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Boys XC fields full team, girls earn fourth at home (Hometown Press article)

posted Sep 26, 2017, 7:58 PM by webmaster@lshawks.org

Boys XC fields full team, girls earn fourth at home

The Hawk cross-country runners hosted their annual home meet at the Diamond Trail Golf Course on Thursday, Sept. 14. They went up against 17 other schools, including SICL opponents Montezuma, Colfax-Mingo, English Valleys, HLV, and North Mahaska.

The course has changed since the 2016 season, now extending over the bridge. The course consists of some tricky hills but has a refreshing downhill portion.

“Our home meet has become a large group of quality 1A and 2A teams, so it’s a great opportunity for us to host and compete against those teams,” commented L-S Head Coach Darin Arkema.

This was the sixth race of the season for the Hawks, and Arkema commented on the first half of their season. “The past two weeks have been a challenging schedule for us, racing at five meets in 12 days. I know that with the heat combined with some tired bodies, performances maybe weren’t what some are hoping for, but I believe that once we get rested and continue to focus on training, we will be stronger and better able to meet our end-of-season goals.”

The L-S boys were finally able to compete as a team with newcomer sophomore Blaize Kuhlmann giving them the necessary five runners for a team. Overall, the boys finished 11th out of 12 with 268 points.

Mason Jansen (left) and Josh Dunsbergen push each other to the very end of the home meet, crossing the finish line in 48th and 47th respectively.

Senior Josh Dunsbergen was the Hawks’ first runner, clocking in at 21:43 in 47th. One second behind him was freshman Mason Jansen, who earned 48th.

Junior Joseph Anderson came in at 22:31 in 55th, and five places behind him, in 60th, was Kuhlmann in his first race ever, running the course in 22:41. The fifth runner for the Hawks was freshman Luke Kramer running the course in 29:37 (119th) after fighting through hip pain.

Arkema commented on the boys’ efforts, “I look forward to seeing this group of guys continue to push each other, find their stride, and meet their end goals.”

The girls took home fourth out of 12, finishing behind Pekin and Baxter (ranked 1A teams), and PCM, a strong 2A team. The first finisher for the Hawks was senior Mary Kate Shaver, running a 22:02, earning her a sixth-place medal. Sophomore Abby Gruver came in 22nd, just short of a medal, running the course in 24:27.

Freshman Megan Van Zante finished in 25:16, receiving 29th. Senior Christine Nikkel was the fourth runner for L-S, placing 38th at 26:22. Next was sophomore Ashton Thompson clocking in at 27:28 (46th), followed by Haley Breeden at 27:44 (51st). Junior Emily Van Gorp finished in 28:09, receiving 61st.

JV runners were sophomore Abigail Davis (27:53, 56th), sophomore Brittney Hansen (28:07, 60th), senior Hailey Scandridge (29:57, 79th), and freshman Hadley Tice (34:20, 104th).

The junior high also competed in this meet, running 1.7 miles. The JH boys team welcomed two new members, eighth-graders Josh Hardenbrook and Ryan Annee.

James Gruver was the first runner to cross the finish line for the JH Hawks, placing eighth with a time of 11:17. Next was Gentry Walston (12:18, 24th), Hardenbrook (12:19, 26th), Annee (14:08, 48th), Zach Morningstar (14:51, 52nd), and Evan Fikse (16:04, 58th).

Results of the JH girls race were Greenlee Smock (12:40, 12th), Kinsley Tice (14:07, 28th), and Reagan McFarland (14:44, 36th)

Many people chipped in to help pull off the successful meet at the Diamond Trail Golf Course.

“I can’t say enough how thankful I am for the efforts from our team, all the help from school staff, our cross-country parents, and community volunteers to help put on the meet tonight. The golf course staff is great to work with in helping us get ready. Thanks to the EMT volunteers for being on the course ready to help anyone. Without all the assistance, hosting a cross-country meet of this size would be impossible,” Arkema gratefully added.

The Hawks have four more meets to prove themselves until districts. This week, they’ll be at a meet hosted by PCM on Thursday, Sept. 21.

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