Central girls place first at district meet

Members of Central’s district champion cross country team are, from left, Ashley Funk, Hannah Kuehl, Emily Asche, Haley Schroeder, Gabbie Berns, Kiana Stender, and Carissa Moyna.


The Central girls’ cross country team took first place at the District Meet on October 24 at Jesup. A total of 20 full teams and 139 runners participated.  On the boys’ side, Central finished fifth with 21 full teams and 129 runners in the event.

“On a very brisk October day all of our runners responded to the cold and ran almost exactly what they needed to for this district meet,” Coach Mark Bauder said.  “Coming into the meet we knew that our district was rather lopsided with talent as compared to all the other districts in the state due to the strength of eastern Iowa’s high school cross country programs. On the girls side we had five of the top 15 rated teams in the state and nine of the top 30 individuals while the boys also had five to-rated teams and 10 top 30 individuals. So there would be no room for error in order to be in the top three teams and top 10 individuals to qualify for state.  on the girls side we knew we were the favorites but you still need to have everyone run their best . 

“On the boys side, we knew we would have to run perfectly, maybe even better than perfect, and then have one or two other teams have some trouble.”

Haley Schroeder took third place with a time of 15:31 and Ashley Funk finished sixth with a time of 15:47. Both won medals.  Kiana Stender was 20th (16:44), Gabrielle Berns, 22nd (16:44), Emily Asche, 23rd (16:47), Hannah Kuehl, 29th (17:04) and Carissa Moyna was 34th (17:16).  Alternates were Anna Tuecke and Megan Nemechek.

In the boys’ event, Jacob Jansen finished 14th (17:49), Trevor Moser, 19th (18:07), Torre Curran, 27th (18:19), Travis Prier, 35th (18:27), Peyton Alexie, 37th (18:29), Jacob Hauber, 66th (19:34) and Hunter Bries was 78th with a time of 19:55.  Blake Rochleau and Sumner Smith were alternates.

“Our runners all had one of their top three times of the year and ran so good that the girls were able to repeat as the district champions while the boys ran their best performance as a team that they have all season, but unfortunately so did the other teams rated ahead of us,” Coach Bauder said.  “Normally, if your team finishes with only 40 seconds between the first runner and fifth runner you have either won or been second but with so much tough competition the boys ended up fifth. It was heartbreaking for them, especially since they did everything they could do and also because of the number of seniors we have on our team.”

“The boys had been running faithfully all summer and had gone to a half marathon as well with hopes of a return trip to the state meet again this fall. But even though the disappointment is hard at the moment the boys should be very proud of their last race of the season and also that next year will be a challenge without the seniors but the solid returning members and new freshman will give Central a chance to be one of our top area teams once again.” 

“On the girls side, they had all of their top five finishers in the 25 and all of their runners in the top 35. The girls qualified for the second year in a row and for the ninth time in the past 10 years.”

“Individually Haley Schroeder and Ashley Funk ran extremely tough races and finished in the top 10 so they will qualify for state as individuals,” Coach Bauder added.  “Only the top 10 individuals in each district are eligible to capture a top 10 medalist spot at the state meet. Kiana Stender had one of her best races of the season by being our third team finisher and our remaining top five finishers (Gabrielle Berns and Emily Asche) were right on her heels,  which allowed our team to capture the team title. Our sixth and seventh runners were less than 30 seconds behind, which allowed our team to have all seven of our runners in before any other team had their fifth runner in. 

“For the boys, all of our runners ran nearly one to two minutes faster than the last meet at Jesup and these boys had their best time of the season Jacob Hauber, Hunter Bries, Peyton Alexie, Jacob Jansen, Trevor Moser, and Travis Prier while Torre Curran had his second best time of the year.”

Central participates at the State Meet at Fort Dodge November 2 beginning at 2 p.m.

By Pat McTaggart, Freelance Writer

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