MANCHESTER — At this point in her prep cross country career, the goal for Adrianna Katcher is bigger than merely qualifying for the state meet.
The Center Point-Urbana junior and two-time defending Class 3A state champion is vying for a personal record. Each and every time out.
“That’s the way we look at races like this,” Katcher said after winning a Class 3A state-qualifying girls’ cross country race in 18:48 on Thursday at Hart Ridge Golf Course. “If you get your PR, you did your best and whatever comes, comes.”
With a personal record of 18:10, Katcher has set a lofty standard for herself, one that undoubtedly will produce a productive final week of training before the state meet on Oct. 27 at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge. Last season, Katcher won the state title in 18:23, which was four seconds better than her freshman-year crown. She is currently ranked second in 3A, just behind Carlisle freshman Ainsley Erzen.
“There are a lot of good, young runners coming up,” said Katcher, a multisport athlete who has verbally committed to play basketball at Southern Illinois. “That’s the way it’s going to be for the rest of my career. I’m just going to run the way I run.”
The top-3 teams and top-15 individuals qualified for the state meet. Top-ranked Dubuque Wahlert claimed the girls’ team title, while a third-place finish netted Decorah a state berth for the 13th year in a row despite returning just two runners – juniors Shayla Betts and Meg Sessions – from the seven that finished third as a team at state last season.
The five newcomers all ran junior varsity last season and are each nearly two minutes faster than last season.
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“They’re so supportive of each other,” Decorah Coach Cristy Nimrod said. “We talked about how there is drama on teams and we don’t have drama, ever, and we’ve moved kids through the varsity and JV and trying to figure out what we’re going to do and there hasn’t been issues except, ‘I want you to do the best you can because if you do the best you can, I do the best I can and we all do the best we can, the team looks really good.’ It is a full team mentality that works so darn hard.”
Vinton-Shellsburg freshman Kay Fett (20:00), Mount Vernon-Lisbon junior Aubrey Frey (20:20) and Cedar Rapids Xavier junior Hannah Denman (20:48) each qualified for the state meet as individuals.
Decorah won the boys’ team title and qualified for the state meet for the 15th year in a row. Senior Gus Hayes finished second overall in 16:57, just three seconds behind Waverly-Shell Rock senior Sam Kepford. The Vikings graduated four runners from last season’s third-place state finisher.
“I think we have a lot of potential,” Hayes said. “I don’t think that we started out that way. People didn’t necessarily think we had that skill level, but we’re coming up to the challenge.”
Center Point-Urbana sophomore Luke Post finished third in 17:02, while junior Jack Renning was fifth (17:15) for Cedar Rapids Xavier. Maquoketa senior Tyler Meyeres earned a state bid with a 12th-place finish in 17:33.
Mount Vernon-Lisbon edged Center Point-Urbana by seven points for third place in the team race, which earned it a state berth for the sixth year in a row. Mount Vernon-Lisbon had six runners in the top 29 placements, led by senior Jackson Meeker in ninth (17:32).
“It’s pack running without question,” Mount Vernon-Lisbon Coach Kory Swart said. “That’s who we are. We don’t have the superstars, but we’ve got guys that are willing to work together and pack it up. That’s kind of the way we’ve been and they just did a wonderful job of it today. I knew it was going to be super-close and it proved to be.”
Prep cross country
CLASS 3A STATE-QUALIFYING MEET
Teams — 1. Dubuque Wahlert 36, 2. Charles City 86, 3. Decorah 87, 4. Waverly-Shell Rock 125, 5. Mount Vernon-Lisbon 140, 6. Anamosa 179, t7. Cedar Rapids Xavier 185, t7. Center Point-Urbana 185, 9. Vinton-Shellsburg 240, 10. Independence 248, 11. West Delaware 287, 12. Maquoketa 349, 13. Hampton-Dumont 402.
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Individuals — 1. Adrianna Katcher (CPU), 18:48; 2. Gabby Moran (DW), 19:16; 3. Kiki Connell (CC), 19:55; 4. Kay Fett (VS), 20:00; 5. Emma Hoins (WSR), 20:15; t6. Aunna Husemann (DW), 20:19; t6. Alix Oliver (DW), 20:19; 8. Aubrey Frey (MVL), 20:20; 9. Ellie Meyer (DW), 20:32; t10. Lydia Staudt (CC), 20:41; t10. Shayla Betts (Dec), 20:41; t12. Alana Duggan (DW), 20:41; t12. Brooke Courtney (Dec), 20:46; 14. Hannah Denman (CRX), 20:48; 15. Whitney Martin (CC), 20:49.
Teams — 1. Decorah 62, 2. Dubuque Wahlert 67, 3. Mount Vernon-Lisbon 82, 4. Center Point-Urbana 89, 5. Waverly-Shell Rock 107, 6. Cedar Rapids Xavier 158, 7. Charles City 158, 8. West Delaware 238, 9. Vinton-Shellsburg 302, 10. Maquoketa 316, 11. Anamosa 317, 12. Independence 328, 13. Hampton-Dumont-CAL 365
Individuals — 1. Sam Kepford (WSR), 16:54; 2. Gus Hayes (Dec), 16:57; 3. Luke Post (CPU), 17:02; 4. Nathan Munshower (DW), 17:13; 5. Jack Renning (CRX), 17:15; 6. Brady Hogan (Dec), 17:19; 7. Jacob Hocking (DW), 17:28; t8. Carter Oberfoell (DW), 17:32; t8. Jackson Meeker (MVL), 17:32; t10. George Barton (DW), 17:33; t10. David Wolfe (MVL), 17:33; t10. Tyler Meyeres (Maq), 17:33; 13. Oliver Crocker (MVL), 17:34; 14. Mason Deeter (CC), 17:38; 15. Brayden Krivachek (Dec), 17:42.
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