Local cross country girls run at Gary Meyer Invitational
BRUNSVILLE — Girls from Le Mars Community, Gehlen Catholic and the Woodbury Central/Kingsley-Pierson cross country teams competed Tuesday at Prairie Rose Golf Club for the Gary Meyer Invitational.
Le Mars places eighth; Three Gehlen runners compete
The Le Mars girls finished eight out of 12 complete teams at the event. Head Coach Abby Mehlhaff said hot conditions coupled with some lingering fatigue from Saturday’s meet at Council Bluffs likely led to some slower times.
“I think it was a tough meet,” Mehlhaff said. “I think the heat got to them, but they definitely put up a tough race and they tried very hard.”
Senior Rebecca Hulinsky ran about 15 seconds slower than her time at the meet in 2021, but she actually finished higher on the individual leaderboard. Her time of 22:46.01 was good enough for 18th while she finished 30th last year.
“She ended strong, so that’s great,” Mehlhaff said. “She did a good race.”
Freshman MaKenzie DeRocher was next for the Bulldogs. She finished in a time of 23:46.53 as she nosed out MOC-Floyd Valley’s Sarah May by .16 of a second for the 33rd place time.
Kendal Hamerlinck provided the next time for the Bulldogs at 24:38.19 which was able to take the 41st place time, just inside the top half of the 84 runner field.
Sienna Kass was 51st with a time of 25:47.37 and Marilyn Roller completed the team score with a 63rd place time of 27:19.50. The final Le Mars runner was Abigail Tilberg who took 68th in 29:05.19.
Mehlhaff said the team will look to improve in some areas moving forward.
“We’re going to look more for building some hills and some stamina getting through that heat,” Mehlhaff said.
Gehlen Catholic had three girls compete in the varsity race. Leading the way for the team was Addison Arens. She finished 45th with a time of 25:07.14.
Danielle Tesch ended 64th in 28:17.39 and Samantha Zubrod clocked a time of 35:56.05 to finish 83rd.
WC-KP’s Putze follows in footsteps of siblings
WC-KP has had several members of the Putze family compete for them over the last several years. Rachel Putze is now following in the footsteps of her older siblings in competing at a high level for the team.
Suzanne made state four times and was twice a state medalist. Suzanne and twins Sarah and Mary were on the 2017 state team which placed third in Class 2A as Suzanne capped off her career with a ninth place individual finish. Sarah and Mary were on the repeat third place team the following season as well.
“I definitely always have a lot of support,” Putze said. “My family always comes and cheers me on. Very nice to keep the tradition alive.”
The freshman Putze is off to a good start in her high school career. She won at Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley and opened the season with a runner-up finish at Bishop Heelan. She is one of just two freshmen in the IATC’s individual Class 2A girls rankings, checking in at No. 17.
“It’s very different from middle school, but I’d say it’s a good different,” Putze said. “It’s always better to be with more competition and high school running.”
Putze and Spencer sophomore Peyton Morey, the No. 7 ranked girl in Class 3A, kept in close proximity for most of the race.
“It was the first time I’ve seen that team and a lot of these teams yet this season, so it was good to see some new competition and very good competition overall,” Putze said.
In the end, Morey came away with the win in a time of 21:02.28. Putze was second with a time of 21:10.41.
Next on the team to finish was CJ Hannah who was 54th in a time of 26:11.23. Lea Hodgins finished 65th with a time of 28:31.42. Joslyn Verschoor and Bailey Beelner completed the team scoring with back-to-back finishes for the 69th and 70th place spots. Verschoor ended in 29:42.45 while Beelner was just over a second behind that pace.
Hannah Koch (75th, 31:29.87) and Brianna Lux (80th, 33:46.99) were the final two runners for WC-KP.
The team ended ninth out of 12 complete teams in the final standings.
Team scores: Bishop Heelan 58, Spencer 75, Sioux Center 90, Unity Christian 108, Sioux City East 111, MOC-Floyd Valley 113, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 194, Le Mars 199, WC-KP 243, Sioux City West 268, Storm Lake 283, Ridge View 346. Incomplete teams- Gehlen Catholic, Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson, Siouxland Christian.