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HEATED BATTLE: Moline, rookies guide Lynx girls to silver

Soaring temperatures only fuel WCHS to best team finish in recent memory

August 29, 2012
By Troy Banning - Sports Editor ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

WEBSTER CITY - Morgan Moline knows the time is coming when she won't be able to look behind her for her freshman teammates.

Sooner rather than later, she thinks they're going to tap her on the shoulder and wave as they fly right on by.

And the Webster City senior smiles at the thought.

Article Photos

DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City freshman Cassidy Bultena (342) is flanked by teammates Kenady Highland (348) and Courtney Biere (background) during yesterday’s Lynx Invite at the Webster City Links Golf Course. Bultena finished 17th, Biere 19th and Highland 20th to help propel the Lynx to a silver-medal showing behind Algona.

"Those younger girls, we hang out and stuff, and I think they'll probably catch me by the end of the season, and that's exciting. I want them to. I mean, I still want to be in front, but I want them right there with me. And if they beat me, that's fine. I can be OK with that," Moline said.

For now, the Lynx rookies are riding on the shoe prints Moline leaves on the course, and the close proximity paid huge dividends for the squad at yesterday's Lynx Invitational.

WCHS turned in its best team race in recent memory, packing all five of its scoring runners within 10 spots of one another - all inside the top 24 - to carry the group to a runner-up finish at the Webster City Links Golf Course.

Fact Box

Team Standings

1. Algona 60; 2. Webster City 93; 3. Roland-Story 100; 4. Prairie Valley 141; 5. Eagle Grove 152; 6. Fort Dodge Senior 167; 7. Fort Dodge St. Edmond 184; 8. Humboldt 197; 9. Boone 203; 10. Clarion-Goldfield 260; 11. Southeast Webster-Grand 263; 12. Manson-Northwest Webster 279; 13. Belmond-Klemme 321.

Individual Top 10

1. Tiffany Christensen (EG) 15:54.67; 2. Sam Larson (H) 16:24.08; 3. Jaclyn Rittgers (PV) 16:43.44; 4. Tangy Wiseman (A) 17:00.55; 5. Emma Luhmann (SEW-G) 17:16.09; 6. Sarah Lunn (R-S) 17:17.54; 7. Paige Yi (A) 17:24.07; 8. Carissa Pityer (A) 17:26.92; 9. Cathy Narigon (R-S) 17:45.74; 10. Eden DeWald (R-S) 17:49.68.

Webster City Results

14. Morgan Moline 18:16.20; 17. Cassidy Bultena 18:59.69; 19. Courtney Biere 18:59.32; 20. Kenady Highland 18:59.65; 24. Gina Moline 19:06.14; 29. Brenna Paukert 19:20.94; 33. Faith McClain 19:28.28.

The Lynx tallied 93 points, trailing only North Central Conference rival and team champion Algona (60). Roland-Story (100) was third, followed by Prairie Valley (141) and Eagle Grove (152).

And right out front was Moline, the team's unquestioned leader over the past three seasons. She completed the 4-kilometer course in 18 minutes, 16.20 seconds to finish 14th in a field of 86 competitors.

Moline - the resident den mother to the young group - took a peak over her shoulder as she sprinted up the final incline to the finish line, and she liked what came into her vision.

"I got around the corner and I saw all of those yellow jerseys behind me, and that was awesome," she said. "Finishing second is awesome. That's exciting."

Freshmen Cassidy Bultena and Courtney Biere stuck by sophomore teammate Kenady Highland as they traveled up the hills and around the bends. They were separated by just 10 seconds as they all jockeyed for higher places down the homestretch.

Bultena was nudged out by Algona's Anna Zeller at the finish line, but still finished a very respectable 17th in 18:50.69 in her first varsity meet on her home course.

Biere and Highland finished within a blink of one another. Biere crossed in 18:59.32 to place 19th, while Highland was 20th in 18:59.65.

Gina Moline solidified the silver medal team performance by streaking into the finishing chute in 19:06.14, good enough for 24th.

Brenna Paukert (19:20.94) and Faith McClain (19:28.95) completed the WCHS contingent in 29th and 33rd, respectively.

Morgan Moline says every team member can lower their times, but in 90-degree heat and running for just the second time this fall, she says competing is more important at this time.

"In the beginning of the season it's harder to get your times down, especially right now when it's so hot," she said. "So right now we're really working on getting packed up as a team towards the front of the race."

Algona had balance at the front of the race and that propelled the Bulldogs to the easy team victory. They put three runners in the top eight, keyed by the fourth-place showing from Tangy Wiseman (17:00.55).

Eagle Grove junior Tiffany Christensen defended her individual title in comfortable fashion, sprinting the final 50 meters to finish up in 15:54.67. Humboldt's Sam Larson stayed on Christensen's hip over the first mile, but eventually had to give up the fight; she collected second in 16:24.08.



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