Western Dubuque opened the cross country season at the Cedar Rapids Prairie Invitational Aug. 31 where the boys finished fourth and girls fifth.

Junior Cade Messer was the lead Bobcat as he recorded a 14th-place finish in 17:20. Eli Naumann was 19th (17:35), Austin Huberty 33rd (17:50), Trenton Hammerand 34th (17:5) and Kale Cartee 47th (17:58) rounded out the counters.

Additional varsity finishers for the Bobcats included Ben Mulert 52nd (18:06), Matt Gassman 81st (18:41), Eric Monahan 96th (18:58), Connor Coyle 103rd (19:07) and Devin Neuhaus 138th (19:48).

“These boys are all capable of running close together. We typically ran about a 30-45-second split from one to five last year and ran a 39-second split at time trials last week, so having a 38-second split wasn’t a surprise,” coach Mark Digmann said. “The thing that continues to surprise me is how fast we’re running this early. All five guys that counted were under 18:00, three more were under 19:00, and we had another four guys under 20. I don’t know that I have ever had that much depth this early in the season.”

WD tallied 145 points to place fourth in the boys varsity field behind Cedar Rapids Prairie (58), Cedar Falls (69) and Iowa City West (140). Waukee was fifth (161), Linn-Mar sixth (161), Cedar Rapids Kennedy seventh (179), Clear Creek-Amana eighth (190), Marion ninth (212), Cedar Rapids Washington 10th (282), Muscatine 11th (336), Monticello 12th (354), Mount Vernon-Lisbon 13th (383), Mid-Prairie 14th (387), Mason City 15th (451), Solon 16th (466), Davenport Assumption 17th (476), Cedar Rapids Xavier 18th (493), Davenport West 19th (517), Fort Madison 20th (576), Cascade 21st (597) and Anamosa 22nd (638).

Junior Lauren Klein led the Bobcats around the girls varsity course. She finished eighth in 20:31. Elly Burds was 11th (20:37), Audrey Biermann 31st (21:47), Lilli Boge 38th (21:59) and Amelia Klostermann 96th (23:44) rounded out the counters.

Also recording varsity finishes were Macy Simon 101st (23:48), Caylee Hermsen 112th (24:01), Kylie Nauman 113th (24:05), Delaney Behning 137th (25:00) and Leah Digmann 148th (25:38).

“The girls ran extremely well,” coach Digmann said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but finishing fifth with the competition that was there and having 50 points between our four and five, which usually doesn’t go well, I was impressed. Our gap for fifth will be taken care of as we get healthier. Amelia and Caylee are fighting some nagging injuries right now that a couple of nights on the bikes should hopefully take care of. I thought Macy Simon ran well.”

Waukee took home the girls varsity title with 69 points. Mid-Prairie was second (91), Linn-Mar third (97), Cedar Rapids Prairie fourth (133), Western Dubuque fifth (173), Cedar Falls sixth (210), Solon seventh (226), Monticello eighth (261), Marion ninth (274), Mount Vernon-Lisbon 10th (277), Mason City 11th (308), Davenport Assumption 12th (329), Cedar Rapids Kennedy (332), Cedar Rapids Washington 14th (336), Cedar Rapids Xavier 15th (395), Davenport West 16th (411), Muscatine 17th (41), Clear Creek-Amana (438), Fort Madison 19th (488), Anamosa 20th (547) and Maquoketa 21st (616).

Western Dubuque placed seventh in the junior varsity girls competition. Mary Schlueter led the Bobcats’ scoring-five with a 21st-place finish in 24:49. Danielle Ploessel was 24th (24:56), Lexi Lansing 57th (26:09), Shelby Rice 101st (27:57) and Hannah Fangmann 12nd (28:00).

Also completing the JV race for the Bobcats were: Maddy Welbes 28:19, Natalie Meyers 28:38, Sammy Recker 29:19, Nicole Gudenkauf 29:24, Rachel Krapfl 29:35, Carrie Krapfl 29:44, Jordan Vontalge 29:47, Elizabeth Graber 30:05, Samantha Burds 30:38, Libby Freiburger 31:29, Nina DeMuth 34:25, Selena Fischer 34:32, Ellie McDermott 34:55, Natalie DeMuth 36:21 and Julia Gasper 40:56.

The Bobcats earned a fifth-place finish in the junior varsity boys race. Senior Brice Ronek led WD with a 25th-place finish in 19:44. Rounding out the counting Bobcats were Dylan Schroeder 27th (19:47), Noah Westhoff 34th (20:08), Levi Meyer 38th (20:16) and Drew Meyer 46th (20:34).

Additional JV Bobcat finishers were: Ben Soppe 20:44, Will Lopez 21:11, Ethan Hoefler 21:53, Brady Horsfall 21:53, Jack Haverland 22:11, Jacob Gottschalk 22:30, Derek Fangmann 22:30, Isaiah Hammerand 22:44, Caden Coyle 23:00, Mitchell Gudenkauf 23:20, Connor Dolphin 23:25, Tony Lyon 24:32, Levi Burds 24:39, Michael Kemp 24:52, Jacob Stanner 25:26, Thomas Blair 26:11, Cody Gadberry 26:35, Will Cosley 27:19 and Cayle Hermsen 27:58.