UND finished 31st out of 33 teams with 865 points. Missouri won the team title with 83 points.

Olson made her collegiate debut as UND lost a pair of dual meets to North Dakota State University (15-45) and South Dakota State University (27-28) Sept. 2 at the Bison Open. Olson was UND's No. 10 runner with a 4K time of 17:40 for 34th place overall.

At the Montana State Invitational on Sept. 17, Olson finished 105th overall as the Fighting Hawks' No. 11 runner with a 3-mile time of 20:58. UND finished 19th as a team with 259 points while Utah took first with 49 points.

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Lutz made her season debut at the SDSU Classic on Oct. 1 by placing 13th overall in 19:42 as UND's No. 5 runner. Olson covered the 5K course in 21:39 for 24th place overall as UND's No. 11 runner. SDSU defeated UND 18-38 in that dual meet.

At the UND Classic on Oct. 15, NDSU defeated the Fighting Hawks 15-58. Lutz, who was one of the Fighting Hawks' senior co-captains this season, was UND's No. 4 runner with a 5K time of 19:27 for 13th place overall.

"Lydia had a huge impact on the program in many ways. She struggled with injuries the last year and only was able to train for about half the season, which set her back. When she was full to go, Lydia had a huge impact on the ability of our team to be competitive," said UND head coach Dick Clay. "Her presence on the team was extremely valuable. She was a cross-country team captain both her junior and senior years. If she had not been sidelined, I am confident that her progression as a runner would have been at a much higher level. Even with her limited training this year, her impact was felt, especially at the conference meet. It was just unfortunate that she was not able to train effectively because I have little doubt that she would have been a frontrunner for us this year."

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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