Prep Sports

A JV runner for one meet, South Winn's Billie Wagner is a regional cross country champion

Freshman leads a 1-2-3 finish by UIC rivals; Kee girls, South Winn boys earn team titles

CEDAR FALLS — Billie Wagner’s first race of her high school cross country career was as a junior-varsity runner.

That didn’t last long.

“I beat everybody (in the JV race) by about 2 minutes,” said Wagner, a freshman from South Winneshiek. “Then I looked at the results, and I would have been fourth in the varsity race.”

Fast forward nearly two months, to Thursday. Wagner is a regional champion, with hopes of a very high finish at the state meet next week.

Wagner blazed through the mud at Birdsall Park, pulling away from — then holding off — a pair of Upper Iowa Conference rivals.

“I did what I’ve always done ... I stayed with a group at the beginning, then broke off,” Wagner said after finishing in 19 minutes, 28 seconds.

Haley Meyer of team champion Lansing Kee was second in 19:34, followed by Jalyssa Blazek of Turkey Valley (19:39).

Led by Meyer and Alison Wagner (sixth place), Kee tallied 59 points to edge Denver (70). Sumner-Fredericksburg (114) led a tight race for the third and final team berth, edging Nashua-Plainfield (116), North Linn (116) and South Winn (120).

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The top three teams and top 15 individuals advance to the state meet, Nov. 2 at Lakeside Golf Course, Fort Dodge.

“We really want to place in the top three at state and get up on that podium,” Haley Meyer said. “We just need to run.”

Led by individual runner-up Jamison Meyer, and bolstered by depth that landed three more runners in the top 11, South Winn triumphed in the boys’ field with 47 points. Denver (68) and Saint Ansgar (109) also qualified for state.

“The team did really, really well, the best we could do for today,” Jamison Meyer said. “I was running third, and I saw the guy ahead of me and thought maybe I could get him.

“I started picking it up and put in the effort to get him.”

Riley Witt of Saint Ansgar was the top boys’ runner at 17:25. Meyer was next in 17:47.

Emmett Schwartzhoff, Chance Adam and Isaiah Kruckman were fourth, ninth and 11th for South Winn.

CLASS 1A STATE QUALIFIER

At Cedar Falls

GIRLS RESULTS

Teams — 1. Lansing Kee 59, 2. Denver 70, 3. Sumner-Fredericksburg 114, 4. Nashua-Plainfield 116, 5. North Linn 116, 6. South Winneshiek 120, 7. Saint Ansgar 167, 8. Wapsie Valley 243, 9. Valley Lutheran 273, 10. MFL MarMac 276, 11. Central Springs 277, 12. Riceville 301, 13. Clayton RIdge 304, 14. North Butler 329.

Individuals — 1. Billie Wagner (SWinn), 19:28; 2. Haley Meyer (Kee), 19:34; 3. Jalyssa Blazek (Turkey Valley), 19:39; 4. Grace Beck (Den), 20:40; 5. Chloe Ristau (Den), 20:46; 6. Alison Wagner (Kee), 20:47; 7. Hannah Bridgewater (NLinn), 20:55; 8. Chloe Matthews (N-P), 21:03; 9. Tessa Helms (NLinn), 21:14; 10. Paige Feldmann (Janesville), 21:22; 11. Kori Wedeking (Clarksville), 21:23; 12. Jennah Carpenter (N-P), 21:26; 13. Laci Even (Den), 21:30; 14. Lily Mayo (Sum-Fred), 21:39; 15. Jaycie Bryne (TV), 21:44.

BOYS RESULTS

Teams — 1. South Winneshiek 47, 2. Denver 68, 3. Saint Ansgar 109, 4. Central Springs 120, 5. North Butler 148, 6. Valley Lutheran 164, 7. Sumner-Fredericksburg 192, 8. Lake Mills 208, 9. Clayton Ridge 212, 10. Edgewood-Colesburg 295, 11. MFL MarMac 313, 12. Clarksville 335, 13. Nashua-Plainfield 341, 14. Don Bosco 343, 15. Dunkerton 360, 16. Postville 427, 17. Wapsie Valley 497, 18. North Iowa 510.

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Individuals — 1. Riley Witt (StAns) 17:25; 2. Jamison Meyer (SWinn), 17:47; 3. Bryce McDonough (CSpr), 17:52; 4. Emmett Schwartzhoff (SWinn), 18:00; 5. Chris Wagner (Kee), 18:03; 6. Isaac Natvig (ValLuth), 18:08; 7. Seth Hershey (StAns), 18:08; 8. Carson Rygh (LkMills), 18:10; 9. Chance Adam (SWinn), 18:12; 10. Sam Snyder (North Tama), 18:14; 11. Isaiah Kruckman (SWinn), 18:14; 12. Alex Larson (Den), 18:16; 13. Colby Wilkerson (NBut), 18:18; 14. Kason Judisch (Sum-Fred), 18:22; 15. Josh Terrill (Den), 18:27.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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