TREYNOR, Iowa — The Griswold girls and Riverside boys are getting used to celebrating on the east edge of Treynor.
One week after earning Western Iowa Conference cross country titles at the Treynor Recreation Area, each team also came out on top in the Class 1-A state-qualifying meet Thursday afternoon. The top three schools and top 10 individuals from each race move on to the Nov. 2 state meet at the Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge.
St. Albert was the only program to advance both its boys and girls squads after a pair of second-place showings. The boys — two-time defending state champs and ranked No. 3 — trailed Riverside 73-76 and the No. 6 girls came in behind Griswold 81-121 while qualifying for the first time since 2008.
“When you get a beautiful day like today, you expect to run good and they did,” St. Albert coach Bob Weidman said. “Now they're going to state and it's really cool.”
A few surprise performances also highlighted the crisp and sunny meet. Exira-EHK took third on the girls side with 143 points to reach state for the first time in at least 15 years. For the boys, No. 5 Boyer Valley claimed the final team spot to earn a state trip for the first time in school history.
Griswold junior Rebekah Topham cruised to the individual girls title with a time of 14 minutes, 57 seconds — more than a minute ahead of runner-up and Earlham standout Kirsten Weber (16:05). The Tigers' two-time state champ returned to the 4-kilometer course after sitting out the last two meets with an injured foot.
“I was just going to run no matter what, unless my foot was really bad,” Topham said. “I never really considered not running.”
Other western Iowa girls qualifiers include Nodaway Valley's Destiny Scar (third), Tri-Center's Michelle Mumm (fourth), Southwest Iowa's Mackenzie Hulsing (sixth), St. Albert's Jacey Martin (seventh), Woodbine's Megan Maaske (eighth), Audubon's Megan Deist (ninth) and Bedford's Charissa Mogler (10th).
Martin, a freshman, said she began the year just looking for a way to stay in shape for her preferred sports like basketball and soccer. A year ago, St. Albert didn't have enough girls to field a full team.
“I kind of ran my race and I ran the last mile faster,” Martin said. “I knew if I didn't, people might start passing me. This is kind of surreal and hasn't quite sunk in yet. It feels really good.”
Exira-EHK feels the same way. Emily Copic (11th) and Grace Hoflen (12th) were the Spartans' highest finishers on a unit that features the minimum five girls. The team didn't win the Rolling Valley Conference meet last week after one runner was injured during the race.
“I'm still pretty shocked,” coach Terry Weisenborn said. “I think I had it in their minds they had an outside chance (at state), but the way they ran today I knew it was going to be close. I was pretty surprised when they called our name.”
Riverside's boys move on to state for a third straight season. Tim Brink led the Bulldogs by finishing fifth, followed closely by Brady Ryun in sixth and Brandon Sipherd in 12th. It was the third time they had run at Treynor this year.
“This team's really fun,” Brink said. “We're really close and joke around with each other. We do a lot of different sports, and we know each other really well.”
Riverside coach Alex Oliver said his group came within a few seconds of getting all five scorers in at less than 18 minutes. But the team hit its goal of capturing its first-ever state-qualifying meet after Oliver brought up the idea in practice Wednesday.
“They looked at me a little funny, but by the end of it they believed it,” he said. “They started showing that it wasn't just about being here, it was about winning it today.”
Three Nodaway Valley runners cracked the top 10: Shane Breheny (second), Heath Downing (fourth) and Brayten Funke (eighth). Other qualifiers were Logan-Magnolia's Wyatt Schulz (third), St. Albert's Max Ross (seventh) and Gus Doll (10th) and Boyer Valley's Chase Bonsall (ninth).
Mount Ayr's Noah Larsen won the 5-kilometer race.
“State is the goal — everyone wants it,” Ross said. “It's just who's going to go and get it. I'm pretty happy with how the race went, all in all.”
Boyer Valley occupied the last boys team spot thanks to numerous runners posting their best times this fall. Zach Ambrose finished 14th to lead the way. The Bulldogs edged No. 13 Nodaway Valley 95-101 in the team scoring.
“It's the first time for us,” coach Kent Hall said. “We're going to enjoy next week, and I think we'll be competitive. What do we have to lose?”
Team scoring (top three to state): Riverside 73, St. Albert 76, Boyer Valley 95, Nodaway Valley 101, Logan-Magnolia 153, Tri-Center 157, Earlham 176, IKM-Manning 256, Griswold 282, Southwest Valley 303, Treynor 327, Orient-Macksburg 330, A-H-S-T 345, Audubon 349, Mount Ayr 349, Underwood 365, Southwest Iowa 404.
State qualifiers: 1, Noah Larsen, Mount Ayr, 16:45; 2, Shane Breheny, Nodaway Valley, 17:01; 3, Wyatt Schulz, Logan-Magnolia, 17:02; 4, Heath Downing, Nodaway Valley, 17:02; 5, Tim Brink, Riverside, 17:07; 6, Brady Ryun, Riverside, 17:10; 7, Max Ross, St. Albert, 17:11; 8, Brayten Funke, Nodaway Valley, 17:11; 9, Chase Bonsall, Boyer Valley, 17:19; 10, Gus Doll, St. Albert, 17:21.
Other Riverside finishers: 12, Brandon Sipherd 17:24; 21, Adam Hartman 18:04; 30, Jacob Vogel 18:20; 47, Brandon Hering 19:07; 55, Dean Hansen 19:16.
Other St. Albert finishers: 11, Fred Hug 17:22; 17, Jeremy Sindelar 17:46; 32, Lucas Luke 18:24; 58, John Theulen 19:18; 61, Tyler Hopping 19:22.
Other Boyer Valley finishers: 14, Zach Ambrose 17:30; 23, Joseph Grady 18:07; 24, Connor Garrett 18:09; 25, Jake Weber 18:10; 54, Kyle Behrendt 19:15; 65, Nathan Ambrose 19:27.
Team scoring (top three to state): Griswold 81, St. Albert 121, Exira-EHK 143, Treynor 170, Underwood 171, Tri-Center 201, Earlham 202, Audubon 208, Adair-Casey 226, Logan-Magnolia 231, West Harrison 249, Bedford 260, Woodbine 264, Southwest Valley 307, Mount Ayr 318, IKM-Manning 373, Boyer Valley 462.
State qualifiers: 1, Rebekah Topham, Griswold, 14:57; 2, Kristen Weber, Earlham, 16:05; 3, Destiny Scar, Nodaway Valley, 16:11; 4, Michelle Mumm, Tri-Center, 16:19; 5, Emma Harper, East Union, 16:20; 6, Mackenzie Hulsing, Southwest Iowa, 16:21; 7, Jacey Martin, St. Albert, 16:29; 8, Megan Maaske, Woodbine, 16:37; 9, Megan Deist, Audubon, 16:43; 10, Charissa Mogler, Bedford, 16:43.
Other Griswold finishers: 13, Alyx Flippin 17:12; 15, Leah Lappe 17:17; 30, Alyssa Wyman 17:54; 34, Bridget Mauer 18:19; 38, Joanna Topham 18:27; 45, Kayla Kirchhoff 18:38.
Other St. Albert finishers: 20, Krisann Stephany 17:30; 22, Nicole Hilderbrand, 17:31; 41, Shelby Schultz, 18:32; 46, Felicia Roppe, 18:40; 58, Miranda Jangula 19:21; 72, Emma Munger 19:48.
Other Exira-EHK finishers: 11, Emily Copic 16:56; 12, Grace Hoflen 16:56; 17, Claire Paulsen 17:20; 50, Gabbie Bintner 19:04; 70, Savannah Hays 19:44.