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Second a year ago, Lynx have a similar goal at today’s NCC meet

Willson, Ramirez and Perin all-league in 2019

WEBSTER CITY — The 49th North Central Conference meet is set to go off from Veterans Memorial Golf Course in Clear Lake this afternoon, and the Webster City boys’ squad has got its sights set on a top-two finish.

Racing will begin with the middle school races at 3:45 p.m. The junior varsity and varsity races are slated to start at 4:15 p.m.

The runner-up a season ago, the Lynx understand that it’s probably a bit unrealistic to think they can chase down two-time defending champion and 13th-ranked (Class 3A) Humboldt.

“I’m not going to say it’s impossible, but we’d have to have a perfect meet to have a chance against Humboldt,” WCHS head coach Derek Turner said. “Realistically, if we can compete with Clear Lake and (1A 13th-ranked) St. Edmond, that would be a real successful day.”

The trio jockeying for second have all got the better of one another at some point this season.

Humboldt also boasts the returning individual gold and silver medalists in Quinton Orr and Eric Wittrock. Orr, the 2019 NCC champion and state runner-up, is currently ranked No. 1 in 3A and hasn’t been beaten this season.

Jacob Willson, Jose Ramirez and Matt Perin were all top-eight finishers, resulting in all-conference accolades, for WCHS a season ago when the Lynx hosted the meet. Willson placed fifth, Ramirez sixth and Perin eighth.

Turner says all three should have similar goals this afternoon, and he also thinks Cole Reiling, who was 17th in 2019, could make a push.

“They know where they should be and what they can be,” Turner said. “If we have a good day, it’s not impossible to have four in the top 10.”

The short-handed WCHS girls’ team will attempt to at least match its fifth-place finish from last fall, and it will again lean on its top three runners — Emma Peck, Kaelyn Butz and Jacie Crutcher. They’ve traded the team lead throughout the season and if they can all put it together, Turner thinks it could be a good day.

“We haven’t seen it quite this year, but the ultimate goal is to get them packed up and moving toward the front,” he said. “All-conference should be an attainable goal for all three of them.”

Butz placed 11th, Crutcher 15th and Peck 23rd a season ago.

Defending girls’ champion Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR and 10th-ranked (1A) St. Edmond should battle for the top trophy. The Cadets ended Humboldt’s run of six consecutive crowns in 2019 and they’ll have the overwhelming individual favorite in Ellie Meyer, last year’s runner-up. Meyer hasn’t lost a race this season.

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