The Ottumwa Courier


October 31, 2012

Pekin girls second, D.C. girls seventh at state cross country

FORT DODGE — In the past five years, only one team has been able to keep the Pekin girls from bringing home a state cross-country title. None of those teams competed in Class 1A.

Until Saturday.

That Panther girls bid for a third straight state championship and fourth crown in the past five years came up 16 points short on Saturday. Top-ranked Griswold edged Pekin with 86 points in the Class 1A girls state meet, the first time in the Panthers’ five straight trips to Fort Dodge a team has kept Davis Eidahl’s squad from winning a 1A crown.

Griswold made it a clean sweep of the girls team and individual state titles on Saturday afternoon at the Lakeview Golf Course at Kennedy Park. Sophomore Rebekah Topham opened an early lead of Sibley-Ocheyedan junior Leah Seivert and never looked back, winning by 10 seconds in a winning time of 14:05.

“Class 1A was probably as tough as any class,” Eidahl said. “Either of our times or scores probably could have contended to win the 2A state meet. Griswold’s been the top team all season, but I wasn’t about to tell our girls that.”

“The girls were dead set on winning it. We had the same routine of the past five years. We had some really good times. Our girls have really come through this season when it counted.”

Pekin’s Gwynne Wright was the top freshman finisher in the girls 1A state race. Wright, who entered the day rated fourth, finished fourth in a time of 14:39. The Panthers had four freshman, Taylor Lock, Sloan Reighard and Peyton Lock, that ran on Saturday which figures to make Pekin a state favorite next year with Griswold losing three seniors.

“The girls were pretty disappointed until they got on the bus and realized what they’ve accomplished in the last five years,” Eidahl said. “The neat thing is, we’ve had one completely different group of kids that started this run and now we have this group that is continuing the tradition.”

“Our girls had the attitude after Saturday of ‘watch out for next year.’ They fully expect to win a state title again next year.”

Pekin’s lone senior, Maleaha Earnest, finished 23rd in a time of 15:39 in her final race for the Panthers. The Panthers figure to have several familiar faces running at state next year as another freshman, Austin Fariss, finished 30th in his first run in the Class 1A state boys meet in a time of 17:20.

“Austin probably ran as well as he did all year,” Eidahl said. “It’s tough running up at state as freshman, but it’s even tougher when you’re running by yourself. We’ve got some great middle schoolers that are coming up next year, so hopefully Austin will have some company next season.”

Area girls teams went two for two in top-ten finishes at the state cross-country meet Saturday. While Pekin finished second in 1A, 14th-ranked Davis County turned the program’s first-ever return trip to state into their best finish as the Mustangs scored a seventh-place finish with 178 points.

“This was an awesome experience for Davis County cross-country,” Mustang head coach Josh Husted said. “I couldn’t be happier as a coach. This has been a great season and experience for everyone involved in the effort.”

Senior Chandra Smith saved her best run at state for her third and final run, finishing in third place, in a time of 15:11. Smith also saved her best run for the final split, running a winning time of 6:23, holding off Unity Christian Cassidy DeJong for the top-three finish.

“She hit that top sprint gear and didn’t look back,” Husted said of Smith. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a runner sprint like that after such a long run. Her finish was the second-best finish in school history and she broke the previous school course record by over 30 seconds.”

Freshman Zach Hougland finished 87th as the lone Mustang boys state qualifier, finishing the 2A boys race in a time of 18:01.

“Zach gained great experience as a freshman,” Husted said. “I fully expect him to be a top contender in the future and have a team qualify with him next season.”

Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont senior Christopher Welch finished 30th in the race in a time of 16:58 in his final run for the Rockets.

The Albia boys finished their season 14th in the state after scoring 289 points as a team in the Class 2A boys race Saturday. Sophomore Colton Dorpinghaus came home in 15th place to lead the Blue Demons in a time of 16:32 for Todd Ratliff’s 13th-ranked squad.

Freshman Michelle Manser finished 44th as the lone qualifier from the Albia girls, finishing her first state 2A girls race in a time of 16:19.

Several area runners competed in both the boys and girls state races in Class 3A. The Oskaloosa boys got a 31st-place run from Skyler DeJong (16:44) and a 63rd-place run from Spencer DeJong (17:16) in the boys race while Bailey Blythe finished 43rd in the girls race in a time of 15:53. All three runners will return for the Indians’ next season.

Centerville senior Payton Busch finished 37th in his final run at the state boys meet in Class 3A with a time of 16:56. Sophomore Cassidy Schacher, running her first state 3A girls meet on Saturday, finished 75th for the Redettes in a time of 16:21.

Fairfield’s lone qualifier, Jessica Lamb, finished 38th in the Class 3A girls race. The senior capped her Trojan career with a run of 15:46 on Saturday in Fort Dodge.

Iowa High School State Cross-Country Meet

At Kennedy Park, Fort Dodge



Team scoring — 1. Decorah 62, 2. Pella 74, 3. Charles City 160, 4. Boone 165, 5. Shenandoah-Essex 194, 6. Knoxville 195, 7. Sioux City Bishop Heelan 205, 8. Fort Madison 206, 9. Grinnell 223, 10. Mount Vernon-Lisbon 224, 11. Cedar Rapids Xavier 250, 12. Ballard 263, 13. Vinton-Shellsburg 288, 14. Spencer 296, 15. Garner-Hayfield/Ventura 306.

Top Ten — 1. Chandler Austin (Boone) 15:24, 2. Albert Meier (Boone) 15:35, 3. Wick Cunningham (Knoxville) 15:40, 4. Isaac Steffensmeier (Fort Madison) 15:50, 5. Kyle Hosting (Decorah) 16:02, 6. Evan Jones (Pella) 16:04, 7. Jacob Day (Charles City) 16:06, 8. Alec DeVries (Heelan) 16:07, 9. Austin Springsteen (MVL) 16:07, 10. Patrick Larson (Decorah) 16:07.

Centerville Runners — 37. Payton Busch 16:56.

Oskaloosa Runners — 31. Skylar DeJong 16:44, 63. Spencer DeJong 17:16.


Team scoring — 1. Decorah 63, 2. MOC-Floyd Valley 85, 3. Davenport Assumption 93, 4. Solon 151, 5. Harlan 153, 6. Dubuque Walhert 168, 7. Pella 194, 8. Dallas Center-Grimes 210, 9. Grinnell 212, 10. Sioux City Bishop Heelan 223, 11. Fort Madison 235, 12. Williamsburg 277, 13. Shenandoah-Essex 328, 14. Cresco Crestwood 363, 15. Spencer 376.

Top Ten — 1. Anna Holdiman (WSR) 13:51, 2. Lauren Benzing (Solon) 14:30, 3. Bethany Dykstra (MOCFV) 14:31, 4. Madison Waymire (DCG) 14:34, 5. Kenzie Theisen (LeMars) 14:40, 6. Sarah Steffensmeier (FM) 14:55, 7. Sam Larson (Humboldt) 14:58, 8. Abby Kohut-Jackson (Ballard) 15:01, 9. Lily Horst (Vinton-Shellsburg) 15:01, 10. Elizabeth Mallon (Assumption) 15:02.

Centerville Runners — 75. Cassidy Schacher 16:21.

Fairfield Runners — 38. Jessica Lamb 15:46.

Oskaloosa Runners — 43. Bailey Blythe 15:53


Team scoring — 1. Monticello 52, 2. North Polk 132, 3. Gilbert 134, 4. Tipton 161, 5. Fort Dodge St. Edmond 185, 6. Center Point-Urbana 185, 7. Spirit Lake 195, 8. Osage 198, 9. Milford Okoboji 222, 10. Iowa City Regina 224, 11. Western Christian 227, 12. Mid-Prairie 276, 13. East Marshall 284, 14. Albia 289, 15. South Central Calhoun 293.

Top Ten — 1. Will Norris (Spirit Lake) 15:25, 2. Thomas Pollard (Gilbert) 15:36, 3. Michael Melchert (Monticello) 15:46, 4. Wesley Greder (Gilbert) 15:46, 5. Josh Yeager (CPU) 16:04, 6. Eric Lenz (Tipton) 16:05, 7. Seth Reel (FDSE) 16:06, 8. Nick Meyers (Monticello) 16:10, 9. Brennan Bogert (Regina) 16:10, 10. J.J. Frawley (Monticello) 16:12.

Albia Runners — 15. Colton Dorpinghaus 16:32, 59. Mason Cox 17:29, 74. J.D. Anderson 17:45, 103. Tyler Pasut 18:19, 111. Aaron Ambrose 18:53, 112. Marcos Ferryera 18:40, 122. Tyler Beary 19:52.

Davis County Runners — 87. Zach Hougland 18:01.

Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Runners — 30. Christopher Welch 16:58.


Team scoring — 1. Unity Christian 97, 2. Northeast 124, 3. Western Dubuque 158, 4. Monticello 160, 5. Gilbert 174, 6. North Fayette 175, 7. Davis County 178, 8. Western Christian 189, 9. North Polk 205, 10. Mediapolis 215, 11. Roland Story 218, 12. Spirit Lake 227, 13. CMB 233, 14. South Hamilton 289, 15. Panorama 347.

Top Ten — 1. Cassandra Stuflick (Danville/New London) 14:54, 2. Mariah Kauder (Western Dubuque) 15:09, 3. Chandra Smith (Davis County) 15:11, 4. Kassidy DeJong (Unity Christian) 15:11, 5. Kylie Kelchen (Western Dubuque) 15:12, 6. Sybbie Sears (North Polk) 15:22, 7. Erkia Douma (Western Christian) 15:25, 8. Paige Gibson (North Fayette) 15:27, 9. Kaitlynn Riley (Northeast) 15:29, 10. Ellen Schlarmann (Monticello) 15:31.

Albia Runners — 44. Michelle Manser 16:19.

Davis County Runners — 3. Smith 15:11, 27. Addie McKee 16:04, 45. Ally McClure 16:21, 71. Marissa Hamburg 16:51, 97. Maggie Hougland 17:30, 99. Kalleigh Tharp 17:38, 109. Sydney Spargur 18:04.


Team scoring — 1. Council Bluffs St. Albert 68, 2. Denver 84, 3. Oakland Riverside 158, 4. Wilton 179, 5. Hull Trinity Christian 187, 6. Hudson 188, 7. Highland 197, 8. Dike-New Hartford 202, 9. Bellevue Marquette 210, 10. West Lyon 214, 11. Woodward Academy 237, 12. BCLUW 240, 13. Central Elkader 255, 14. Alta-Aurelia 274, 15. Logan-Magnolia 320.

Top Ten — 1. Joseh Sindelar (CBSA) 16:15, 2. John Crew (DNH) 16:26, 3. Ben Friederichs (Durant) 16:29, 4. Kyle Kehoe (Denver) 16:30, 5. Zach Marpe (Lake Mills) 16:31, 6. Micah Bajema (West Lyon) 16:42, 7. Scott Theulen (CBSA) 16:43, 8. Jason McVay (Alburnett) 16:44, 9. Andrew Meyer (Bellevue) 16:45, 10. Slater Marshall (Durant) 16:45.

Pekin Runners — 30. Austin Fariss 17:20.


Team scoring — 1. Griswold 86, 2. Pekin 102, 3. Central Elkader 151, 4. Earlham 161, 5. Dike-New Hartford 172, 6. Denver 180, 7. Bellevue Marquette 183, 8. Tri-Center 187, 9. Durant 229, 10. Lynnville-Sully 232, 11. Algona Bishop Garrigan 242, 12. Prairie Valley 245, 13. North Linn 256, 14. Underwood 281, 15. Eagle Grove 301.

Top Ten — 1. Rebekah Topham (Griswold) 14:05, 2. Leah Seivert (Sibley-Ocheyedan) 14:15, 3. Tiffany Christensen (Eagle Grove) 14:29, 4. Gwynne Wright (Pekin) 14:39, 5. Kelsey Kirchoff (Denver) 14:51, 6. Jordyn Sindt (Griswold) 14:54, 7. Jasmine Staebler (Clayton Ridge) 14:56, 8. Emily Campbell (North Butler) 14:58, 9. Kari Fitzpatrick (Edgewood-Colesburg) 15:09, 10. Abi Watson (North Tama) 15:15.

Pekin Runners — 4. Wright 14:39, 23. Maleaha Earnest 15:39, 28. Taylor Lock 15:49, 48. Sloan Reighard 16:20, 58. Samantha Wright 16:33, 66. Peyton Lock 16:50, 76. Hannah Robison 17:05.

North Mahaska Runners — 50. Tressa Watts 16:21, 59. Megan Goemaat 16:33.


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