Waukee, A-D-M and Dallas Center-Grimes will all be represented at Saturday’s state cross country meet in Fort Dodge.
The Waukee boys qualified with a second-place finish at their meet in Council Bluffs on Oct. 24, while the Warrior girls earned a return trip with a third-place finish.
Ryan Tunink won the individual title for the boys with a time of 15 minutes, 52 seconds, followed by Austin Krohnke (fifth in 16:02), Brennan Borgestad (10th in 16:18), Noah Larrison (11th in 16:20) and Mohad Awan (14th in 16:34). That gave Waukee a team score of 41, but top-ranked Johnston — with five of the top eight spots — scored a 26 to win the team title.
Also running were Kevin Kato (17th) and Michael Fellers (21st).
“We ran well,” coach Josh Maxwell said. “We bounced back well from a tough race last week and fought hard. We look forward to competing against the state’s best at Fort Dodge.”
The Waukee girls were edged by just one point for second place. Johnston won with a score of 33, Des Moines Roosevelt was second with a 43 and the Warriors grabbed the final team spot with a 44.
Rachel Brush (15:13), Jordan Allen (15:23) and Erika Lewis (15:32) finished fourth, sixth and seventh to lead the Warriors. Kayla Sabotin was 13th in 15:54, and Maddie Anderson finished 14th in 15:57. Jenny Brown was 17th, and Maggie Laird was 18th.
The girls’ team has qualified for nine consecutive state meets, meaning this year’s seniors were in fourth grade when the streak began.
Dallas Center-Grimes also qualified both teams out of a meet in Winterset the same day. The Mustangs claimed a second-place finish for their first trip to state since 2010, while the Fillies logged a third-place finish for the fourth consecutive trip to state.
Freshmen Carsen Kurth (15th, 17:47) and Jared Bravard (17th, 17:53) led the way for the Mustangs. Chad Connelly was 18th in 17:55, Nick Smith was 22nd in 17:59 and Colin Martin was 24th in 18:06. Austin Goode and Jacob Cline were 26th and 27th.
“We knew if we ran our best race we could get in the top three and make it,” coach Ben Duea said. “We were led by two of the top freshmen in Class 3A, Carsen Kurth and Jared Bravard. They really were determined to get this team to state. They are special young athletes that have a bright future in this sport.”
The Fillies were led by senior Madison Waymire, a three-time state medalist who finished third in 14:58. She was followed by Emma Bravard (18th in 15:51), Sydnee Hendricks (20th in 16:09), Jessica Pugh (24th in 16:17) and Brooke Jacobsen (32nd in 16:37). Jaymie Block finished 55th, and Maci Masching was 57th.
The team was without Kirsten Lundy, who was sidelined by sickness.
“I think the pressure of the whole situation caused us to not run as well as a team as I thought we might be able to,” coach Justin Droppert said. “Jessica and Emma really stepped up though and had great races for us.”
Both DC-G squads head to state without a burden of high expectations.
“We know that we can run better, and with us not being ranked, no one is expecting us to do well, so we just want to go out there and represent ourselves as well as we can,” Droppert said. “We are just looking to end the year with our best races from everyone, and see where that puts us.”
Duea hopes this is the start of a regular appearance at state for the DC-G boys, along the lines of the girls’ streak.
“Our guys just want to go out and experience the state meet,” he said. “We are such a young team so we aren’t really worried about where we finish as a team. We just want to go out and be loose and run fast times.
“Most importantly, our kids hope to establish a tradition of finishing the season in Fort Dodge for many years to come.”
A-D-M will have two individual qualifiers in Joshua Berger and Brianna Mueller. Berger locked a ticket to state with a fifth-place finish in 17:20.
“He really showed a lot of stamina that he can attribute to the summer training he put in this year,” A-D-M coach David Zwank said. “I knew he would have a better year this year as a result, but this opportunity is a wonderful way to accentuate the way that pre-season training is beneficial.”
Mueller, a sophomore, nabbed her first state bid with a sixth-place finish in 15:11. She was sick around the time of the qualifying meet last year that kept her out of the qualifiers.
“A pretty consistent performance from meet to meet, with steady improvement and growth,” Zwank said of Mueller. “I felt like she was capable of being a state qualifier last year had she stayed healthy, so it’s nice to see her get there this year.”
The A-D-M boys finished eighth in the team standings. Kyle Ferguson was 36th in 18:29, followed by Scott Clabough (39th in 18:31), Trevor Danner (39th in 18:32) and Luke Huen (47th in 18:49). Trevor Harsh (57th) and Mark Sinnwell (59th) rounded out the lineup.
The A-D-M girls were 11th. Following Mueller were Jessica Gard (61st in 17:34), Danielle James (63rd in 17:41), Jenny Wicks (69th in 18:04) and Hannah Taylor (71st in 18:09). Erin Person finished 77th.
“My goal is always to try to get the best race out of the runners at the end of the season,” Zwank said.
In Class 1A, the Van Meter boys finished 10th in a crowded field at Eagle Grove. Austin Dunbar, a two-time state qualifier, fell short of a third trip to state after a 19th-place finish in 17:56. James Orf was 37th in 18:42, David Brangoccio was 62nd in 19:29, Michael Kinley was 69th in 19:47 and Ty Thomas was 77th in 20:01. Rounding out the lineup were Will Seiler, who was 85th, and John Maher, who was 94th.
The Van Meter girls finished 15th. Sarah Koch was 33rd in 18:14, Maddie Allen was 98th in 20:59, Emma Skahill was 113th in 22:55, Grace Seiler was 115th in 23:42 and Jennifer Banks was 119th in 25:32. Melinda Davis finished 120th.
The Class 4A girls’ race begins the day on Saturday at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course, with a start time set for 11 a.m. The boys’ 4A race follows at 11:30, the girls’ 3A race is at noon and the boys’ 3A race at 12:30.