Prep Sports

Linn-Mar girls race to title at 4A state cross country qualifier

Micah Poellet leads the way with a runner-up finish, 3 others finish in top 15

DUBUQUE — They advanced. In fact, they won.

Have they peaked? The Linn-Mar Lions hope not.

“We’ve struggled a little with injuries,” Chloe Skidmore said. “It’s been different people with different things that have inhibited our true performance.

“We had a good race today, and we hope we have a better one next week.”

Led by individual runner-up Micah Poellet, Linn-Mar won the girls’ team title at Wednesday’s Class 4A cross country state-qualifying meet at the Dubuque Soccer Complex.

With four runners in the top 15, the Lions accumulated 58 points. Dubuque Senior (68) and Dubuque Hempstead (74) earned the other state slots.

The top three teams and top 15 individuals advance to the state meet, Oct. 30 at Lakeside Golf Course, Fort Dodge.

“Our fourth and fifth girls had a great race,” Poellet said. “We had five runners under 20 (minutes) and the other two were really close.”

Poellet was the individual state champion as a sophomore in 2018, and ran fourth last year. She came into Thursday’s race ranked No. 2 and led through the first 2 miles before Hempstead freshman Keelee Leitzen (ranked third) passed her. Leitzen finished in 17:56, Poellet in 18:09.

“I try to get out fast and hold that, and today it didn’t quite work,” Poellet said.

Skidmore was ninth, Sarah Murphy 13th and Lilly Geelan 14th.

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Led by individual champion Ryan Winger, who finished in 15:28 and built a 40-second winning margin, Hempstead owned the boys’ race. The Mustangs placed four runners in the top nine and crafted a 32-point total. Iowa City West edged Iowa City High for second, 66-71, with both qualifying easily.

West’s Alex McKane was third in 16:10.

“I’ve had a little bit of a joint injury in my back and hip, and I’ve been doing a lot of cross training and physical therapy,” McKane said. “I felt really good out there. This race, the goal was to qualify, not to do anything extraordinary.

“I took a week and a half off, so being on a short week, I’m really happy.”

West and City both had three runners in the top 15. Ford Washburn’s seventh-place effort paced the Little Hawks.

Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Bethany Smeed (eighth) qualified individually in the girls’ race. So did City High’s Rowan Boulter (10th) and Lilly Reynolds (15th).

CLASS 4A CROSS COUNTRY STATE QUALIFIER

At Dubuque

(Top 3 teams, top 15 individuals advance to state, Oct. 30 at Fort Dodge)

GIRLS RESULTS

Teams — 1. Linn-Mar 58, 2. Dubuque Senior 68, 3. Dubuque Hempstead 74, 4. Western Dubuque 88, 5. Iowa City High 105, 6. Iowa City West 174, 7. C.R. Kennedy 183, 8. Clinton 219, 9. Muscatine 253.

Individual state qualifiers — 1. Keelee Leitzen (DH), 17:56; 2. Micah Poellet (LM), 18:09; 3. Lily Schmidt (DS), 18:14; 4. Izzy Gorton (DS), 18:45; 5. Julia Gehl (DH), 18:45; 6. Brooke O’Brien (DH), 18:48; 7. Lauren Klein (WDbq), 19:01; 8. Bethany Smeed (CRK), 19:06; 9. Chloe Skidmore (LM), 19:14; 10. Rowan Boulter (ICH), 19:14; 11. Alyssa Klein (WDbq), 19:15; 12. Camryn Sattler (Clinton), 19:19; 13. Sarah Murphy (LM), 19:21; 14. Lilly Geelan (LM), 19:33; 15. Lilly Reynolds (ICH), 19:37.

Linn-Mar — 2. Poellet, 9. Skidmore, 13. Murphy, 14. Geelan, 20. Abbey Vezina, 19:56.

Iowa City High — 10. Boulter, 15. Reynolds, 17. Iris Wedemeyer, 19:44; 29. Lucy Corbin, 20:21; 34. Erin Anderson, 20:36.

Iowa City West — 16. Maddy Negley, 19:38; 36. Sara Alaya, 20:43; 37. Gabby Moniza, 20:48; 38. Vicki Carrica, 20:54; 47. Erinn Varga, 21:49.

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C.R. Kennedy — 8. Smeed, 27. Anabel Bradley, 20:14; 44. Erica Schulte, 21:34; 51. Sarah Grams, 22:09; 53. Kayleigh Duncan, 22:43.

BOYS RESULTS

Teams — 1. Dubuque Hempstead 32, 2. Iowa City West 66, 3. Iowa City High 71, 4. Dubuque Senior 125, 5. Linn-Mar 135, 6. C.R. Kennedy 157, 7. Western Dubuque 158, 8. Muscatine 209, 9. Clinton 249.

Individual state qualifiers — 1. Ryan Winger (DH), 15:28; 2. Conner Kilgore (DS), 16:08; 3. Alex McKane (ICW), 16:10; 4. Josh Davis (DH), 16:13; 5. Brady Blean (DH), 16:15; 6. Eli Naumann (WDbq), 16:24; 7. Ford Washburn (ICH), 16:25; 8. Seth Cheney (ICW), 16:27; 9. Mason Suarez (DH), 16:31; 10. Cade Messer (WDbq), 16:31; 11. Ammon Smith (ICH), 16:33; 12. Caden Noeller (ICW), 16:34; 13. Derek Leicht (DH), 16:34; 14. Truman Thompson (ICH), 16:37; 15. Owen Maloney (DH), 16:41.

Iowa City West — 3. McKane, 8. Cheney, 12. Caden Noeller, 17. Mohan Kumar, 16:53; 26. Tosh Klever, 17:07.

Iowa City High — 7. Washburn, 11. Smith, 14. Thompson, 18. Noah Carey, 16:54; 21. Parker Max, 17:00.

Linn-Mar — 16. Hayden Kuhn, 16:47; 19. Jacob Derr, 16:48; 31. Tyler Tiefel, 17:20; 34. Miles Matson, 17:25; 35. Luke Steffen, 17:32.

C.R. Kennedy — 20. Henry McMahan, 16:59; 29. Miles Wilson, 17:11; 30. Jacob Bruns, 17:12; 36. Jacob Horton, 17:32; 42. Connor McGovern, 17:41.

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

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