Grau punches ticket to state cross country

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MFL MarMac freshman Clare Grau placed seventh at the state qualifying meet in Guttenberg on Oct. 23, advancing her on to state cross country. (Photos by Bev Hamann)

Cadence Weber ran the district course in 25:48.3, putting her in 43rd place.

Kylee Bries and Cody Moses came in 74th and 75th, respectively.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

Clare Grau picked a good time to turn in her top finish of the cross country season, placing seventh at the district meet in Guttenberg on Oct. 23, and advancing on to the state contest. 

The MFL MarMac freshman posted a time of 21:17.4, 10 seconds faster than her previous season best. She’s the first Bulldog to punch a ticket to state since Hannah Schutte in 2015.

Race conditions on Friday were less than ideal. After being delayed a day due to rain, the meet packed a cold and windy punch for runners. 

But head coach Eric Koenig wasn’t surprised by the accomplishment. Despite battling hip problems this year, Grau has consistently shaved time off her runs.

“She is really tough and can put the pain aside come race time,” said Koenig.

After Grau, Kaylee Walch was MFL MarMac’s next girls finisher, coming in 22nd at 23:29.1. Ayla Gerndt ran the course in 25:06.3 to place 36th, followed by Cadence Weber in the 43rd position and Ruby Koeller in 46th with respective times of 25:48.3 and 26:15.3. Alexis Ross earned a time of 26:53.1 and finished 48th.

The Bulldogs had 135 team points, placing them sixth out of eight schools at the district meet. South Winneshiek took the stop spot with a score of 46.

Will Koether was MFL MarMac’s leading runner in the boys race, finishing 28th with a 19:54.1 time. Caleb Nordheim wasn’t far behind, in 31st place at 20:10.1. Colin Moses posted a 21:02.3 finish and came in 47th, while Koal Klenk was 71st at 23:56.2, Kylee Bries 74th at 24:34.9, Cody Moses 75th at 24:35.7 and JJ Lynd 78th at 26:03.7.

With 209 points, the Bulldogs came in eighth of 11 teams. The South Winn Warriors had a score of 27 and were the boys district champions.

The state cross country meet begins on Friday, Oct. 30 and runs through Saturday, Oct. 31 at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge. Grau will run in the Class 1A girls race at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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