It was a perfect night for the Bobcats at their own Western Dubuque Invitational on Sept. 30 as both the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams won titles.

Eli Naumann led the competition around the course in the boys’ varsity race taking first in 15:58, well ahead of second-place Miles Wilson, of Cedar Rapids Kennedy in 16:34.

Isaiah Hammerand fourth (17:18), Derek Fangmann eighth (17:50), Drew Meyer 11th (17:58) and Brenden Begle 18th (18:06) rounded out the scoring five. Levi Meyer was 21st (18:17), Nathan Williams 37th (18:55), Brody Staner 40th (19:01), Preston Kremers 54th (19:58) and Caden Coyle 70th (20:50).

Coach Mark Digmann was pleased with the boys’ finish. “Our boys are running well right now. Eli continues to run strong, Isaiah is running well, Derek has turned the corner, and the next three (Drew, Levi and Brenden) are close to this group, tight to each other, and starting to change in order. We need to keep improving and pull our No. 7 along, but right now we’re happy with where we are.”

Western Dubuque scored 41 points for the win. Cedar Rapids Kennedy was second (60), Decorah third (95), Wahlert fourth (134), Monticello fifth (143), Clinton sixth (151), Clayton Ridge seventh (198), Cascade eighth (199), Prince of Peace ninth (283), Independence 10th (292), Maquoketa 11th (305), Springville 12th (308) and Beckman 13th (318).

Alyssa Klein was WD’s lead runner with a third-place finish in 20:02. Audrey Biermann sixth (20:31), Lilly Boge ninth (20:40), Isabella Graber 13th (21:37) and Olivia Thul 18th (21:47) rounded out the scoring five. Leah Digmann finished 19th (21:49), Bella Meyers 29th (22:49), Gabby Kaiser 34th (23:16) and Haylee Delong 55th (25:15).

“We have six girls within 1:47 of each other and had six in the top 19 spots. We are competing well with Alyssa, Audrey and Lilly up front and Isabella, Olivia and Leah with the next three. Our second group is closing the gap on the first group and both groups are running tight to each other. I am happy with where they are going, but we need to continue to close the gap to improve,” coach Digmann said.

The Bobcats scored 44 points to take the girls’ varsity team title. Wahlert was second (71), Monticello third (78), Clinton fourth (111), Cedar Rapids Kennedy fifth (128), Decorah sixth (136), Beckman seventh (144), Springville eighth (223), Independence ninth (281) and Maquoketa 10th (291).

The Bobcats placed third in the seven-team junior varsity boys’ competition. Dylan Schroeder led WD with a fourth-place finish. Brady Horsfall was 14th (20:11), Austin Hagerty 26th (20:47), Russell Miller 27th (20:47) and Coy Messer 30th (20:55). Also completing the race were Timmy Horsfall 35th (21:11). Jagger McCool 36th (21:13), Tyler Bedtka 38th (21:16), Zane Heiderscheit 39th (21:22), JT Lucious 41st (21:31), Thomas Blair 56th (22:44), Nathan Casey 60th (22:54), Jimmy Hoover 61st (22:59), Will Cosley 92nd (25:30) and Brandon Vaske 103rd (27:33).

In the girls’ junior varsity field, WD placed fifth of six. Kylie Nauman led the Bobcats around the course with a 10th-place finish in 24:58. Natalie Meyers was 40th (28:52), Samantha Burds 41st (28:55), Claire McGrane 43rd (29:16), Shelby Rice 49th (30:02), Claire Neumann 50th (30:09), Sammy Recker 56th (30:47) and Cambrie Pitz 67th (34:49).

WD’s junior varsity runners continue to show progress “Our JV kids continue to work hard and compete. They only have a couple of meets left and I know they are gunning for their PR times now that we are late in the season and will start to back off them a little in practice,” coach Digmann said.

A meet of this magnitude would not be possible without the help of all the workers who made the event possible.

“I want to thank the teachers and out-of-season coaches that help work at our meet with any job we may need them to do. I also want to thank those retirees that come back to work at the meet, proving ‘Once a Bobcat, Always a Bobcat.’ “The biggest thank you needs to go out to our administration that is supportive of our team and helps immensely with the background things for our meet. With all the help we get with these wonderful people, we have the opportunity to focus on coaching our kids, which is a lot more relaxing.”