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Boys 6th at North Linn, postseason ahead

Ben DeValk and Gabe Hinman match pace on the backstretch at North Linn Oct. 12.

TROY MILLS– Going into postseason runs, Solon’s boys notched a sixth-place finish among 16 teams at the 2019 North Linn invitational cross country meet, Oct. 12. “It was an amazing meet for the whole Solon cross country team. Almost every runner had season best times,” reviewed head coach Emy Williams. “We looked strong and really competed.”
The North Linn field included a half-dozen rated schools in Class 3A through 1A. Besides the 16 scoring teams, another seven schools fielded incomplete (less than five runner) teams. Tipton showed why it is ranked No. 1 in Class 2A. With Caleb Schumacher (third in the state’s individual rankings) leading the way in 16:10, the Tigers finished one, two, three… then eight and 10… with its two insurance runners 19th and 34th of the 126 on the course.
Solon sophomore Gabe Hinman medalled– sixth in the individual field– with 17:02. Juniors Tyler Bilskie (35th, 18:06) and Ben DeValk (45th, 18:20) were next across for the Spartans. Nate Ferguson (50th, 18:36), Noelan Garbes (53rd, 18:46) filled out the scoring slots. Teammates Brad Yeomans (18:48) and Ty Becicka (18:49) were next through in the varsity race. Ethan McLaughlin ran seventh in the 115-boy junior varsity (JV) field.
Tipton topped the team finishes, with just 24 points for the championship. Marion (65) was second. Following were Mason City (118), Williamsburg (122), Maquoketa Valley (156)… then Solon (189). Rounding out the North Linn finish were Grundy Center-Gladbrook-Reinbeck (208), Cascade (228), Washington (238), Iowa City Regina (254), Hudson (295), Mount Pleasant (332), Edgewood-Colesburg (401), Springville-Central City (430), Alburnett (431) and Midland (445). There were incomplete teams running also from seven area schools.
After the WaMaC Conference meet Oct. 17, it’s back home for Solon… hosting one of five 3A regional qualifiers, to see who goes to state. “We would love to see everyone there, from Solon,” reminded Williams. “The (varsity only) meets go at 4 o’clock, and then 4:30 at the Solon Recreation and Nature Area.”
The state meet is Nov. 2 in Fort Dodge.