Willson races into the top five for second straight year

Webster City’s Jacob Willson (left), Matt Perin (center) and Jose Ramirez (right) run together at Tuesday’s NCC meet in Clear Lake. Willson finished fifth, Perin was ninth and Ramirez placed 12th. Times-Citizen photo/Corey Meints

CLEAR LAKE — There is no one that expects more out of Jacob Willson than Jacob Willson. He demands his best, and he doesn’t hide his frustration when he thinks it’s warranted.

But on Tuesday he was smiling. And so was his coach.

Willson, a senior and Webster City’s cross country leader, turned in his most complete race of the season and captured his second straight all-league accolade at the 49th North Central Conference meet. He also propelled the Lynx to their seventh consecutive top-three finish in the team standings.

“Jacob had a killer race and he’s put in a lot of work to get there,” WCHS head coach Derek Turner said after his crew compiled 75 points at Veterans Memorial Golf Course. “In training, he works his butt off and he does the right things.

“He was all smiles afterward. He wants to win every race, which is a great mindset to have, but he’s really excited about the top five.”

Times-Citizen photo/Corey Meints

Willson finished fifth for the second consecutive season, as he battled with the front runners throughout the 5K. He crossed in 17:16.2, his top time of the season.

No. 13-ranked (Class 3A) Humboldt sailed to its third straight conference championship and seventh all-time with 32 points, and Wildcats’ ace Quinton Orr again showed why he’s a favorite to win a state title this fall. Orr ran all by himself from the opening gun and earned his second NCC gold medal in 15:42.1, nearly a minute in front of silver medalist and teammate Eric Wittrock (16:40.0). Wittrock was also second in 2019.

Humboldt had four runners in the top 10 to create plenty of distance between itself and runner-up Clear Lake (62). WCHS had hoped to occupy the runner-up slot for a second straight season, but Turner couldn’t fault his team’s effort.

“Top to bottom, we had a really quality performance and it was our best team race of the year,” he said. “Humboldt has got a really deep team right now. They’ve got three or four guys running (junior varsity) that could run varsity at any other school in the conference. And Clear Lake, I can’t take anything away from them. Their top five is really good and we’re just a little behind them.”

No. 13-ranked (1A) St. Edmond was fourth with 111.

Webster City’s Kaelyn Butz (center) and Emma Peck (right) glide down the course at Tuesday’s NCC meet in Clear Lake. Times-Citizen photo/Corey Meints

The top eight individuals earned all-NCC medals. WCHS senior Matt Perin narrowly missed a repeat top-eight showing, as he settled for ninth in 17:59.4. Jose Ramirez (18:06.4) lagged seven seconds back in 12th, and Cole Reiling (18:19.7) gave the Lynx a fourth top-20 finisher; he was 18th. Codey Berg (19:13.0) rounded out the scoring in the 31st position.

The 10th-ranked (1A) St. Edmond girls’ squad captured its second NCC crown ever –the Gaels last won in 2008 — by jamming the top 10 with four runners and tallying 37 points. Iowa Falls-Alden, the defending champion entering the day, snuck into second with 55, followed by Algona with 71. Humboldt (87) finished fourth and WCHS (124) hung on for fifth for the second straight year.

After winning the silver medal in 2019, Iowa Falls-Alden’s Ellie Meyer moved up one spot to win her first conference title with a time of 18:17.6. She could have coasted the final mile, as Hampton-Dumont’s Lydia Maas, the runner-up, was well back and crossed in 18:56.7.

WCHS sophomore Emma Peck missed a spot in the top 10 by only a few steps. She took the team lead early and came home in 11th with a time of 21:43.1.

“Emma had a really good race,” Turner said. “She’s broken into 21 minutes now and that’s a really good sign for her. I think she’s got a lot left in the tank too.”

Times-Citizen photo/Corey Meints

Kaelyn Butz (22:24.1) occupied the 16th-place position, and Jacie Crutcher (23:31.4) was 25th. Turner was also encouraged by the showing of Carly Appel (26:31.0), who was 41st.

“Carly had a really good night,” he said. “The 26-minute range is exceptional for her and it should build a lot of confidence.”

Brynna Croy (28:57.9) rounded out the scoring in 46th place.

WCHS will now rest up some and prepare for next Wednesday’s Class 3A State Qualifying Meet. The Lynx learned on Wednesday they’ll compete in the Waverly-Shell Rock qualifier.

NCC Meet

Tuesday at Clear Lake


Team Standings

1. St. Edmond 37; 2. Iowa Falls-Alden 55; 3. Algona 71; 4. Humboldt 87; 5. Webster City 124; 6. Clear Lake 156.

Top 8 Individual (All-NCC)

1. Ellie Meyer (IF-A) 18:17.6; 2. Lydia Maas (H-D) 18:56.7; 3. Teah Miller (IF-A) 20:15.8; 4. Moriah Knapp (A) 20:28.4; 5. Aubrey Bemrich (SE) 20:32.1; 6. Michaela Leiting (SE) 20:32.5; 7. Abby Harding (IF-A) 20:51.4; 8. Hannah Landwehr (SE) 21:18.2.

Webster City Results

11. Emma Peck 21:43.1; 16. Kaelyn Butz 22:24.1; 25. Jacie Crutcher 23:31.4; 41. Carly Appel 26:31.0; 46. Brynna Croy 28:57.9.


Team Standings

1. Humboldt 32; 2. Clear Lake 62; 3. Webster City 75; 4. St. Edmond 111; 5. Algona 138; 6. Hampton-Dumont/CAL 160; 7. Iowa Falls-Alden 161; 8. Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 164.

Individual Top 8 (All-NCC)

1. Quinton Orr (H) 15:42.1; 2. Eric Wittrock (H) 16:40.0; 3. Justin Wright (CL) 16:48.4; 4. Ryan Stundahl (A) 17:14.9; 5. Jacob Willson (WC) 17:16.2; 6. Trevor Jacobson (H) 17:26.0; 7. Leo Tolentino (CL) 17:30.7; 8. Aaron Lursen (SE) 17:42.2.

Webster City Results

5. Jacob Willson 17:16.2; 9. Matt Perin 17:59.4; 12. Jose Ramirez 18:06.4; 18. Cole Reiling 18:19.7; 31. Codey Berg 19:13.0; 43. Reece Sadler 19:36.6; 46. Wyatt Bingham 19:50.6.

Webster City Boys JV

15. Aiden Rahe 21:06.2; 17. Samuel Moberly 21:19.6; 49. Lane McVicker 29:02.1; 50. Landon Crawford 29:22.3.

Webster City Girls Middle School

16. Amiree Elias 16:01.2; 21. Karina Murry 16:26.7; 34. Cyra Christensen 18:29.8; 39. Natalie Eggers 19:39.3; 42. Cindy Gomez 20:39.8; 44. Caroline Ehn 21:33.5.

Webster City Boys Middle School

11. Jack Barner 13:12.2; 28. Qwen Patterson 15:17.1; 30. Kyzer Zinnel 15:34.0; 38. Nathan Wardell 17:10.0; 54. Owen Muongnmvong 23:31.3.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today