Four of the Bobcat girls finished in the top-25 to lead Western Dubuque to the team title in the varsity competition at the West Delaware Invitational, Oct. 5, at Hart Ridge Golf Course. Lilly Boge raced to sixth (19:43), Leah Digmann 11th (20:18), Isabella Graber 18th (20:37), Olivia Thul 22nd (20:43) and Bella Meyers 32nd (21:30) rounded out the scoring five. Gabby Kaiser was 41st (22:02).

“I was extremely proud of the way the girls performed,” coach Mark Digmann said. “We found out about a half-hour before the race that Alyssa and Audrey, who weren’t feeling well during the day, we not going to be able to run. Nothing big, just typical stuff you see this time of year with the weather changing and being a little run down from homecoming week. We told them to warm up and see — they did that and weren’t going to be able to race. So, for us to be deep enough and focused enough to still be able to win this meet with a lot of ranked teams in both Class 2A and 3A is impressive to me.

“I thought Lilly ran very well and the other five that we ran all ran PR times to try and pick up a little of the slack from not having those two girls run. Leah had a great race, Isabella and Olivia both broke 21 minutes, Bella ran a PR by over a minute to get to 21:30, and Gabby almost broke 22 with a time of 22:02. I thought we would be pretty good this year if we could get five girls under 21:30, but we now have seven and six of those have run under 21 minutes. I hope we can get and stay healthy over the next couple of weeks, so we have a good showing at districts.”

Western Dubuque scored 89 points to win the girls’ team title. Mount Vernon-Lisbon was second (96), Tipton third (97), Center Point-Urbana fourth (113), Jesup fifth (115), Beckman sixth (133), Waverly-Shell Rock seventh (138), Clear Lake eighth (181), West Delaware ninth (241), Starmont 10th (251), Springville 11th (370), North Fayette Valley 12th (396), Cedar Rapids Xavier 13th (407), Independence 14th (412), Vinton-Shellsburg 15th (417), Anamosa 16th (420), Maquoketa 17th (450) and Oelwein 18th (503).

Eli Naumann led the pack in the boys’ varsity race earning a first-place finish in 15:42.

“Eli continues to run well,” coach Digmann said. “We’ll see what he can do at the Super meet tomorrow (see story on page 3B), and the divisional meet next week. He’ll have some good competition at both races and will get pushed, so hopefully, he’ll get another shot at the school record. He wasn’t far off tonight, but also didn’t have someone with him or ahead of him to push him.”

Isaiah Hammerand 12th (17:04), Derek Fangmann 31st (17:34), Drew Meyer 37th (17:50) and Brenden Begle 41st (17:56) were the counting five. Levi Meyer was 43rd (17:58) and Brody Staner 85th (18:58).

I thought we ran ok, but it wasn’t our best race at all,” coach Digmann said of the boys’ team finish. “However, even with us running where I think we should have, I don’t think it would have been enough to beat Tipton. We ran well enough to reach some goals. We wanted to make sure that we were the best 3A team there and we did that by edging Mount Vernon, who has a very good team. We beat some other ranked teams that were there, so it was nice to see that we have the talent to do that even when we don’t run at our best. We have some heavy legs and are banged up a little right now, but they’ll get their legs back next week and we’ll see how it goes from there.”

Tipton finished first in the boys’ varsity competition with 57 points. Western Dubuque was second (122), Mount Vernon-Lisbon third (137), Clear Lake fourth (145), Waverly-Shell Rock fifth (148), Maquoketa Valley sixth (169), Oelwein seventh (172), Center Point-Urbana eighth (233), Jesup ninth (252), Cedar Rapids Xavier 10th (278), Starmont 11th (303), Anamosa 12th (304), North Fayette Valley 13th (330), Cascade 14th (351), West Delaware 15th (376), Vinton-Shellsburg 16th (409), East Buchanan 17th (489), Alburnett 18th (508), Maquoketa 19th (542), Beckman 20th (547) and Independence 21st (557).

WD earned a third-place team finish in the 19-team field of the junior varsity boys’ race. Dylan Schroeder led WD around the course with a 13th-place finish in 19:00. Brady Horsfall was 18th (19:16), Preston Kremers 20th (19:24), Austin Hagerty 34th (19:57), Caden Coyle 50th (20:38), Russell Miller 55th (20:45), Coy Messer 58th (20:54), Timmy Horsfall 64th (20:59), Thomas Blair 65th (21:00), JT Lucius 71st (21:11), Jimmy Hoover 96th (21:45), Nathan Casey 103rd (22:16), Will Cosley 130th (23:27) and Brandon Vaske 151st (25:33).

The Bobcats placed eighth of 10 teams in the junior varsity girls’ competition. Haylee DeLong led WD with a 19th-place finish in 23:38. Kylie Nauman was 32nd (24:23), Claire McGrane 97th (27:36), Shelby Rice 98th (27:42), Natalie Meyers 99th (27:42), Claire Neuman 100th (27:42), Maggie Scherbring 112th (28:59), Samantha Burds 113th (29:22), Ellie McDermott 125th (32:30) and Cambrie Pitz 129th (33:01).

Digmann was pleased by how well the junior varsity runners competed. “I thought our JV kids competed well. We had several PRs on the boys’ side, including our top-four runners. They finished third as a team and I was proud of their effort and their fight. Hopefully, they continue to improve and put up fast numbers in their last couple of meets of the season.”