FORT DODGE - The results don't necessarily show it, but the Webster City cross country teams really couldn't have asked for much more yesterday during the Fort Dodge Invitational.
Facing a predominantly Class 4A field, the Lynx saw a slew of season's best performances at Lakeside Golf Course inside Kennedy Park. The girls' team placed ninth in the field of 11 with 281 points, while the boys were 11th out of 12 with 313.
But the numbers mean nothing to WCHS coach Tony Bussan - other than the official times, of course.
DFJ photo by Dale Wooten
WCHS freshmen (left to right) Cassidy Bultena, Allie Flaws and Courtney Biere run together during yesterday’s Fort Dodge Invitational at Lakeside Golf Course. Biere led the bunch.
"Our girls had an excellent meet ... (the boys) had an outstanding meet," he said. "Things are coming together nicely."
A total of eight girls' and boys' teams entered are ranked. No. 6 Urbandale (girls, 59 points) and No. 11 West Des Moines Valley (boys, 82) were the team champions.
Valley seniors Lydia Saggau (14:40) and Ben Anderson (15:21) were the individual gold medalists.
1. Urbandale 59; 2. Waukee 70; 3. WDM Valley 72; 4. DM Roosevelt 90; 5. Ames 96; 6. Ankeny 114; 7. Johnston 149; 8. Mason City 264; 9. Webster City 281; 10. Fort Dodge 330; 11. Boone 356.
Webster City Results
36. Morgan Moline 15:59; 58. Courtney Biere 16:58; 60. Allie flaws 17:03; 61. Cassidy Bultena 17:07; 66. Faith McClain 17:41; 69. Morgan Shannon 18:23; 70. Brenna Paukert 18:23.
1. WDM Valley 82; 2. Johnston 85; 3. Waukee 93; 4. Indianola 112; 5. Ames 116; 6. Ankeny 172; 7. Boone 176; 8. Mason City 227; 9. Southeast Polk 245; 10. Urbandale 259; 11. Webster City 313; 12. Fort Dodge 319.
Webster City Results
48. Steven Smith 17:11; 57. Jacob Clabaugh 17:22; 58. Ethan Glenn 17:23; 73. Kenton Johnston 17:47; 77. Nick Olmstead 17:59; 83. Cole Zahn 18:10; 87. Eric Coleman 18:25.
Lynx senior Morgan Moline - a state qualifier on the same course in 2010 - finally dipped under 16 minutes for the first time in her career in the girls' 4-kilometer race, and it didn't matter that it was by only one second. Her 15:59 clocking gave her 36th overall.
Freshmen Courtney Biere (16:58), Allie Flaws (17:03) and Cassidy Bultena (17:07) all stepped up their efforts to place 58th, 60th and 61st, respectively. Biere broke 17 minutes for the first time this season.
Faith McClain came across in 17:41 to place 66th.
Northeast Hamilton senior Steven Smith again navigated the Lynx boys as teammates Jacob Clabaugh and Ethan Glenn gave chase. Smith wrapped up his 5K in 17:11 to take 48th; Clabaugh (17:22) was 57th and Glenn (17:23) 58th.
Kenton Johnston (17:47) and Nick Olmstead (17:59) finished off the team total by placing 73rd and 77th, respectively.
But perhaps the best race of the chilly day was turned in by senior Nick Thilges, who was eighth in the junior varsity race in 17:28. An all-North Central Conference runner last year and three-year varsity regular, Thilges has battled an undisclosed illness all season and is just now rounding into shape.
"Nick returned to form," Bussan said. "(His time) was not only his best of the year, but within a couple of seconds of last year's personal record."
Bussan and his racers will take what they accomplished last night and try to use it on Tuesday when the Lynx compete in the NCC meet at Algona.