Weather uncooperative for XC meets
Well, Mother Nature sure hasn’t cooperated with the cross country season in eastern Iowa as the Denver team has had four of its first eight meets canceled due to wet course conditions. That included the Wolverine Invitational last Tuesday. But the Cyclones loaded the bus and headed west almost two hours to be able to meet some stiff competition at the Dick Bell Invitational in Eagle Grove.

“With only a week left until conference and having run only five meets, our runners needed another chance to compete,” noted Coach Sandy Sabelka. “We just haven’t been able to catch a break with the weather this year, but we’re not the only team saying that. We were willing to go just about anywhere to let these kids run.”

And Eagle Grove turned out to be a good one. With many rated teams in both the boys’ and girls’ competition and the hilliest course this year’s crew has run on this season, it was a well-needed opportunity for the Cyclone runners and they took to the challenge with much success!

The JV/Varsity ran in one race with a Girls’ Class “A” and “B” race and the same for the boys. Denver competed in the smaller school “B” races. Grace Beck didn’t waste any time to show that she didn’t travel this far to take anything but a gold medal, leading from the gun and capturing her first win for the season in a career-best time of 20:00.86, just shy of breaking the 20:00 barrier.

Her teammates also took well to the hills as personal best times were earned throughout. Chloe Ristau raced to the bronze in 20:46. Natalie Even came across in 5th (21:14), Emily Herbst 9th (21:57), Leah Ristau 18th (23:07) and Sarah Steege 27th (23:35). All six took home medals. Tiffany Schindler just missed medal contention by four places in 34th, but was able to break 24 minutes for the first time (23:49). Mackenzie Milder was 38th and Lexi Lyons 40th (24:10 and 24:22). Hayden Arians had a career best 26:08 for 57th. Riley Schumacher finished 64th in 27:34. Brooke DeVries was 67th (27:48) and Hannah Even 79th (30:41). Denver easily took the title with 36 points to second place Newman Catholic’s 78.

Newman Catholic, rated 5th in 1A, took the boys’ title by two points over BCLUW. South Hardin was 3rd with 99 and Denver 4th with 101. With the top five teams all rated in 1A, the coaches were still pleased with Denver’s efforts as all seven varsity runners earned medals for the evening.

Connor Sheridan once again led his crew with 14th overall in a personal best 18:18. Alex Larson was 22nd in 18:44 and Alex Gebel 24th in 18:51. Alex Krabbenhoft and Layne Fober raced to their season bests 18:53 and 18:58 for 25th and 26th. Kyler Matthias earned the seventh medal for the team with 29th in 19:09.

Isaac Schimmels crossed in his best 19:16 for 31st with Luke Bloker 39th in 19:46. Devin Baas, Jaden Forde and Aiden Dolan finished 41st, 44th and 46th, all in best times (19:48, 20:00 and 20:04), with Luke Prendergast right behind in 48th (20:14). Quinlan Manross and Cooper South went 63rd and 73rd and in record time (20:50 and 21:24). Matt Rabenhorst was 75th (21:30). Another trio to earn PRs, Cole Miller finished 94th (22:42), McCale Kolsrud 102nd (23:26), and Ashton Gonnerman 132nd (26:43). Henry Wiebbeck took 133rd in 27:50.

“We had a lot of personal bests on a hilly course, but I do think the hills make us change our pace more and compete a little harder,” said Sabelka. “I am happy the boys held their own with these rated teams, but I do feel they have another gear we have yet to see. Our conference will be a tough one, and that’s where we need to pull out all the stops.”

The conference meet will be held Thursday, October 11 at the Fox Ridge Golf Course in Dike with the middle school starting things off at 3:00 PM. Varsity competition starts at 4:00 PM and JV at 5:00 PM. The Denver Cross Country team would greatly appreciate your support so come out and support your Cyclone runners!
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