Western Dubuque had a big day at the Dick Pollitt/Go-Hawk Classic on the Wartburg Max Cross Country Course in Waverly Sept. 10. The Bobcat boys brought home a first-place overall finish, while the girls were fourth.

This meet has a unique format with separate standings announced for each grade and gender. Then, the highest finisher per grade is used to compile the overall team score along with the second-highest finisher (in one of the grades that finishes the highest for the school).

“I like this meet because it gives kids a chance to compete with others at their level,” WD coach Mark Digmann said. “A freshman may be way back in a varsity race and has the chance to run toward the front in a grade-level meet. I think their format is nice in that they run 9-10 together and 11-12 together. This way, kids keep pushing themselves to do well because they don’t know what grade level the kids are in front of them, so they catch as many as they can. That showed in the fact that we ran 60 kids at the meet and 30 of them either set season or career personal-best times.”

WD won the overall boys varsity title with 16 points. Waverly-Shell Rock was second (23), Decorah third (27), Center Point-Urbana fourth (38), Grundy Center/G.R. fifth (57), Denver sixth (58), Mason City seventh (60), Charles City eighth (80), Crestwood ninth (87), Webster City 10th (99), West Delaware 11th (104), Waukon 12th (109), Hudson 13th (139), Aplington-Parkersburg 14th (163), Hampton-Dumont 15th (189) and Independence 16th (285).

“Our senior group is very talented and close, which showed by placing 1-2-4-5-6-7 at the medal stand when they only medal eight,” Digmann glowed. “When the races were combined to see an overall score, the boys still won the meet and would have placed eight kids in the top 15. We had some other good performances in the freshman race with Levi Meyer placing seventh and sophomore Eli Naumann and junior Cade Messer each placing third. We’ve never been able to win this meet before because we haven’t had solid kids in each class. We have that now and need it to get to the point where we are consistently competitive in the MVC.”

The senior boys led their division of 13 teams. Kale Cartee led the field with a first-place finish in 17:34. Austin Huberty was second (17:34), Ben Mulert fourth (17:44), Connor Coyle fifth (17:45), Trenton Hammerand sixth (17:55), Brice Ronek 23rd (19:09), Noah Westhoff 27th (19:35), Jack Haverland 46th (21:29), Levi Burds 74th (23:56) and Cody Gadberry 85th (25:59).

WD’s juniors finished fourth of 15. Cade Messer led the way with a third-place finish in 17:08. Eric Monahan was 12th (18:27), Devin Neuhaus 33rd (20:17), Ben Soppe 39rd (21:06), Jacob Gottschalk 67th (22:54), Connor Dolphin 68th (23:03) and Michael Kemp 71st (23:18).

In the sophomore race, WD was sixth of 16. Eli Nauman finished third (17:53), Dylan Schroeder 40th (21:33), Brady Horsfall 46th (22:26), Caden Coyle 70th (24:07), Will Cosley 90th (26:47) and Timmy Horsfall 93rd (27:27).

WD’s freshmen boys finished third of 18. Levi Meyer placed seventh (20:13), Drew Meyer 10th (20:24), Derek Fangmann 26th (21:59), Isaiah Hammerand 31st (22:12), Mitchell Gudenkauf 49th (24:02), Jacob Stanner 55th (24:44) and Thomas Blair 66th (26:13).

Denver won the girls overall title with 28 points. Decorah was second (29), Aplington-Parkersburg third (29), Western Dubuque fourth (30), Center Point-Urbana fifth (36), Mason City sixth (60), Waukon seventh (61), Charles City eighth (67), Wavery-Shell Rock ninth (68), Nashua-Plainfield 10th (71), Crestwood 11th (87), Independence 12th (113) and West Delaware 13th (121).

WD’s senior girls placed 11th of 14. Caylee Hermsen finished 17th (23:43), Allie Krapfl 49th (27:29), Jordan Vontalge 58th (28:56), Nicole Gudenkauf 58th (29:58), Rachel Krapfl 69th (30:14), Carrie Krapfl 70th (30:14), Emily Bonert 72nd (30:25), Libby Freiburger 80th (32:05), Selena Fischer 88th (35:12), Jacklynn Tekippe 89th (35:35) and Natalie DeMuth 91st (38:06).

The Bobcats dominated the junior race placing first of 12 teams. Lauren Klein finished second (19:54), Elly Burds third (19:56), Macy Simon 17th (24:00), Mary Schlueter 18th (24:04), Delaney Behning 20th (24:23), Elizabeth Graber 55th (28:42) and Lexi Kramer 82nd (45:33).

In the sophomore race, WD placed second of 12 teams. Audrey Biermann was fifth (21:50), Lilly Boge seventh (22:07), Leah Digmann 24th (25:59), Danielle Ploessl 31st (27:08), Natalie Meyers 42nd (28:01), Samantha Burds 57th (29:33), Faith Krapfl 58th (29:38), Ellie McDermott 72nd (35:02) and Nina DeMuth 73rd (36:15).

Western Dubuque did not have enough runners for a team score in the freshmen race. Kylie Nauman led the Bobcats with a 13th-place finish in 24:59. Maddy Welbes was 35th (28:24).

“I thought we ran exceptionally well,” Digmann said of the girls effort. “We had a lot of PRs on the girls side last night, highlighted by not only having Lauren go under 20 minutes for the first time in her career, but Elly was also under 20. Those two now hold the No. 2 and No. 3 times all-time at the 5K distance and they have a lot of season left this year and all of next year to try and move up.

“Lilly Boge and Audrey Biermann ran well in the sophomore race. When they put the times in and scored the meet with all runners, the girls would have won the meet. We are better than last year and hope to continue to improve the rest of this year and get better next year than this year. We still have only one senior at the varsity level right now, so the future looks bright.”