On a cold night in Tipton, Mid-Prairie and Columbus both posted state qualifying performances. In the girls race Mid-Prairie couldn’t overcome injuries and fell just short of qualifying for Ft. Dodge as a team with their score of 88 points, putting them in fourth place, just one spot outside of advancing as a team and a mere 13 points behind the final qualifier Davis County. This is the second consecutive season the Golden Hawk girls have been on the outside of team qualifying looking in by just one spot. Mid-Prairie will have one representative in Ft. Dodge as Abby Tornow overcame an injury in the final two weeks of the season to run 16:27, good for a spot in the top 10 at 8th place.
Columbus saw Taylor Hills come close to grabbing a spot at state, finishing in 15th place with her time of 17:14. Other Columbus finishers included Yvette Aguilar in 47th at 19:01, Ashley Canny in 49th at 19:02, Claire Hamilton in 50th at 19:04, Grace Chapman in 53rd at 19:25, Rebeca Neri in 60th at 20:00 and Jessica Moraels in 61st at 20:01. Iowa City Regina was the meet champion with a score of 39. Northeast Gooselake was second at 68 points and Davis County was the final qualifier with 75 points. Top individual finisher was Adrianna Kammerer from Regina in a time of 15:56.
In the boys race Mid-Prairie was hampered by a slow start and left with a tense wait as the scores were tabulated to see if they had qualified. The Mid-Prairie boys did not have any individual qualifiers so it was all or nothing for the Hawks. The Golden Hawks were able to breathe a sigh of relief when the results were announced. They finished in the final team qualifying spot, third place with a score of 92 points, 19 better than Iowa City Regina in 4th. This marks the first time in 21 years the Regal boys will not compete at the state meet. Following the meet Head Coach Mark Hostetler talked about the team’s uncharacteristic slow start and the relief of qualifying.
“Our girls ran probably the best race all year, and had we had Hannah healthy, I think they would have made it, they just ran way better than they had all year,” Hostetler said. “The guys, they recovered, but at the start our first runner was over 50th place, and ended up 11th, but I think it took too much energy to pass people they should have been ahead of. They went out too slow, normally it’s not a problem, but they went out too slow and they were caught up. We were fortunate to make it to state.”
Other team qualifiers included Tipton in second with 87 points, five ahead of Mid-Prairie. Northeast Gooselake was the meet champion with 65 points.
Columbus put one runner through to Ft. Dodge as Josh Keller qualified individually with his 9th place finish. The Wildcat sophomore crossed the finish line in 17:49. Following the race he talked about his keys for the night.
“It was pretty cold, everyone had to stay warm at the beginning,” Keller said. “I was going to face off with this Tipton kid but I couldn’t find him, so I faced off with this West Burlington kid that has beat me a couple of times.”
Other Columbus finishers included Efrain Barajas in 17th at 18:13, Eli Sents in 26th at 18:31, Anthony Garcia in 64th at 20:09, Adrian Santos in 78th at 21:24, Tony Ramos in 79th at 21:30 and Dalton Howell in 82nd place at 21:46. Following the meet Columbus Head Coach Steve Riley talked about his team’s night.
“I just thought we ran, about what we were capable of running,” Riley said. “Taylor Hills our top girl ran great, we figured should be in the top 15 and she didn’t disappoint at all, she got 15th and the other girls ran well too. I thought Josh Keller, he’s such a competitor, I thought he could be in the top 10, but it was going to be iffy. He was 11th or 12th early in the race, and he’s just so steady he just kept moving up and he ran great.”
All state qualifiers will take part in the state meet in Ft. Dodge on Saturday, November 2nd.