Local runners race at state cross country meet
FORT DODGE — Five local individuals competed at the Iowa High School Cross Country Championships held at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course on Friday and Saturday.
Two boys competed in the 1A race on Friday morning. MMCRU’s Kaden Galles completed the race in a time of 17:12.96 which placed him 26th overall in the field. He entered the state meet ranked No. 29 by the IATC, so he finished a few spots ahead of his ranking.
Galles, a junior, was making a return trip to the state meet. He finished 29th last year with a time of 17:33.72.
Galles stayed in the same range for most of the race. He was 23rd after the first mile split which he ran in 5:18.97. He dropped to 27th by the end of the second mile before passing one individual in the last mile-plus to finish 26th.
Hinton’s Zach Sypersma concluded the course in a time of 18:07.30. The senior concluded his high school cross country career by placing 79th in the field. He picked up a few spots during the race. After the first mile he was 84th with a time of 5:36.30. He gained one spot by the end of the second mile and picked off a few more runners down the stretch.
Landon Bendgen of Woodbine was the state individual champion in 1A. The junior finished in a time of 15:58.11 to lead the 154 runner field. He was about 15 seconds ahead of the runner-up time. Bendgen’s first place finish helped Woodbine to a third place team finish. Iowa City Regina and ACGC took the top two spots in the team scoring.
Rachel Putze of Woodbury Central/Kingsley-Pierson competed in the 2A girls race on Friday afternoon. The freshman finished in a time of 20:21.87 to place 22nd in the field. Putze was in contention for a medal after the first mile as she was 15th with a 6:08.16 opening mile split. She slipped five spots by the end of the second mile and another two by the end of the race. Putze entered state ranked No. 20 by the IATC.
Mid-Prairie junior Danielle Hostetler won the 2A race for the third time. She finished in a time of 18:41.64, not quite as good as her winning time of 18:27.23 last fall. Her time was the only one under the 19-minute mark as she won by a gap of 20 seconds over second place. A total of 140 runners started the race with 137 finishing.
Van Meter edged out the team title by two points over Williamsburg. Monticello placed third.
A pair of Le Mars Community runners took to the course on Saturday morning. In the 3A girls race, freshman Makenzie DeRocher represented the Bulldogs. She completed the course in 20:53.80 to finish 66th. She finished strong, overtaking several competitors, as she went from 83rd place at the end of two miles to 66th at the finish line.
Ballard’s Paityn Noe broke the state record with a time of 16:48.58. She was over a minute and a half faster than the next-best time in the field of 136 runners. The winning time helped Ballard to a second place team finish. Pella won the state title while Solon was third.
In the boys race, junior Trace Obbink represented the Bulldogs. He finished in a time of 17:14.95 to place 44th. He was also 44th after the first mile with an opening split of 5:10.87. He moved up five places by the end of the second mile before settling back to the 44th place spot by the end of the race.
Winning the race in a time of 15:32.43 was Ethan Eichhorn of Lewis Central. He edged out first place by just under two seconds, the closest of all of the races over the course of the two-day event. There were 131 competitors in the race.
Pella swept the 3A team titles by adding the boys title shortly after taking the girls first place trophy. Marion earned second place while North Polk claimed third.