By Joe Wilkinson
Special to the Economist
ANAMOSA– In high school cross country scoring, only a team’s first five runners figure into the scoring. But Solon’s David Coberly learned that finishing sixth can be vital.
Led by Patrick McGill and Ty Appleget at the Sept. 28 Anamosa Invitational, Solon was tied with Fort Madison as each team’s top five crossed the finish line. McGill (12th) and Appleget (14th) each medaled for the Spartans; followed by teammates Taylor Walkner (21st), Simon Düster (25th) and Nik Rehnke (28th).
Ties however are broken by the better sixth runner’s place. Coberly (37th) was well ahead of Fort Madison’s Joel Knipe (48th), handing Solon the third-place team finish.
Monticello, the top-rated Class 2A team in the state, crunched all five scoring runners in the top eight spots to win the meet with just 23 points. Mount Vernon-Lisbon (89) was second in the 11-team meet, with two other teams not fielding a full squad.
McGill and Appleget have taken turns running first and second for Solon all season. “It’s good competition. We try to push each other in practice,” said Appleget, 12 seconds behind McGill’s 18:24 over the 5 kilometer Run ‘Round the Lake, at Central Park near Anamosa. “I do really well with hills; try to surge up each hill.” That left just enough for him to pass three runners coming through the finish chute. Two were from Fort Madison, which knocked their team total back two points. Result? Fort Madison’s team score dropped by two points, eventually creating the tie, which Coberly broke. Follow all that?
“They have been a solid one-two all season. They are coming on strong; running faster times than on the same courses last year,” agreed coach Emy Williams. However, she is also impressed with the next pack. “The other five varsity runners are running close together; as well as the top couple junior varsity runners (with a chance to move up to varsity) from meet to meet,” said Williams. There was only a 49 second gap from Walkner (18:59) through seven runner Josh Prybil (19:48) at Anamosa.
Solon was third in the eight-team junior varsity race, paced by the Keegans—Hess and Paisley…at fourth and seventh (19:36, 19:41). Adam Smith was 20th overall in the 90-runner field.
Girls third at Anamosa
It was no tie, but still a tight race among ranked teams, as Solon’s 10th-ranked Class 3A girls held on for third place in a tight 10-team race at Anamosa. Davenport Assumption, 3A’s No. 1 team, sent the first three runners across the finish line to run away with the team title with 22 points. Eleventh-ranked in 2A Mount Vernon-Lisbon (87) was second, with Solon third (94) and 2A fifth-ranked Cascade (99) fourth.
Alex Smith (sixth overall, 16:51), Katie Folkerts (11th, 17:18) and Tayvia Hansen (16th, 17:30) paced the Spartans. However Trish Coberly took it up a notch, running 17:49 for 26th place. “Trish is still learning how to run. This is her first year out (as a sophomore). She had a great outing for us,” assessed coach Emy Williams.
Carlyn Haas (35th, 18:27) was Solon’s fifth runner, followed by Sydney Gerdts (37th, 18:42) and Mileah Mesch (60th, 21:16).
In the junior varsity girls race, freshman Kylie Holubar was Solon’s top runner (sixth overall, 19:15). Emmy Moore (15th, 20:05) and Shae Goldsberry (18th, 20:13) were next across for Solon.