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At the Iowa Mennonite School Early Bird meet teams never know what type of weather they’ll be running in, but last Tuesday it couldn’t have been nicer.
“This is probably the nicest day that it has ever been at this IMS meet so that was a good start to it right away. Everybody was feeling really positive and the times reflected that,” Highland coach Angie Strobel said.
The Highland girls cross country team placed fourth out of the 10 team field because of the pack of Huskies that came in nearly together. Taylor Sublette lead Highland with a 24:47 and Zoe Mahler, Madison Thormann and Fiona Mahler all followed her up within a minute.
“Taylor Sublette is a freshman and was our lead runner but all those girls were kind of a pack together and I feel like as a team they did well because they stayed packed,” Strobel said.
The Highland boys team finished 10th out of 10 with a lead time of 20:57 by Bryan Redlinger which was good for No. 35 overall.
The feel of a meet was all new for the Lone Tree boys team, which features five runners that haven’t participated in cross country before. They finished eighth of 10 with an average time of 21:42.
“All five of them are new so we have three freshman, a junior and a senior,” coach Caylon DeVaul said. “We didn’t know what to expect and they got eighth and have something to build on.”
He said they ran similar to practice time trials, which to DeVaul is positive because he didn’t know what to expect from a team of newcomers.
On the Lone Tree girls’ team Lone Tree placed sixth which was one spot behind their goal. The Lady Lions were led by Macie Bopp who turned in a 23:29, good for 16th place overall.
“The girls side did really well. It was exciting we were able to get Natalie Patterson back who was out (with an injury) off and on throughout the whole year last year,” DeVaul said.
He also said only seven places separated sixth from third place, so he’s happy with how they performed at the first meet.
“We don’t want to peak in August, that isn’t going to do us any good come districts in October,” DeVaul said. “It’s just a matter of when they really start getting in shape and when they get the feel for a race.”
The Iowa Mennonite boys were led by returning state-qualifier Levi Geyer who placed 17th overall with a 18:45. IMS coach Martin Gingerich said the meet was a good opener and much of the team saw improvement.
“We did well — not spectacular, but not terrible,” Gingerich said. “Some returning kids did really well and we saw some nice improvement there.”
The girls side was led by Sarena Gerber who ended up with a time of 25:46. IMS lost their top runner to injury after Mackenzie Gutierrez had to drop out with an ankle injury. Gingerich said after hurting her ankle on the first day of practice the injury has lingered.
IMS placed ninth in the boys varsity race and 10th in the girls race.
BOYS RESULTS (name, time, place)
Levi Geyer, 18:45, 17
Jacob Boller, 21:33, 43
Aaron Hershberger, 22:56, 55
Micah Miller, 23:19, 60
Jesse Slater, 24:33, 66
Gideon Sangare, 26:20, 69
Bryan Redlinger, 20:57, 35
Mason Manley, 22:15, 43
Jacob Roling, 24:09, 64
Luke VanSchoyck, 26:55, 70
Levi Schnoebelen, 27:30, 71
Cale Christofferson, 20:55, 33
Curtis Patterson, 21:07, 38
Alberto Cortes, 21:36, 44
Caleb Viers, 22:19, 51
Nick Saltzman, 22:32, 52
GIRLS RESULTS (name, time, place)
Sarena Gerber, 25:46, 34
Greta Schrag, 29:10, 51
Rachel Geyer, 29:32, 52
Meredith Blossom, 32:08, 61
Kennedy Roth, 32:22, 62
Ainsley Shaw, 32:32, 63
Taylor Sublette, 24:47, 22
Zoe Mahler, 24:57, 24
Madison Thomann, 25:14, 27
Fiona Mahler, 25:20, 29
Alli Brand, 26:15, 37
Kate McFarland, 30:02, 53
Macie Bopp, 23:29, 16
Sydney Alt, 24:34, 21
Natalie Patterson, 24:57, 25
Maddie Jacque, 26:26, 41
Emily Feldman, 27:28, 45