Hawks head to Dike, Lynx trek to Spencer today for State Qualifying Meets
Top three teams, 15 individuals will all advance to state
WEBSTER CITY — Running for its third consecutive trip to the state meet, the South Hamilton boys’ cross country team will be among the favorites this afternoon when it takes part in a Class 2A State Qualifying Meet at Fox Ridge Golf Course in Dike.
The sixth-ranked Hawks will be one of 15 teams in attendance looking to punch their ticket to next weekend’s festivities in Fort Dodge. The top three teams, as well as the top 15 individuals in the girls’ and boys’ races will advance.
Webster City, meanwhile, will take on the role of underdog when it makes the long trek north to Spencer for a 3A meet.
Both qualifiers will get underway at 4 p.m.
Led by veterans Logan Peters, Josiah Brown and Quinton Grove, South Hamilton will be tested by eighth-ranked Garner-Hayfield/Ventura and 14th-ranked South Hardin, as well as a slew of programs that it will be seeing for the first time.
Regardless of who they’re running against, the Hawks know their best should be enough to push them through to state.
“Our kids are ready to go,” South Hamilton head coach Darrell Paulsen said. “We’ve had a pretty good week and a half of practice.”
The 5K course at Fox Ridge is relatively flat, which could lead to low times and play right into the hands of Peters, the Hawks’ leader who always likes to push the pace.
“I think it will be fast, but we’ve been pretty good on fast courses this year,” Paulsen said. “If our top three kids do what they normally do, they should finish somewhere around the top 10.”
Ty Skartvedt and Aaron Hegland have been the Hawks’ Nos. 4 and 5 runners all season. Logan Austin and Clay Willadsen will round out the squad.
The South Hamilton girls’ team will face a juggernaut field that includes third-ranked Crestwood, sixth-ranked Cascade and 10th-ranked Waukon. Seven ranked individuals will be on the course.
Paulsen accepts that his girls’ team won’t be challenging the top of the leaderboard, but he has high hopes for his freshman trio of Yolanda Licea, Marissa Jensen and Abby Ervin.
“If one of those three freshmen or all three of them can put their best races together, you never know,” he said. “Anything can happen.”
Only two ranked boys’ teams — No. 2 Gilbert and No. 15 Clear Lake — will be in the 3A field at the Spencer Municipal Golf Course, but there’s plenty of depth. WCHS hasn’t beaten either team this season, nor has it finished in front of Humboldt, which will also be competing.
“It’s really tough,” WCHS head coach Joe Lambert said. “It’s going to be a challenge, but I think the boys are up for it. They’re good kids and they’ve worked hard.”
Tyler Bultena, a senior, qualified for state on the same course at the 2016 qualifier. Lambert says John Piaszynski is also getting back to full strength after a lengthy battle with illness.
“John is feeling a lot better and Tyler has been performing consistently all season,” he said.
The WCHS girls’ team will tackle a field featured by third-ranked Humboldt, seventh-ranked Gilbert and 10th-ranked Sioux City Heelan.
At Spencer Municipal Golf Course
Teams: Algona, Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley, Sioux City Heelan, Clear Lake, Gilbert, Humboldt, LeMars, MOC-Floyd Valley, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Spencer, Spirit Lake, Storm Lake, Webster City.
Ranked Teams: Girls — Humboldt 3rd, Gilbert 7th, Heelan 10th. Boys — Gilbert 2nd, Clear Lake 15th.
Ranked Individuals: Girls — Bryce Gidel, Humboldt, 3rd; Amber Aesoph, Heelan, 8th; Kourtney Delperdang, Spirit Lake, 11th; Gabbie Kent, Humboldt, 23rd; Emma DeGroot, MOC-FV, 30th. Boys — Rees Tyler, Gilbert, 3rd; Miles Scott, SB-Luton, 5th; Nathan Patel, Gilbert, 16th; Sam Pedelty, Clear Lake, 23rd; Jacob Vander Werff, MOC-FV, 28th.
At Fox Ridge Golf Course, Dike
Teams: Cascade, Waterloo Columbus, Crestwood, Dike-New Hartford, Garner-Hayfield/Ventura, Hampton-Dumont, Jesup, New Hampton, North Fayette Valley, Oelwein, Osage, South Hamilton, South Hardin, Union, Waukon.
Ranked Teams: Girls — Crestwood 3rd, Cascade 6th, Waukon 10th. Boys — South Hamilton 6th, Garner-Hayfield/Ventura 8th, South Hardin 14th.
Ranked Individuals: Girls — Ellie Friesen, Crestwood, 3rd; Cassidy Ihns, Crestwood, 9th; Madeline Rhomberg, Cascade, 11th; Hope Dohlman, Crestwood, 13th; Abby Christians, GHV, 16th; Patty Teggatz, H-D, 20th; Emily Treptow, Jesup, 23rd. Boys — Reece Smith, GHV, 5th; Lake Lebahn, Union, 16th; Logan Peters, South Hamilton, 21st; Zakee Newman, South Hardin, 27th; Chandler Douglas, NFV, 29th.