Prep Sports

Iowa 4A state cross country: Linn-Mar's Micah Poellet earns third top-5 finish

She leads for more than 2 miles, finishes 5th; Prairie's Andrew Bickford also is 5th

FORT DODGE — Say this about Micah Poellet: She ran it her way.

She ran to her strength.

“I felt good at the beginning, so I went for it,” said Poellet, a senior at Linn-Mar High School. “Today, I died off at about 2 miles.”

For nearly 2 1/2 miles, Poellet was the leader of the Class 4A girls’ race at the state cross country championships Friday morning at Lakeside Golf Course. She finished fifth.

It was the third top-five finish of her career. She was the champion in 2018, then placed fourth last year. She was clocked in 18 minutes, 21 seconds.

Dubuque Hempstead freshman Keelee Leitzen overtook Poellet in the last half-mile and ran to the title in 18:08. Lauren Schulze of West Des Moines Valley was next, in 18:18.

Johnston ran to its second straight title, and its fifth in the last seven years. Led by fourth-place finisher Belle Heikes, the Dragons compiled 64 points. Valley (87) and Ankeny Centennial (141) made it a top-three podium sweep for the Central Iowa Metro League. Linn-Mar (158) and Southeast Polk (174) rounded out the top five.

“It’s been awesome running with my teammates,” Poellet said. “I’m really proud of all of our girls.”

Poellet ran second to Leitzen at the state-qualifying meet last week and learned about the rookie’s closing ability.

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“Keelee has a great future. She’s a great finisher,” said Poellet, who recently committed to the University of South Dakota, where she will compete in triathlon, as well as track and field.

Iowa City Liberty’s Ashlyn Keeney was ninth, in 18:34.

“I’ve been having some hamstring trouble, and my training wasn’t where I’d like it to be,” she said. “I felt it today. Before that, my hips had been hurting, so it hasn’t been a great year of training.”

Sioux City North reigned in the boys’ competition. The Stars earned their first title in school history with 75 points, battling past West Des Moines Dowling (83) and Cedar Falls (86).

Jaysen Bouwers was North’s first individual champ, opening a comfortable margin late and finishing in 15:31. Ryan Winger of Dubuque Hempstead was second in 15:45.

Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Andrew Bickford and Iowa City High’s Ford Washburn both moved up steadily in the second half of the boys race, finishing fifth and sixth.

“We had kind of a weird box placement, and that made it hard to get out fast,” Bickford said. “I tried to run the first mile of the race relaxed, then at 1 1/2 miles, I started picking it up. It’s nice to race like that. It’s motivating when you pass people. You get excited and want to keep passing people.”

Bickford finished in 16:06, Washburn in 16:11.

“I probably passed 10 guys in the last mile,” Washburn said. “I don’t know where that came from. I just had the motivation to pass everybody I could.”

Iowa City West’s Alex McKane was 11th.

Iowa City Liberty was the top area boys’ team, finishing sixth. Prairie was seventh, City High eighth, West 11th.

Prairie’s girls were ninth.

Class 4A state cross country results

GIRLS

Teams 

1. Johnston 64

2. West Des Moines Valley 87

3. Ankeny Centennial 141

4. Linn-Mar 158

5. Southeast Polk 174

6. Dubuque Senior 174

7. Dubuque Hempstead 179

8. Pleasant Valley 214

9. Cedar Rapids Prairie 226

10. Waukee 238

11. Bettendorf 240

12. Ankeny 243

13. West Des Moines Dowling 290

14. Urbandale 301

15. Indianola 367

Individuals 

1. Keelee Leitzen (Dubuque Hempstead), 18:08

2. Lauren Schulze (Valley), 18:18

3. Kaia Downs (Sioux City East), 18:20

4. Belle Heikes (Johnston), 18:20

5. Micah Poellet (Linn-Mar) 18:21

6. Lauren McMahon (Ankeny), 18:27

7. Olivia Verde (Johnston), 18:27

8. Addison Dorenkamp (Valley), 18:30

9. Ashlyn Keeney (Iowa City Liberty), 18:34

10. Lillian Schmidt (Dubuque Senior), 18:40

11. Aleah Tenpas (Johnston), 18:43

12. Julia Gehl (Dubuque Hempstead), 18:46

13. Mattison Plummer (SE Polk), 18:51

14. Rondi Quass (Ank Cent), 18:54

15. Kamryn Ensley (Valley), 19:10

16. Bella D’Antico (PV), 19:11

17. Ashley Faber (Johnston), 19:19

18. Hannah Beintema (Bettendorf), 19:20

19. Izzy Gorton (Dubuque Senior), 19:21

20. Brooke O’Brien (Dubuque Hempstead), 19:24

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Linn-Mar — 5. Poellet, 38. Chloe Skidmore, 19:46; 44. Ally Buck, 19:52; 49. Sarah Murphy, 19:55; 51. Lilly Geelan, 19:58.

C.R. Prairie — 28. Gabby Cortez, 19:34; 30. Keirra Hess, 19:37; 41. Lily Johannes, 19:48; 83. Kendall White, 20:35 89. Bridget Canton, 20:45.

Iowa City Liberty — 9. Keeney, 36. Camille Mac, 19:44; 59. Cori Mac, 20:04.

Iowa City High — 48. Rowan Boulter, 19:55.

C.R. Kennedy — 73. Bethany Smeed, 20:19.

 

BOYS

Teams 

1. Sioux City North 75

2. West Des Moines Dowling 83

3. Cedar Falls 86

4. Waukee 131

5. Dubuque Hempstead 137

6. Iowa City Liberty 172

7. Cedar Rapids Prairie 183

8. Iowa City High 224

9. Ankeny Centennial 243

10. Johnston 276

11. Iowa City West 280

12. Pleasant Valley 281

13. Urbandale 295

14. Norwalk 298

15. West Des Moines Valley 393

Individuals 

1. Jaysen Bouwers (SC North), 15:31

2. Ryan Winger (Dubuque Hempstead), 15:45

3. Jackson Heidesch (Dowling), 15:53

4. Will Lohr (SC North), 16:00

5. Andrew Bickford (Prairie), 16:06

6. Ford Washburn (City High), 16:11

7. Anthony Moran (Urbandale), 16:14

8. Connor Kilgore (Dubuque Senior), 16:14

9. Will Ryan (Dowling), 16:15

10. Joel Burris (CF), 16:15

11. Alex McKane (I.C. West), 16:15

12. Jacob Christensen (Waukee), 16:15

13. Cade Muller (Dowling), 16:16

14. Vincent Hodges (Waukee), 16:19

15. T.J. Tomlyanovich (CF), 16:19

16. Ethan Eichhorn (Lewis Central), 16:22

17. Nolan Kyhl (Dowling), 16:23

18. Brayden Burnett (CF), 16:24

19. Truman Thompson (City High), 16:26

20. Bowen Gryp (I.C. Liberty), 16:28

Iowa City Liberty — 20. Gryp, 36. Aidan Decker, 16:44; 41. Caleb Schillinger, 16:45; 46. Jack Kinzer, 16:47; 52. Christian Montover, 16:52.

C.R. Prairie — 5. Bickford, 29. Hunter Kalous, 16:38; 39. Anthony Lee, 16:45; 66. Ty Costigan, 17:05; 77. Jake Opitz, 17:16/

Iowa City High — 6. Washburn, 19. Thompson, 60. Noah Carey, 17:01; 81. Elliot Dunnwald, 17:22; 98. Parker Max, 17:39.

Iowa City West — 11. McKane, 40. Caden Noeller, 16:45; 84. Tosh Klever, 17:23; 95. Sebastian Cochran, 17:33; 97. Drew Peterson, 17:38.

C.R. Washington — 49. Ethan Stout, 16:48.

C.R. Jefferson — 102. Lukas Lamparek, 17:43.

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

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