Cross Country: Ram boys sprint to title, besting six others in State Center
By BRANDON HURLEY
An unfortunate cancellation sparked a shot and redemption and Greene County certainly seized it.
The boys cross country program secured a monumental victory Monday evening, securing the team title at the West Marshall Invite in State Center.
The compelling triumph came a little more than a week after the cancellation of the annual Spring Lake meet - marking the second straight year such fate has been struck down. That news certainly didn’t do much to deter the GCHS spirit as they made their replacements regret their appearance.
Greene County head coach Jeff Lamouruex quickly sprang to action once the home meet expired, trying to get his athletes back on the course.
In an odd season marred by the unknown, the schedule mattered. GCHS found an opening at Monday’s meet at Lincoln Valley Golf Course, and excelled.
The Ram boys tallied 46 team points, blowing past runner-up South Hamilton (67) and bronze-medalist, Collins-Maxwell (78).
Lamoureux was a bit skeptical how his athletes would perform because of the short notice combined with the disappointment of another home meet axed, but his athletes produced a pleasant surprise. Lamoureux hopes Monday’s outcome fuels a powerful stretch run leading into state qualifying next month.
“Very nice showing for our team,” Lamoureux said. “Sometimes it’s hard to get the team motivated when they weren’t expecting to run a meet, but our kids responded and really stepped up. Very proud of their effort.”
The victorious Rams were led by a pair of top three finishes. Logan Woodruff was just a few paces behind event champion Nicoles Thompson (18:12) of West Marshall, cruising to a blistering time of 18:17 to finish runner-up while senior Luis Velazco snagged a bronze medal thanks to his time of 18:26, a hair ahead of South Hamilton’s Ty Skartvedt. The Rams in fact produced three top 10 runners as sophomore Ethan Frederick slid into ninth place thanks to a quality time of 19:46. Junior Jayden Carstensen bolstered Greene County’s deep lineup Monday, securing the Rams’ fourth top 15 finish with a time of 20:01, good for 13th overall. In fact, the Rams’ top five runners all cracked the top 20, with sophomore Dakota Mobley rounding out the pack in 19th with a time of 20:31.
Grand View Christian placed fourth as a team with 93 points, followed by Colo-NESCO (100), host West Marshall (133) and Ankeny Christian in seventh overall (156).
The Greene County girls placed sixth out of six teams Monday night, falling well behind the pack with 153 points. Collins-Maxwell captured the team title with 36 points, narrowly out-pacing West Marshall, who scored 42 points to finish runner-up. South Hamilton secured the bronze medal (84) while Grandview Christian (92) and Colo-NESCO (138) rounded out the top five.
Greene County’s Conner Allender was the only Ram to crack the top 25, running to a time of 25:43, good enough to secure 25th overall. Baxter’s Ellie Tuhn captured the individual title with a time of 21:36, well ahead of runner-up Emelie Hauser of West Marshall, who pounded out a time of 22:28. All six of Collins-Maxwell’s runners finished in the top 14, helping them secure the meet victory with relative ease.
Greene County on the other hand had five runners place inside the top 40. Sophomore Olivia Shannon cruised to a time of 27:44 to finish 31st while senior Makala Kafer placed 35th with a time of 29:43. Sophomore Autumn Stevens finished 38th (30:40) while
Sadie Wilson rounded out the top 40 by striding to a time of 31:24.
The Greene County Rams are next in action Thursday afternoon (Sept. 24) at the Roland-Story Invite in Story City.
The co-ed meet will feature teams from Bondurant-Farrar, Gilbert, Panorama (ranked seventh in Girls 2A), Roland-Story (No. 12 in Girls 2A) as well as top-ranked Madrid (boys’ 1A) and Ogden (ranked 10th in boys 1A).