Yesterday was state-quaifying cross country across the state of Iowa, and our area teams were in three different locations but still represented the Top of Iowa Conference well.
Let’s start first with Class 2A runners in Orange City. The Forest City boys never had a dominating runner this year but ran as a pack to qualify for state as a team.
That’s Forest City coach DJ Wolfram.
Lili Nelson has steadily been one of the best female runners in the area for years, and she is off to her third state meet with a seventh-place finish.
Now, across the state in Oelwein, the GHV boys are off to state with a third-place finish. The Cardinals were led by Connor Hammitt, who finished third, and Zach Flatebo, who finished fifth.
Manly hosted the Class 1A teams last night, and the big highlight was the Lake Mills boys qualifying for the first time in school history and the North Iowa girls punching their tickets.
The Lake Mills boys were led by conference champion Justin Rygh who finished second to Newman Catholic’s Ryan Kelly. Kelly won the meet with a time of 16:23.27, while Rygh finished in 16:24.60. Knute Rogne also ran well for the Bulldogs; he finished in sixth with a time of 17:21.31.
The North Iowa girls have run well all season and came up just short of a conference championship. Now, they’re going to Fort Dodge to run at state. The Bison were led by freshman Lauren Hillesland who finished seventh in a time of 20:20.15, while her teammate Becca Hofmann finished eighth in 20:36.37.
The Top of Iowa Conference is no joke, says Wolfram:
Full list of area qualifiers:
Forest City 117 at Unity Christian
17th Ethan Johnson
23rd Silas Gann
24th Ethan Bertram
26th Parker Sharp
27th Josiah Welch
28th Jadyn Welch
35th Carson Strukel
GHV – 69 at Oelwein
3rd Connor Hammitt
5th Zach Flatebo
16th Bronson Buitenwerf
21st Scylar Schulze
24th Jonah Pringnitz
51st Caleb Good
Lilian Nelson, Forest City 7th 20:39.3 – third time
(All area teams in Manly)
Lake Mills – 69 – First Time in School History
2nd Justin Rygh
6th Knute Rogne
15th Kade Van Roekel
22nd Hayden Thompson
27th Stephen Brandenburg
37th Lucas Oldenkamp
50th Alejandro Vazquezez-Perez
Gavin Grunhovd, North Iowa 4th 17:00.76
Isaac Swenson, Belmond-Klemme 7th 17:21.95
North Iowa – 80
7th Lauren Hillesland
8th Becca Hofmann
17th Ava Meinders
21st Miriam Beenken
53rd Elizabeth Beenken
75th Alyssa Olson
Claire Rye, Central Springs 9th 20:37.53