Area runners poised for state
Tiffany Christensen will look to cap off her decorated Eagle Grove cross country career just how she always envisioned at the 35th annual co-ed state meet today.
Class 1A girls action starts at 2 p.m. at Lakeside Golf Course inside Kennedy Park.
Christensen, ranked No. 4, is making her fourth appearance on the big stage. The three-time defending North Central Conference champion placed third here as a junior, seventh as a sophomore and 60th as a freshman.
Last week, Christensen earned her third straight district title in a time of 15:09. She has collected seven gold medals in as many meets this year.
This past spring at state track, Christensen was a 2A state champion in the 1500 and a runner-up in the 3000.
After winning a 1A district crown, the top-ranked Indians will lean on No. 21 freshman Grace Meyer, 28th-ranked Faith Meyer, freshman Elle Ruffridge and junior Rose Meyer. Grace (15:51), twin sister Faith (16:19) and Ruffridge (16:37) finished 2-3-4 at the state qualifier, while Rose (6:49) was sixth. Addie Duitscher, Kara Neumann and Ashlyn Weidauer round out the Indian lineup.
A year ago, Rose checked in 67th at state.
Tara Harris, Jordan Hoyman, Mikki Mundus, Alexa Naig, Ashley Overberg, Taylor Reimer and Rachel Ruddy will all run for the 10th-ranked E-Hawks, who received silver at a 1A state qualifier.
Overberg (5th, 16:39), Harris (7th, 16:59) and Mundus (8th, 17:06) paced Emmetsburg at districts.
South Central Calhoun
No. 17 sophomore Mady Dick (5th, 15:41) and freshman Sydney Batz (9th, 15:51) were the top district performers for the 10th-ranked Titans, who will compete in the 2A field. Abby Clark, Katelyn Decker, Michaela Graffunder, Megan Hardy and Sarah Van Hulzen will also run for SCC.
Dick was 58th at state in 2012.
The No. 12 Rams advanced to the 2A state meet with a runner-up district showing. Junior Allison Higgins, ranked fifth, prevailed at the state qualifier in a time of 15:45.
Higgins will be joined by teammates Emily Christensen, Noelle Gray, Olivia Hanson, Eme Johnson, Kate Sandage and Jolee Wessling.
Fresh off a victory at a 3A state qualifier, the No. 7 Wildcats will be represented by Sam Larson, Maddie Kampen, Kate Curran, Kessa Kuyper, Sophia Luu, McKennan Myott and Avery Terwilliger.
Seventh-ranked senior Larson (2nd, 14:40), No. 29 sophomore Kampen (4th, 15:06) and freshman Luu (10th, 15:27) anchored Humboldt at districts.
Larson was previously seventh here as as a junior and ninth as a sophomore. Larson also placed sixth in the 3A 3000 and fifth in the 1500 at the state track meet earlier this year.
No. 14 senior Tangy Wiseman, freshman Morgan Van Zante and senior Carissa Pityer will each try to impress in 3A for the Bulldogs.
Wiseman finished third at the state qualifier in a time of 15:57, while Van Zante settled for 9th (16:48) and Pityer was 10th (16:51).
Wiseman placed 115th at state as a junior, 14th as a sophomore and 35th as a ninth-grader. She was seventh in the 3A 3000 at state track this past spring.
Running for the Eagles in 1A will be Carter Asche, Brett Maier, Colton Pickering, 13th-ranked Noah Stephas, Ben Thompson, Austin Weland and Jacob Wesselink.
Stephas (4th, 16:54) led the way at districts for the No. 15 Eagles, who were third as a team.
Nick Bronk, Mark Fakler, Jake Hamilton, Tyler Illg, No. 16 Tony Kollasch, Zach Kollasch and Tyler Schnurr will all participate for the ninth-ranked Golden Bears in 1A.
Tony Kollasch (5th, 16:55) was the top performer at the state qualifier for Garrigan, who advanced with a runner-up performance.
Manson Northwest Webster
Seniors Jack Walstrom and Alex Dangelser will run in the 1A field once again for the Cougars. Walstrom placed seventh (16:55) at districts, while Dangelser was eighth (16:58).
Walstrom, ranked No. 25, finished 14th here a year ago, and Dangelser was 48th.
This past spring, Walstrom was sixth in the 1600 and 10th in the 3200 at the state track meet in helping MNW to a second consecutive 1A crown.
Nick Grandstaff, a sophomore, will make his state debut for the E-Hawks after finishing fifth (18:09) at a 1A state qualifier.
South Central Calhoun
For the Titans, 16th-ranked Ryan Daisy, Miguel Diaz, Lucas Farrington, Zach Ludwig, Kory McCarter, Matthew Nieland and Tanner Schrad will all be in action in 2A.
No. 13 South Central Calhoun, which turned in a runner-up district showing, was 15th here last fall.
Daisy, Schrad, Farrington and Nieland each ran at state for the Titans in 2012.
Daisy, a junior, placed third at districts in a time of 16:53. He finished 38th here as a sophomore and 63rd as a freshman.
The fourth-ranked Bulldogs feature a balanced lineup, spearheaded by No. 17 junior Bo Hjelle and 30th-ranked classmate Peter Hollinger.
Hjelle was fourth at a 3A district meet in a time of 17:04, while Hollinger checked in eighth (17:27).
Mason Altman, Adam Poeppe, David Shellabarger, Loren Shellabarger and Nathan Stumme will also compete for two-time reigning North Central Conference champion Algona.
Hjelle, a recent individual NCC gold medalist, was fourth in the 3A 800 at state track earlier this year.
Back in 2008, the Bulldogs captured their first state cross country title in school history.
Michael Bowden, a senior, will be the lone athlete running for the Wildcats. Bowden was eighth at a 3A state qualifier, clocking a 17:33.