Western Dubuque’s cross country teams had a solid performance at the Rich Engel Classic in Cedar Falls, Sept. 16. Eli Naumann recorded his fourth race win of the season when he bested the field at Birdsall Park by 21 seconds in 16:24.
“The course was tougher than what we’ve run on so far this year. When you get to these tougher courses, it becomes a place race instead of a time race. For Eli to go out and work for that place against the competition that was there is quite impressive. The second and third place kids are both ranked individually in 4A, so he beat some great competition,” coach Mark Digmann said.
Isaiah Hammerand 26th (17:53), Derek Fangmann 37th (18:14), Drew Meyer 72nd (18:46) and Levi Meyer 78th (18:49) rounded out the scoring five. Brenden Begle was 96th (19:06), Brody Staner 153rd (20:10), Nathan Williams 163rd (20:46), Brady Horsfall 165th (20:49) and Preston Kremers 176th (21:10).
“I was concerned about how we got out at the start. We got into the middle and back of the pack and spent most of the race moving up in traffic. We recovered very well and were able to finish high as a team despite the rough start. We were the highest placing 3A team and the teams in front of us are all ranked in 4A. It was good to run against the stiff competition, and this group is coming along quite nicely,” Digmann said.
Iowa City Liberty won the boys’ varsity title with 82 points. Cedar Falls was second (83), Ankeny third (95), Urbandale fourth (104), Cedar Rapids Kennedy fifth (139), Southeast Polk seventh (217), Waverly-Shell Rock eighth (242), Decorah ninth (259), Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck 10th (278), Dubuque Senior 11th (322), Waterloo 12th (326), Clear Creek-Amana 13th (327), Mason City 14th (345), Valley Lutheran 15th (389), Cedar Rapids Jefferson 16th (439), Cedar Rapids Washington 17th (496), Hempstead 18th (412), Dike-New Hartford 19th (522), Cedar Rapids Xavier (548) and Hudson 21st (599).
Alyssa Klein led the way for the varsity girls with an 11th-place finish in 20:27. Lilly Boge 18th (21:05), Audrey Biermann 27th (21:21), Isabella Graber 37th (21:57) and Leah Digmann 48th (22:33) were the counting five. Gabby Kaiser was 87th (24:37), Bella Meyers 115th (24:56) and Haylee DeLong 130th (25:32).
“The girls are running well right now,” coach Digmann said. “We had a couple that didn’t have their best races, but they really worked hard and gave great effort, despite not having their best day. We beat some very good teams there and they also only were beaten by ranked 4A teams. I like where they are right now and know that they will continue to improve as the season goes on. We’re showing signs of packing up a little bit more, and that will be key to success down the road.”
Hempstead won the girls’ varsity title with 50 points. Ankeny was second (70), Dubuque Senior third ( 117), Iowa City West fourth (126), Western Dubuque fifth (141), Iowa City Liberty sixth (157), Urbandale seventh (164), Cedar Falls eighth (207), Clear Creek-Amana ninth (208), Waverly-Shell Rock 10th (283), Hudson 11th (294), Dike-New Hartford 12th (326), Decorah 13th (343), Cedar Rapids Kennedy 14th (244), Waterloo 15th (467), Cedar Rapids Jefferson 16th (501) and Cedar Rapids Xavier 17th (501).
In the boys’ junior varsity field, WD was ninth of 17 complete teams. Caden Coyle placed 54th (20:53), Austin Hagerty 78th (21:22), Coy Messer 83rd (21:25), Dylan Schroeder 84th (21:27), Jagger McCool 105th (22:05), Timmy Horsfall 123rd (22:31), Jackson Doyle 135th (22:39), Zane Heiderscheit 158th (23:05), Nathan Casey 163rd (23:09), JT Lucius 181st (23:35), Jimmy Hoover 184th (23:38), Tyler Badtke 185th (23:38), Russell Miller 209th (24:09), Will Cosley 268th (26:34) and Brandon Vaske 286th (28:03).
The Bobcat girls placed 18th of 20 complete teams in the junior varsity competition. Samantha Burds finished 142nd (29:38), Claire McGrane 171st (30:54), Claire Neuman 173rd (30:57), Natalie Meyers 175th (30:57), Cambrie Pitz 217th (4:59) and Ellie McDermott 22nd (35:49).