Central cross country excels at Waukon

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By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

The cross country team contributed to Central’s remarkable week in sports, putting in exceptional performances at the Waukon meet Sept. 22, where ribbons were won, personal times were bested and school records fell. 

The high school girls ran in the JV races, a decision that was made “to give all of our runners a chance to run as a group and get a feel for where they are within the group. We thought that could give them a chance to focus on each other and gain some experience toward what we need to work on as a team to be our best down the road in October,” said assistant coach Martha Bauder. 

The results were some of the best of the season, as three Central runners finished in the top 10 out of 85 competitors. Hannah Asche finished second, Delaney Scherf finished close behind her in third and Allie Mussman came in eighth. All three girls won ribbons, as did teammates Taylor Moser and Jaydin Dettman, who finished 14th and 19th, respectively. Meanwhile, Maci Kluesner and Eva Embretson set personal course records and the team finished second with a score of 39, behind winners Decorah, who scored 23. 

As the season starts to wind down, Bauder noted  “The girls will be working on whittling down the time between our top five runners, and also on who will be pushing to be our number six and number seven runners, as well as achieving as many season-best times as they can in the next few weeks.” 

On the boys side, the team sent three runners out, who fared particularly well in the field of 96. Brayden Finley was the top finisher in 16th, earning a ribbon and coming in just eight seconds off a personal course record, with a 21:12. Fellow teammate Corey Weber finished 27th, and Parker Vaughn came in 56th. 

But they weren’t the only ones setting the record books ablaze, as even the junior high teams got into the act. First, the junior high girls finished fifth in the team competition with a score of 112, just four points away from third. Individually, out of 73 runners, Reese Burns finished 13th, winning a ribbon and setting a personal course record with a 16:15. Not far behind was Keeley Curran in 20th, who also earned a ribbon and set a personal course record, as well as a season-best time of 16:57. Layla Embretson, who finished 36th, had a season-best time of 17:57. 

When it comes to the junior high boys, Gavin Holst is setting the standard. The individual champion two weeks ago followed that performance up by finishing fourth out of 69 runners last week, and he set a new Central eighth grade record for the course. Ted Hilgerson set the previous record in 2012. Holst also won another ribbon for the expanding trophy case. He was the only team runner to finish in the top 20, leading the Warriors to a fourth-place finish out of seven teams, with a score of 110. Decorah won with a score of 44. 

“Both junior high teams competed great. The boys were fourth to larger class schools and ahead of two teams from our conference, while the girls were fifth but within one point of one conference team and four points away from another conference team. Both teams continue to gain confidence in their potential to finish first or second in our conference meet later in October,” Bauder said. 

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