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Three area athletes finished in the top 15 at the Southeast Iowa Super Conference cross country meet last Thursday to earn all conference honors.
The lone boys finisher to do so was Levi Geyer from Iowa Mennonite School, who steadily passed runners as the race went on and finished in 5th place.
“My goal was to get top 15 so I could get all-conference and I’m trying to shoot for under 18 (minutes) at this point in the season,” Geyer said.
Geyer ran a different race than many of the competitors there as he was in the middle of the pack but he steadily climbed spots throughout the race and ended up finishing with energy.
Geyer said his strategy of keeping pace throughout the race to finish strong generally works in his favor. He finished with a time of 17:18 on a course that ran about 4.7k according to IMS coach Martin Gingerich.
On the girls side, Lone Tree’s Macie Bopp placed 10th with a time of 21:17. This is the second year the sophomore has been all-conference. Bopp said she started a bit nervous but as the race went on she got more confident.
“The beginning I was a little nervous still and just a little tight but overall pretty good. Coming into it I thought I would do okay,” Bopp said.
Bopp differs from Geyer in that she said she aims for a fast start and establishing her position early in the race.
“I wanted to go out fast because that’s generally how I make up time and we of course have some surge spots where you can pick it up,” Bopp said. “I basically just stayed with girls I knew was as fast as.”
Right behind her in 11th place was Taylor Sublette who ran a 21:19 and was the last local finisher to get all-conference. She said today felt different and she was able to push the pace without being tired until past the two-mile marker.
“I felt really good, I didn’t start feeling tired until around the last mile or so,” Sublette said. “Usually I tire out after the first mile and can’t push myself but this time I could.”
She said part of her goal was to stick with Bopp and that helped propel her and keep focused. Now that she has the conditioning to stick with Bopp, Sublette is hoping to beat Bopp in their upcoming meet.
Madison Thomann from Highland was originally awarded 15th place and the final all-conference spot but a timing mishap from host school Winfield-Mt. Union put her in 16th place and just one spot out.
Angela Strobel, Highland’s coach, said overall she felt the girls team placing fourth shows how much they’ve improved and stepped up.
“The girls were super competitive with those frontrunners, at the beginning of the season they weren’t really in the mix with the Pekin girls but today they were contenders,” she said.
Highland finished with 121 points and were 11 shy of third place Mediapolis.
The Lone Tree girls team finished in sixth place but coach Caylon DeVaul said that just shows how much the conference has improved in girls cross country. He said his team’s average time was faster than last year but they dropped from third place in 2016 to sixth in 2017.
“The kids ran really well, all of the boys PR’d and several of the girls PR’d and that’s what you want. They couldn’t have done anything else better (today), when you PR that’s what you can do,” DeVaul said.
The Iowa Mennonite girls were led by Sarena Gerber who finished in 29th place with a time of 22:35. The Iowa Mennonite girls team placed 11th overall.
On the boys side Lone Tree was the top local finisher with an 11th place finish. They were led by Alberto Cortes with a 32nd place 18:49.
DeVaul said this year has been great because last year they only had one boy running varsity so being able to score as a team is great.
“We have three freshman under 20 which is great for us, and it’s great to have a team,” he said.
Iowa Mennonite was 12th place overall and led by Geyer. Highland placed 14th and was led by Bryan Redlinger Bryan Redlinger who ran a 19:07 for 40th place.
“We had Bryan ran a sub-20 and that was his personal best this season and that was good. We just had a good day all around,” Strobel said.
The team will now turn to preparing for district meets in less than two weeks.
Boys results (name, time, place):
Alberto Cortes, 18:48, 32
Cale Christofferson, 19:04, 39
Nick Saltzman, 19:54, 56
Curtis Patterson, 19:55, 58
Caleb Viers, 21:05, 78
Levi Geyer, 17:18, 5
Jacob Boller, 19:32, 49
Aaron Hershberger, 20:46, 71
Gideon Sangare, 21:19, 82
Micah Miller, 21:36, 86
John Hughes, 21:43, 88
Gibson Lowenberg, 23:03, 93
Bryan Redlinger, 19:07, 40
Mason Manley, 20:10, 61
Jacob Roling, 20:51, 74
Luke Van Schoyck, 21:32, 85
Levi Schnoebelen, 23:08, 95
Nathan Butler, 24:53, 97
Matt Butler, 25:48, 98
Girls results (name, time, place):
Taylor Sublette, 21:19, 11
Madison Thomann, 21:48, 16
Zoe Mahler, 22:08, 24
Alli Brand, 23:52, 39
Kate McFarland, 26:30, 60
Macie Bopp, 21:17, 10
Natalie Patterson, 22:33, 27
Sydney Alt, 23:50, 38
Maddie Jacque, 24:55, 47
Emily Feldman, 25:19, 53
Sarena Gerber, 22:35, 29
Mackenzie Gutierrez, 25:03, 52
Rachel Geyer, 26:14, 57
Kennedy Roth, 26:20, 58
Greta Schrag, 26:23, 59
Meredith Blossom, 29:35, 69
Ainsley Shaw, 31:19, 74