JEWELL - A miniature version of the Heart of Iowa Conference meet broke out at the Jewell Golf and Country Club yesterday evening, and South Hamilton cross country coach Darrell Paulsen was able to walk away with a smile.
As one of five ranked (Class 2A) teams in the field, the No. 11 South Hamilton girls settled into the runner-up slot behind No. 3 Gilbert at the Hawk Invitational. The Tigers dominated, as usual, with 57 points to the Hawks 91.
No. 8 CMB was third with 94. Nevada (96), No. 10 Roland-Story (96) and No. 15 East Marshall (130) claimed the fourth through sixth slots.
The top five finishers will all go at it again on Monday at the HOIC meet in Ames.
"There were some really good girls and some really good teams in that race," Paulsen said. "It was just fun to watch."
South Hamilton's effective depth gave it the nudge over CMB and Roland-Story. All five scorers placed in the top 25, keyed by sophomore Kayla Lucas in eighth with a 4-kilometer time of 16:15.
1. Gilbert 57; 2. South Hamilton 91; 3. CMB 94; 4. Nevada 96; 5. Roland-Story 108; 6. East Marshall 130; 7. Madrid 153; 8. Ogden 216.
South Hamilton Results
8. Kayla Lucas 16:15; 11. Allyson Ervin 16:20; 22. Meghan Fisher 17:14; 24. Kali Lucas 17:23; 25. Rachael Huegerich 17:26; 36. Jessica Zoske 17:55; 43. Sidney Alsager 18:13.
1. Gilbert 46; 2. West Marshall 92; 3. East Marshall 110; 4. Nevada 112; 5. South Hamilton 143; 6. Roland-Story 159; 7. Ogden 171; 8. Colo-NESCO 195; 9. Madrid 205.
South Hamilton Results
8. Jacob Heeren 17:36; 23. Alex Bristow 18:35; 28. Zach Coster 18:39; 39. Caleb Olson 19:20; 45. Jordan Lutjen 19:44; 53. Jordan Toillion 20:35; 58. Luke Jacoby 20:54.
But classmate and teammate Allyson Ervin closed the gap significantly, much to Paulsen's praise. She passed a slew of competitors down the final straightaway and placed 11th, just five seconds behind Lucas in 16:20.
"She's been running really well and that's her fastest time ever," Paulsen said of Ervin. "I know she was worried after she got that side ache a few meets ago, so this is good for her and we need her up there."
Meghan Fisher (17:14) finished 22nd, Kali Lucas (17:23) was 24th and Rachael Huegerich (17:26) was 25th.
Hawks' sophomore Jacob Heeren hung with the leaders through one loop of the 5K course, but he fell off the pace slightly over the final mile and finished eighth in 17:36 for the boys' team yesterday.
South Hamilton was fifth overall with 143 points. No. 4 Gilbert (46) dominated the meet. West Marshall (92), East Marshall (110) and Nevada (112) followed.
Alex Bristow (18:35) was 23rd for the Hawks. Zach Coster (18:39) crossed in 28th, Caleb Olson (19:20) was 39th, and Jordan Lutjen (19:44) rounded out the scoring in 45th.
Monday's HOIC meet will begin at 5 p.m. from the ISU course.