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Mid-Prairie freshman Marie Hostetler finished in second place in each of her first eight varsity cross-country races, and each time her sister, junior Anna Hostetler, finished in first. That streak seemed to be in danger at Thursday’s state-qualifying meet in Pella, due to the presence of the Class 2A’s second-ranked runner: undefeated Jordan Winke of Albia.
Anna Hostetler crossed the finish line first with a time of 17:57 and for the ninth time this season Marie finished second, just one second behind. Crossing the line in third place, 55 seconds later, was Jordan Winke.
Mid-Prairie cross-country coach Mark Hostetler said his daughter Marie was aware of Winke’s reputation. “When she came into this meet, she knew she was running against the number two ranked runner in the state and that really pumped her up, because they would like to finish one-two all year,” he explained. “This was a big obstacle for that, because Jordan Winke is a very talented girl, undefeated all year. To be able to beat her by almost a minute, I was really happy with the way that turned out.”
On a hilly, windy course where the other 13 Golden Hawks averaged times almost 20 seconds slower than the conference meet a week ago, Marie Hostetler took seven seconds off of her season-low time from the RVC championship.
“She was just determined, she’s been that way all her life,” said coach Hostetler, “with something like this, she didn’t want to get away from her sister.
Greta Schmidt finished third for the Golden Hawks with a time of 21:14, one and a half seconds ahead of Collins-Maxwell-Baxter’s fourth place runner, contributing to a 61-62 one-point edge over CMB and a second consecutive district championship.
“Our team pushed ourselves to the absolute limit,” said the senior Schmidt. “In every workout and every race, we pushed ourselves as hard as we could to make sure that we would get back here.”
Peyton Miller finished fourth with a time of 16:53, just one second ahead of teammate Zach Pettit for the second race in a row.
The Golden Hawk boys also earned a first-place finish in the state-qualifying meet for the second year in a row with 57 points. East Marshall was second with 81 and Aplington-Parkersburg qualified for the state meet with 94 points.
Floyd Evans was also an individual qualifier for Mid-Prairie, finishing 11th in 17:23 despite dealing with sickness on Thursday. Quinn Schmidt finished 18th in 17:46 and Marshal Teets was 19th in 17:50 to finish the scoring.
Andrew Schwartz finished 22nd in 18:04 and Brent Foster was 24th with a time of 18:07.
The Mid-Prairie boys will go to state with an overall record of 99-6, and they have not finished behind another Class 2A program this season.
For the Golden Hawk girls, Kessa Jones finished 19th with a time of 21:35, and Abby Tornow ran a 21-second season-low 21:45 to finish 23rd.
“It’s really amazing to get that feeling last year and then be able to repeat that,” Tornow said. “It’s the same feeling, but it’s also different at the same time, it’s new and even more exciting now that we’re seniors and captains of this group. It’s just been a great experience.”
Freshmen Abbagail Evans and Kyleigh Graham finished 25th and 27th with times of 21:59 and 22:05, respectively.
Anna and Marie Hostetler were two of only four runners to run sub-18 minute 5ks in the girls state-qualifying meets, among all classes on Thursday.
“It’s fun to do it one year, but its even more fun to do it the second year,” said Anna Hostetler of the team’s first-pace finish, “and just knowing that all of the hard work we’ve put in is paying off, its super exciting.”
“We talked in practice about pushing the second mile and the last half of the race, just making sure that we’re picking it up and then giving it all you’ve got at the end.”
She will attempt to win her 10th straight race at the State Cross Country Meet in Fort Dodge on Saturday, Oct. 29.
“I hope to stay under 18,” she said, “and to continue our 1-2 streak would be awesome, but we’ll see.”
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