Dave Bohlken was the lone top-15 finisher for the LCHS cross country team, earning him All-Conference honors at the Lakes conference meet Tuesday, October 14.
Bohlken finished 10th in the varsity boys' race with a time of 15:48, enough to earn the All-Conference monicher but somewhat disappointing, considering earlier efforts in the season, according to boys' head coach Don Shilling.
"He hasn't ran for like three weeks. When you're sick and you're hurt and you miss a lot of meets, you're losing the competition," said Shilling. "I think that makes a big difference in how David came back and ran tonight. He just wasn't there like he was earlier because of that fact. You have to be in the meets and run the races in order to maintain your competitive edge.
"Don't get me wrong, he still had a nice race. Just that some of the kids that beat him today, he had been beating earlier in the year before he got sick and hurt."
As a team, the Bulldogs were also disappointed, finishing in eighth place-last among the complete varsity teams.
Hull Western Christian won the meet with 41 points, Spirit Lake was second with 75, Cherokee third with 83, Sheldon fourth with 115, Spencer fifth with 122, Storm Lake sixth with 131, Estherville seventh with 170 and the Bulldogs eighth with 177.
"That's disappointing," said Shilling. "We'd like to be in the top half and we didn't make it. We had some sophomores that ran and Sean Smalley is a first-year guy. Josh Kooistra has come into his own this year and he's doing very well, but we're quite young and we have a lot of inexperience. The kids showed improvement all year long-it's just that we didn't get there as fast as we wanted to."
Kooistra followed Dave Bohlken for the Bulldogs, finishing 32nd in 17:19. Dan Bohlken was 38th in 17:21, Aaron Albus was 47th in 17:50, Jared Ritz was 50th in 18:06, Sean Smalley was 51st in 18:17 and Adam Michaelson was 53rd in 18:20.
The Bulldogs will have one more opportunity to run before the district meet, traveling to Unity on Friday, October 17. Shilling says the Dave Bohlken, as well as the rest of the team, should benefit from the meet and the work they will do in practice heading into districts.
"We've got one more race to run on Friday night. (Dave) needs that one badly to get another competition under his belt, and then next week I think we're going to do a lot of competitive-type things as far as running intervals and time trials," said Shilling. "We're going to do some things that are going to put some stress on the guys that are going to run in the district meet."
Those runners will be the same seven that ran at conference, according to Shilling.
The JV boys faired about as well as the varsity, placing last out of the complete teams. Hull won the JV boys' meet as well, with 39. LCHS had 202 points.
It was a tight race for top Bulldog finisher, however, as Chris Larson, Jared Kruse and Jeorge Baack finished within a stride of one another. Larson edged Kruse and Baack to take 34th place overall in 19:17.3. Kruse was 35th in 19:17.8 and Baack was 36th in 19:18.2.
Mike Downing was next for Le Mars at 47th place in 19:54. Kyle Hoffman was 50th in 20:10, Brian Stelzer was 51st in 20:15, John Westhoff was 56th in 20:47, Matt Pick was 59th in 21:09, David Fischer was 63rd in 21:40, Dustin Petty was 64th in 21:56, Luke Adler was 65th in 22:05, David Hanson was 67th in 23:08, Mitch Kessenich was 70th in 23:32, Dan Kenowith was 72nd in 24:18 and Jared Hansen was 77th in 30:44.
The Lady Bulldogs ran the varsity race with a pack mentality, with all seven runners finishing within 17 seconds of one another. LCHS finished in seventh place with 177 points, with Sheldon winning the meet at 50 points.
Ashley Zenk was the leader of the pack, placing 32nd in 17:40. Heather Mangerson was 34th in 17:42, Jodi Hettwer was 36th in 17:50, Sam Hill was 37th in 17:53, Kelsey Driver was 38th in 17:54, Brianna Tonner was 39th in 17:56 and Kaity Tritz was 40th in 17:57.
"This was a very nice team effort," said Van Wyk. "I am extremely pleased with these times. To have them all under 18:00 puts us in a great spot to see more improvement at districts."
The JV girls ran an outstanding race, finishing in second behind Sheldon.
"I have been very pleased with how consistently the ninth and 10th graders have run," said Van Wyk.
Chelsey Ringsdorf finished second in the JV race in 18:17. Erica McDougall was third in 18:20, Jacki Weiler was eighth in 18:31, Tiffany Jelken was 10th in 18:33, Lynnae Rotta was 16th in 19:33, Amanda Arens was 17th in 19:35, Talia Chapman was 24th in 20:22, Holly Larson was 25th in 20:25, Jenny Stevenson was 37th in 21:44 and Elaine Young was 39th in 22:54.