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Four area runners earned themselves All-Conference honors at the Southeast Iowa Super Conference cross country meet at Cedar Crest Country Club in Columbus Junction last Thursday.
Highland’s Madison Thomann, Iowa Mennonite’s Leah Bontrager, Lone Tree’s Macie Bopp and Iowa Mennonite’s Brian Nchoe all finished in the top 15 of the conference meet last week.
For Nchoe, an exchange student at Iowa Mennonite from Narok, Kenya, the finish has shown his rise and improvement from the moment he arrived at Iowa Mennonite. Nchoe said this year is his first time being part of any organized running and he’s enjoyed the team atmosphere.
“It’s fun and my first time being with a coach; it’s really encouraging being with everyone,” Nchoe said.
Nchoe has seen a 95-second improvement in his times from the beginning of the season and finished 10th at the meet with a time of 18:36.
The rest of the Iowa Mennonite squad including John Hughes, Jacob Boller, Noah Miller, Aaron Hershberger and Collin Miller helped the team to a sixth place finish out of 14 teams overall.
The race was the first sub-20 effort for Hughes at 19:42 and Noah Miller ran his first race in three meets due to an injury and ran a 20:26.
Lone Tree’s Macie Bopp was all-conference for the third consecutive year and finished in 11th place. She said being able to repeat again puts her in the right headspace heading into the district qualifying meet.
“I haven’t run here since eighth grade, so I didn’t have a time to go off of,” Bopp said. “It probably helped because I didn’t really have anything in my mind of what time I needed, but I knew place-wise what I needed to do.”
Lone Tree’s Natalie Patterson finished 31st with a time of 24:03.
Highland’s Madison Thomann finished in seventh place with a time of 21:34 to take an All-Conference spot for the first time. She said it was nice to make it clear this year she was an All-Conference selection. Due to a mixup near the finish line last year Thomann missed out on a spot by one place after initially being given 15th.
The Highland girls finished fifth of 10 total teams at the conference meet. Taylor Sublette was No. 2 for the Huskies with a time of 22:47 and 20th place. Fiona Mahler, Alli Brand and Kylie Wood finished out the scoring lineup and Kate McFarland also ran varsity for the race.
Wood had a busy Thursday as the Highland senior ran at the conference meet, her second meet this season, then drove back to Highland High School to celebrate senior night with the volleyball team as the team’s setter.
Iowa Mennonite’s Leah Bontrager, a freshman, finished in 10th place with a season-best time of 22:16.
The IMS girls finished eighth of 10 teams with Bontrager, Sarena Gerber, Esther Hughes, Julia Boller and Ainsley Shaw being in the varsity lineup. Hughes, a freshman, ran a season best 24:32 and improved on her time by 49 seconds.
The Highland boys were led by Jacob Roling in 20:14 and 38th place, but did not score as a team.
Alberto Cortes led the Lone Tree boys in 23rd place and a time of 19:27. Nick Saltzman, Cale Christofferson, Adam Knock, Kyle Zaruba and Caleb Viers also competed for Lone Tree.
The teams will have one more meet, running at Mediapolis HIgh School, before the state qualifying meets on Oct. 18.
Iowa Mennonite boys:
10, Brian Nchoe, 18:36
28, John Hughes, 19:42
37, Jacob Boller, 20:04
43, Noah Miller, 20:26
66, Aaron Hershberger, 21:42
92, Collin Miller, 24:20
Iowa Mennonite girls:
10, Leah Bontrager, 22:16
25, Sarena Gerber, 23:33
35, Esther Hughes, 24:32
61, Julia Boller, 28:16
74, Ainsley Shaw, 38:34
38, Jacob Roling, 20:14
76, Noah Oriano: 22:52
85, Luke VanSchoyck, 23:36
7, Madison Thomann, 21:34
20, Taylor Sublette, 22:58
33, Fiona Mahler, 24:26
37, Alli Brand, 24:51
49, Kylie Wood, 26:38
72, Kate McFarland, 32:21
Lone Tree boys:
23, Alberto Cortes, 19:27
44, Nick Saltzman, 20:32
46, Cale Christofferson, 20:38
48, Adam Knock, 20:39
49, Kyle Zaruba, 20:40
72, Caleb Viers, 22:32
Lone Tree girls:
11, Macie Bopp, 22:18
31, Natalie Patterson, 24:03