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Girls first, boys second at Williamsburg invite

Senior Nik Rehnke strides out at the Anamosa cross country meet earlier this season. Rehnke has been pushing the pack all season; mixing it up with his teammates to get the third, fourth and fifth scoring spots... and improving the Spartans’ team score as they push one another. (photos by Joe Wilkinson)

By Joe Wilkinson
Special to the Economist

WILLIAMSBURG– Solon’s girls scored a team and individual title at the Williamsburg invitational cross country meet Sept. 30.
Junior Alex Smith notched her first individual win, holding off Ellie Conrad of Mid-Prairie, with a 16:20 run over the 4 kilometer course at the Williamsburg Recreation complex. Teammates Tayvia Hansen (fourth, 16:44) and Katie Folkerts (fifth,16:51) helped push the Spartans to the narrow 39-41 victory over Williamsburg. “Tayvia ran a strong race. She’s coming on stronger and stronger each meet,” reviewed coach Emy Williams.
The Williamsburg format had varsity with junior varsity runners… all on the course together. Solon’s Carlyn Haas was 12th in the varsity finish (17:39). Molly Walkner was 17th (17:59), Mileah Mesch was a place and a second behind her, with Trish Coberly close on their heels (19th, 18:02). Running JV in the ‘all in’ format, Sydney Gerdts was 21st overall (18:19), with Kylie Holubar 26th (18:53).
It was the season’s first team title as well for the now No. 6-ranked (Class 3A) Spartans, and their first team win over now No. 9 Williamsburg. Mount Pleasant was third (51 points), with North Mahaska, English Valleys and Belle Plaine trailing.
Heading into the last couple meets before state qualifying districts, the heavy practice load will lighten up for the girls and boys teams. “We have been hitting it hard; mileage and repetition the last couple weeks in practice,” said Williams. “Now, we’ll taper the workouts; do more speed work.”
Solon’s boys were close behind Class 3A’s No. 12-ranked Williamsburg at the Sept. 30 cross country meet; crowding their five scoring runners in the top 20. The host school’s 46 points were enough for the win, with the Spartans close behind at 55. Mount Pleasant (69), Tipton (81), Belle Plaine (126) and HLV (169) were also in the field.
For Solon, it was Patrick McGill and Ty Appleget again with the leaders, going fifth (17:50) and sixth (17:56). Sophomore Simon Düster moved up in the pack with an 11th place finish (18:31) on the 5 kilometer course. Taylor Walkner (16th, 18:46), Nik Rehnke (17th, 18:49), Josh Prybil (22nd, 19:05) and David Coberly (23rd, 1907) boosted the Spartans.
“Simon ran a good race. He went out well. He put in a lot of mileage over the summer. He’s reaping the benefits now,” noticed Williams.
Keegan Paisley (19:59) and Keegan Hess (20:05) finished 33rd and 35th in the ‘all in’ field, top finishers for Solon’s JV squad.
Scheduled to run at Mid-Prairie in the IMS meet this past Monday, Solon gears up for Saturday’s North Linn Invitational, then to conference and post-season. Solon hosts the Oct. 24 state qualifying meet.
Across the state, other 3A host schools are Waverly-Shell Rock, Pella, Carroll Kuemper and Winterset. The top three schools at each location move on to state, Nov. 2 in Fort Dodge.