Grove snags all-conference medal for Hawk boys
SH back in 5th in team race; Nevada hoists the hardware
JEWELL — Emily Bochmann was content, perhaps even happy, she really was. Here comes the but though …
“I’m not disappointed by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought we’d be a little bit closer to the top three,” Bochmann, South Hamilton’s head cross country coach, said of the boys’ race at Monday’s Heart of Iowa Conference meet. “I was hoping for third for the boys team, but they had a really solid meet.”
Bochmann’s tempered enthusiasm came from the fact that Roland-Story, a team South Hamilton had previously topped this season, occupied the third-place spot with 91 points. Perry snuck into fourth with 104, followed by the Hawks in fifth with 108.
“Our boys team is still trying to pull in our pack a little bit and trying to figure out where they fall in line too,” Bochmann said. “I know we had several (personal records) and season’s bests, so that was good.”
No one was catching Nevada at the Jewell Golf and Country Club, as the Cubs blanketed the top eight with four runners and all five counters placed among the top 11. The result was a conference championship total of 32 points, a zip code or two in front of runner-up Greene County (71).
West Marshall’s Nicolas Thompson was the individual gold medalist in 17:21. Thompson and Roland-Story’s Nathan Limas raced shoulder-to-shoulder for much of the race before Thompson turned on the jets over the final 800 meters to win by seven seconds.
Landon Grove gave South Hamilton an all-conference performer, as he landed the final spot in the top eight. He hung near the Nevada duo of Rowen Steels (18:25) and Carter Holland (18:26) up every hill, down every slope and through every long straightaway en route to a time of 18:28, the best clocking of his career.
“I am very happy for Landon,” Bochmann said. “He just continues to be that solid runner who is improving all of the time. He’s like his brother (South Hamilton graduate and state medalist Quinton Grove), he’s got goals and he’s not going to let anything stand in his way.”
Eli Potter hung in Grove’s shadow for as long as possible, but eventually fell off the pace. He still managed to hang on to 10th in 19:05.
“Eli is still dealing with a little bit of illness from the beginning of the season, but he’s also coming on strong,” Bochmann said. “I’d still like to see him get a little closer to Landon because those two working together would be very good for our team.”
Ben Bailey continued to lower his time, as he snuck under the 20-minute barrier to place 24th in 19:56.
“It’s been a huge season for Ben,” Bochmann said. “Coming from last year, being that seven, eight, nine runner to being a pretty solid top five runner almost every meet has been huge for him.”
Jagger Ferrie (20:37) was back in 32nd, and Pete Coburn (21:02) closed out the Hawks’ scoring in 38th.
Monday at Jewell
1. Nevada 32; 2. Greene County 71; 3. Roland-Story 91; 4. Perry 104; 5. South Hamilton 108; 6. West Marshall 118; 7. Saydel 200.
Individual All-Conference (Top 8)
1. Nicolas Thompson (WM) 17:21; 2. Nathan Limas (R-S) 17:28; 3. Owen Freeman (NEV) 17:35; 4. Fithawi Andemichael (PER) 17:35; 5. Rhett Harter (NEV) 18:09; 6. Rowen Steele (NEV) 18:25; 7. Carter Holland (NEV) 18:26; 8. Landon Grove (SH) 18:28.
South Hamilton Results
8. Landon Grove 18:28; 10. Eli Potter 19:05; 24. Ben Bailey 19:56; 32. Jagger Ferrie 20:37; 38. Pete Coburn 21:02; 39. Logan Halfwassen 21:08; 43. Bobby Tapper 21:18.