DENISON – Clarinda sophomore Mayson Hartley ran her way to a fourth-place finish while the Shenandoah girls and Clarinda boys both placed sixth, while the Shenandoah finished 10th at the Hawkeye 10 Conference cross country meet on Thursday.
Hartley started strong and settled in for a fourth-place run in 20 minutes, 6 seconds. She was the first of four Cardinals to finish the course.
“Mayson ran her most competitive third mile of the season,” Clarinda head coach Jane Mayer said. “This was the key to her strong race and placing fourth in the conference.”
Braelyn Baker of Creston won the conference title in a time of 19:51. Glenwood’s Emma Hughes and Taylor McCreedy of Atlantic also beat Hartley while Kaia Bieker of Harlan rounded out the top five.
Clarinda’s Ashlyn Eberly was also a medalist finishing 19th in 21:24 in what Mayer called her best race of the season.
“Mayson and Ashlyn medaled and are physically and mentally prepared to run at the state qualifying meet,” Mayer said.
Amelia Hesse finished 33rd in 23:04 and Molly Lihs 57th in 25:11 to complete the Cardinal lineup.
Glenwood won the girls team title with 42 points. Harlan scored 57 to finish second and Atlantic 75 to take third.
Shenandoah was sixth with 159 points, the highest finish for the Fillies since 2016.
Three-time state qualifier Brenna Godfread missed the meet because of an illness and Christene Johnson took top honors for the Fillies, placing 30th in 22:49. Abby Martin was one spot and six seconds behind her.
“Again, Christene took the reins at the start and led our pack,” Shenandoah head coach Liz Skillern said. “She sets such a good example for her teammates. Abby ran another personal best and broke the 23 minute mark. I’m so proud of her efforts this season.”
Lauryn Dukes also had her best time ever at 23:23, placing 39th as Shenandoah’s third scorer.
“Lauryn has been such a valuable contributor once she found her rhythm this season,” Skillern said.
Sarah Gilbert ran in her first race coming back from an illness to place 42nd in 23:52.
“It was so good to have Sarah back in the lineup,” Skillern said. “She has been a super leader and sets the tone for the positivity on the team.”
Kelsey Franklin battled an injury to be the final scorer for the Fillies, placing 45th in 24:17.
Hadlee Kinghorn wasn’t far off from being a scorer for the Fillies, finishing 50th in 24:45. Lucy Martin completed Shenandoah’s lineup with a 69th place run of 28:41.
“I have been very happy with the way the team has come together over the past week,” said Skillern. “We had seven girls practicing and seven girls racing, everyone has contributed. They know they can count on one another. The girls worked together throughout the race, helped one another out and even changed positions once or twice. That shows awesome teamwork skills.”
The Clarinda boys matched Shenandoah’s girls with a sixth place mark, scoring 147 points, 10 back of Kuemper for fifth.
“The goal has been to improve their standing in the conference,” Mayer said about her boys. “In the recent past our team has been closer to the bottom of the standings. We finished in the middle and will continue to work to place even higher. Our guys take great pride in their performances and are willing to do the work to show improvement.”
Glenwood scored 63 points to beat Lewis Central by seven for the team title. Atlantic was seven behind Lewis Central to take third. Harlan finished fourth.
Jon McCall landed a conference medal with a 17th place run of 18:01.
“Jon needs to continue to race with the intensity he has all season to qualify for state,” Mayer said.
After that it was a balanced effort for the Cardinals with the remaining scorers only separated by 12 places and 37 seconds.
Michael Mayer finished 27th in 18:32, Mark Everett 31st in 18:42, Alec Wyman 38th in 19:08 and Treyton Schaapherder 39th in 19:09.
“The team will need to work together to push each other to the top in order to have a chance to qualify as a team for the state meet,” Mayer said.
Alex Lihs and Jordan Fasnacht completed the Cardinal lineup. Lihs finished 57th in 19:55 and Fasnacht 59th in 20:06.
The Mustangs were missing three usual scorers in Bryce McDowell, Josh Schuster and Eli Schuster. Brandon McDowell, who has also seen varsity time this season, also didn’t run.
“The team had some adversity to deal with throughout the past week,” Shenandoah head coach Andy Campbell said, “but I was very proud of how the guys stepped up and performed.”
The Mustangs ended with 238 points to finish 10th in the team standings.
Alex Razee started strong and finished a strong 28th place in 18:34 to lead the Mustangs.
“Alex led the charge with a solid race,” Campbell said. “To finish in the top 30 as a freshman is definitely something to build on.”
Mitchell Jones hurt his hip near the end, but was able to hold on as Shenandoah’s number two finisher, taking 34th in 18:57.
George Martin ran his best time of the year and Campbell called it “the race of the night for us,” to be the third scorer for the Mustangs. He finished 54th in 19:53.
Sam Martin and Rafe Rodewald were the final scorers for the Mustangs with Martin finishing 64th in 21:01 and Rodewald 68th in 21:35.
“Sam and Rafe stepped up and competed very hard throughout the race,” Campbell said.
Andrew Johnson ended in 70th in 21:55 and Andrew Lawrence 73rd in 22:11 to complete Shenandoah’s lineup. Campbell said it was great to see them give such a great effort after being forced into the varsity lineup.
Craig Alan Becker of Atlantic pulled away near the end to win a three athlete battle for the title, finishing in 16:25. Trey Gross of Harlan and Ethan Eichhorn of Lewis Central were the next two, followed by Nathan Sell of Lewis Central and Red Oak’s Baylor Bergren to complete the top five.
Shenandoah and Clarinda travel to Panorama in a Class 2A state qualifying meet, Thursday, Oct. 22. The top three teams and top 15 individuals from both the boys and girls races at that meet will qualify for the state meet, Saturday, Oct. 31.
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