Host Humboldt girls capture title

HUMBOLDT – Both the Humboldt girls cross country team and Eagle Grove’s Tiffany Christensen made the most of their opportunities here Monday night at Sheldon Park.

The Wildcats captured top honors in their own invitational with 70 points, narrowly edging out No. 5 (Class 1A) Pocahontas Area in a tie-breaker. Algona (85), 14th-ranked (1A) Emmetsburg (133) and No. 8 (1A) South Hamilton (159) were next in line. Fort Dodge (302) finished 11th, while St. Edmond (395) was 15th.

“First of all, the change in the venue (from the Humboldt Country Club to Sheldon Park) was a little bit nerve-wracking, and the course was challenging, but I thought things went very well,” said HHS head coach Dean Clasen. “As far as our girls go, I felt we ran really well as a team. We’re probably about right where I figured we’d be at this point in the season.”

Tenth-ranked senior Sam Larson paced the Wildcats with a runner-up individual effort in 15:39.62. No. 23 Maddie Kampen (6th, 16:31.52), Kate Curran (17th, 17:33.26), Avery Terwilliger (21st, 17:40.91) and Sophia Luu (24th, 17:50.68) rounded out Humboldt’s list of counters. Kessa Kuyper (41st, 18:12.72) also beat Pocahontas Area’s Addie Duitscher (18:19.89) in a sixth-place tie-breaker, helping Humboldt to its victory.

“Sam has been Sam for three years now, but Maddie ran very well, too,” Clasen said. “Kessa winning the No. 6 tiebreaker was also just huge. We always talk about making a difference, and she did that (Monday).”

No. 3 (1A) Christensen earned her third straight Humboldt Invitational title, clocking a 15:27.52. With her triumph, Christensen has now grabbed four gold medals in as many meets this year.

“I liked the new scenery of the course, and it was interesting,” said Christensen, who was third at state last fall. “It was nice to have someone like Sam to help push me again.”

Pocahontas Area was represented by 13th-ranked Grace Meyer (4th, 16:06.15), No. 26 Faith Meyer (5th, 16:29.14), Elle Ruffridge (11th, 17:12.02), Rose Meyer (22nd, 17:45.55) and Ashlyn Weidauer (28th, 18:00.56).

Competing for the Dodgers were Madison Bodholdt (23rd, 17:46.98), Becca Sunken (55th, 18:39.75), Katarina Olson (67th, 19:00.16), Megan Nebel (77th, 19:16.98) and Bailey Wade (82nd, 19:25.02).

“Madison said the course was tough even going downhill, and she jammed up her back a little bit,” FDSH head coach Tim Hanson said. “I thought her and Becca still ran pretty good. With our girls, you just never know what might happen from meet to meet.”

Kara Salinas (76th, 19:16.35), Leah Cosgrove (78th, 19:20.65), Madi Reel (80th, 19:23.22), Carter Waddell (81st, 19:24.03) and Jaci Brungardt (85th, 19:31.02) filled out the Gael scorecard.

“Placing 15th out of 17 teams isn’t very impressive, but our differential of 15 seconds is pretty impressive,” said SEHS head coach Mike Szalat. “I think our girls got out faster and actually ran better times on a tougher course than they did in our last meet at (the Tim Thomas Classic and CYO in) Holstein.”

Algona’s No. 6 (3A) Tangy Wiseman (7th, 17:00.68), Emmetsburg’s Ashley Overberg (10th, 17:10.15), Bishop Garrigan’s Nicole Behr (19th, 17:38.28), Clarion-Goldfield’s Mackenzie Alberts (33rd, 18:04.76) and Prairie Valley’s 22nd-ranked (1A) Erica Rittgers (16th, 17:32.44) highlighted the action for each of their schools.