Prep Sports

Andrew Bickford taking his turn as Cedar Rapids Prairie's pacesetter

Prep cross country: Senior wins individual crown at home invitational

Varsity boys take off from the start of their race at the Prairie Invitational cross country meet Saturday. (Rebecca F.
Varsity boys take off from the start of their race at the Prairie Invitational cross country meet Saturday. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Andrew Bickford tends to focus straight ahead.

That goes for his racing style. And it goes for his outlook, too.

In both cases, a good quality.

“We have a lot of new runners, and we’re starting a new legacy for the team,” the Cedar Rapids Prairie senior said after winning the boys’ individual title at the Prairie Invitational cross country meet Saturday morning on the College Community Schools campus.

A perennially strong program, Prairie returned only three varsity runners from last year’s sixth-place state team. Bickford looked like a fitting pacesetter Saturday, pulling away in the final half-mile to claim the crown in 16:37.

“I really wasn’t sure what to expect,” he said. “I was going to try to stick with the lead pack. I like to sit with the pack a while, get comfortable, then break out a bit.

“I wasn’t sure where the other guys were. I tend not to look back.”

Bickford was in a pack of about 12 runners through the first half of the race, and that pack dwindled to four as they began the second loop through campus.

Alex McKane of Iowa City West finished second in 16:44; Prairie’s Hunter Kalous was fourth. Other than that, the front of the race was dominated by Cedar Falls, which placed six runners in the top 10 and won the team title with 30 points. Prairie was second with 49, followed by West (67).

Class 4A top-ranked Linn-Mar was the class of the girls’ field. Led by individual champ Micah Poellet, the Lions had five top-10 runners and scored 27 points. Prairie was second with 66.

Poellet, a senior who finished fourth at state last year after winning a championship in 2018, broke to the early lead and maintained it throughout, finishing in 19:48.

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Western Dubuque freshman Alyssa Klein was second, in 20:07. Sarah Murphy, Chloe Skidmore, Lilly Geelan and Jordyn Beck were third, fifth, eighth and 10th for Linn-Mar.

“The first mile or so, I worked with Lilly and Chloe, and I got in the best position I could,” Murphy said. “Then I was able to stay with (Klein). She pulled me along.”

Murphy is the younger sister of former Linn-Mar boys standouts Ryan and Daniel Murphy.

“It was so much fun seeing them excel,” she said. “I was very much inspired by them. They’re great role models. When I was younger, I was more into soccer and basketball, but I’ve gotten a lot more serious about running since my sophomore year.”

Murphy’s brothers were on a state-championship team. Linn-Mar’s girls are pursuing their own title this fall.

“We don’t need to do anything crazy in August, when our goals are in October,” Murphy said.

GIRLS RESULTS

Teams — 1. Linn-Mar 27, 2. C.R. Prairie 66, 3. Western Dubuque 78, 4. Cedar Falls 86, 5. C.R. Kennedy 131, 6. C.R. Washington 163, 7. C.R. Xavier 189.

Individuals — 1. Micah Poellet (LM), 19:48; 2. Alyssa Klein (WDbq), 20:07; 3. Sarah Murphy (LM), 20:16; 4. Gabby Cortez (CRP), 20:30; 5. Chloe Skidmore (LM), 20:49; 6. Lauren Klein (WDbq), 20:55; 7. Bethany Smeed (CRK), 21:00; 8. Lilly Geelan (LM), 21:07; 9. Lilly Boge (WDbq), 20:55; 10. Jordyn Beck (LM), 21:20.

Linn-Mar — 1. Poellet, 3. Murphy, 5. Skidmore, 8. Geelan, 10. Beck.

C.R. Prairie — 4. Cortez, 12. Kendall White, 21:24; 15. Lily Johannes, 21:36; 17. Alyza Koppes, 22:13; 18. Keirra Hess, 22:19.

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C.R. Kennedy — 7. Smeed, 24. Erica Schulte, 23:04; 28. Anabel Bradley, 23:18; 43. Sarah Grams, 24:12; 48. Kayleigh Duncan, 25:29.

C.R. Washington — 25. Makenna Hetrick, 23:04; 32. Libby Wickham, 23:30; 36. Sage Slessor, 23:42; 38. Maggie Gorman, 23:59; 53. Ellie Rockwell, 26:37.

C.R. Xavier — 31. Lizzy Schmitt, 23:29; 47. Mary Clare Bean, 25:07; 49. Abby Horstmann, 25:31; 51. Eden Campbell, 26:07; 52. Hope Schulte, 26:12.

BOYS RESULTS

Teams — 1. Cedar Falls 30, 2. C.R. Prairie 49, 3. Iowa City West 67, 4. Linn-Mar 125, 5. C.R. Kennedy 147, 6. Western Dubuque 157, 7. C.R. Washington 177, 8. C.R. Xavier 239.

Individuals — 1. Andrew Bickford (CRP), 16:37; 2. Alex McKane (ICW), 16:44; 3. Alex Horstman (CF), 16:46; 4. Hunter Kalous (CRP), 16:56; 5. Cooper Olsen (CF), 17:07; 6. Joel Burris (CF), 17:07; 7. Brayden Burnett (CF), 17:19; 8. Cade Messer (WDbq), 17:20; 9. Michael Goodenbour (CF), 17:24; 10. T.J. Tomlyanovich (CF), 17:32.

C.R. Prairie — 1. Bickford, 4. Kalous, 11. Anthony Lee, 17:37; 14. Ty Costigan, 17:47; 20. Bryson Canton, 18:13.

Iowa City West — 2. McKane, 12. Seth Cheney, 17:38; 13. Caden Noeller, 17:39; 17. Mohan Kumar, 18:07; 24. Tosh Klever, 18:35.

Linn-Mar — 19. Jacob Derr, 18:12; 22. Miles Matson, 18:26; 27. Kaden Walker, 18:46; 30. Ethan Cozine, 18:50; 32. Hayden Kuhn, 18:55.

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C.R. Kennedy — 15. Miles Wilson, 18:04; 26. Jacob Bruns, 18:42; 36. Dylan Sines, 19:15; 38. Connor McGovern, 19:19; 39. Henry McMahon, 19:22.

C.R. Washington — 21. Ethan Stout, 18:24; 31. Lukas Engledow, 18:53; 33. Kyle Neighbors, 19:00; 55. Daniel Hughes, 20:37; 65. Lucas McCarley, 21:23.

C.R. Xavier — 42. Randall Kinner, 19:36; 53. Brady Horstmann, 20:13; 67. Lucas Lowder, 21:33; 68. Bryor Hansel, 21:40; 69. John Trotta, 21:50.

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

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