Central cross country performs well at conference meet

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Hannah Asche finished sixth at the Upper Iowa Conference meet with a time of 21:11, which was a season and course best. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

Delaney Scherf achieved all-conference status with a 13th-place finish.

Corey Weber received honorable mention all-conference after finishing 21st.

By Willis Patenaude, Times-Register

When it comes to success, the Warriors cross-country team proved, once again, in the Upper Iowa Conference meet at North Fayette Valley, that they are no strangers to it. 

The varsity girls put on a performance, with five runners finishing in the top 25 and producing a plethora of course and season best times. Hannah Asche and Delaney Scherf led the way, with Asche finishing sixth with a time of 21:11, which was a season and course best. Scherf was close behind in 13th with a 22:18, a course best. Both girls achieved all-conference status. 

The other top 25 finishers were Allie Mussman, who finished 17th with a 23:00, Jaydin Dettman, who came in 20th with a 23:22, which was a career best, and Taylor Moser, who crossed the line in 24th in 23:49, good enough for a course best. All three girls won honorable mention. Four other girls achieved either career or course best times, including Maria Medberry (31st, 25:15), Mylee Wingert (38th, 26:27), Carly Kluesner (43rd, 27:29) and Maci Kluesner (44th, 28:26). 

As a team, the Warriors finished in fourth place with a score of 80, 11 points from second place and just 23 points behind first-place South Winneshiek. 

The varsity boys all ran course best times and, in a field of 70 runners, Corey Weber finished 21st and Brayden Finley finished 25th, and both received honorable mention all-conference. The remaining runner for the boys’ team, Parker Vaughn, finished in 40th with a course best time. 

“We were very happy with so many of our runners posting either course bests or season bests. On the girls side, the competition included the top three runners in the entire state in class 1A, plus two more in the top 30 in the state,” said assistant coach Martha Bauder. “On the boys side, the competition included two state-rated teams and three individuals. When you compete with that level of talent, it tends to make most everyone else run faster. Our girls’ fourth-place finish was very close to second and we feel that we have room to improve for the district meet coming up Thursday. For our boys, without a team score to push for, they’ll have to be ready to race for their personal best times of the season.”

Turning next to the junior high results and the promising future for the cross country program, Reese Berns and Gavin Holst rose to the challenge. Beginning with the girls, Berns finished second out of 34 runners, achieved a season-best time of 14:40 and earned a ribbon. The rest of the girls team also achieved best times, as Alexis Thiese finished 19th with a career-best time of 16:37 and Layla Embretson came in 27th with a course-best time of 17:46. Brooke Tieden finished 31st with a season-best time of 19:31. 

Out of the six teams competing in the team competition, Central finished sixth with a score of 72, while the winners, North Fayette Valley, had a score of 33.  

Shifting to the boys team and Holst, who finished second out of 32 runners with a season- and course-best time of 12:28. At conference, he wasn’t alone in the top 10, as Collin Jaster finished seventh and Caden Fette ninth, and both had course-best times. 

In fact, the entire team ran best times of some form. Braxton Bormann finished 14th with a course-best of 14:36, Bryce Heller finished 28th with a course- and career-best of 18:57 and Michael White came in 32nd with a course- and career-best of 22:09. 

Holst, Jaster and Fette all won ribbons, and the team finished in second place with a score of 23, which was actually the same score as the competition winners, but due to a tie breaker, the Warriors came in second.

“The junior high teams also had a great day due to weather, a dry course and the traditionally great competition in northeast Iowa and our conference,” said Bauder.  “Reese Berns finished second by only two seconds behind first place and Gavin Holst got second, missing first by seven seconds. For the girls, Reese is our 13th girl to either be champion or runner up and, for the boys, Gavin is our 11th to accomplish that. Also, the boys team became the 15th team since 2000 to be either team champs or runner ups and our first since 2012.” 

The cross country team next competes in the district/state qualifying meet at the Guttenberg Golf and Country Club, which Bauder said “is familiar to most of us, so we’re hoping for that to give us a little advantage.” It all goes down on Thursday, Oct. 22, starting at 4 p.m. 

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