Glenwood girls fifth, boys 10th at state cross country meet

Glenwood’s Andrew Smith placed fifth at state cross country.

FORT DODGE - The Glenwood cross country program picked up three individual medals while the girls finished sixth as a team and the boys 10th at a frigid Iowa State Cross Country Meet in Fort Dodge Saturday.

The Rams’ Grace Berglund finished eighth in the Class 3A girls race while both Andrew Smith (fifth) and Bryant Keller (10th) snagged top 10 finishes in the boys race.

Glenwood’s boys were sixth a year ago while the girls finished eighth.

Both Smith and Keller improved on their 2022 finishes this year. Keller matched his 10th place finish from a season ago while Smith improved on his 23rd place with his top five finish this season.

Pella’ Canaan Dunham won the boys race with a time of 18:18.5, seven seconds better than runner up Ethan Eichhorn of Council Bluffs Lewis Central.

The girls race was won by Pella’s Marissa Ferebee. Her time of 18:36 was six seconds better than second place Lindsey Sonderman of Harlan.

Pella also swept both the girls and boys team titles. Glenwood’s boys finished with 241 points. The girls totaled 172.

Glenwood boys coach Todd Peverill was pleased to see Smith and Keller end their careers on the medal stand but he couldn’t help but be a little disappointed in his team finish. The Rams entered state ranked fourth in Class 3A to close the season.

“You try and stay healthy and sometime things happen and guys get sick,” Peverill said, adding both Keller and Liam Hays weren’t 100 percent. While Keller still managed to match his top 10 finish from last season, Hays finished considerably off his pace in 125th.

“Liam was way back of where he should have been. He got sick Monday and he thought we was better, and he obviously wasn’t,” Peverill said. “And Bryant still wasn’t quite healthy but 10th? We’ll take that. He was happy to get a medal. And Andrew, he was very happy.

“I’m proud of every one of those guys. They worked hard and it just didn’t quite work out at the end.”

While temperatures for Saturday’s races was in the mid-30s with high winds, the weather as big as factor as many might think, Peverill said.

“A half mile into the race, you’re hot and if you did wear gloves you almost need to take them off,” he said. “People think it (the cold) is a factor but it’s more mental than physical. You just have to get over that initial ‘it’s cold,’ and just go race.”

Smith and Keller were in the chase pack the entire race behind top three finishers Dunhan, Eichhorn and third place winner, Nathan Vander Waal of Pella. But neither could catch up to the trio that led wire to wire.

“The first three just took off so fast they got the space on the chase pack and Andrew and Bryant were at the top of that pack,” Peverill said. “Andrew led the chase pack into the finish line and just slipped back one spot late. He said he had to lead it because nobody would lead it. He was hoping to catch somebody in that lead group.”

Smith finished with a time of 15:51 while Keller ran a 16:05. Maverick Mixan ran a 17:04 to finish 54th for Glenwood.

Berglund, the Rams’ freshman phenom, ran with the pack just behind Ferebee and Sonderman for much of the race. Her time of 19:08 was her second-best time of the season.

Breckyn Petersen added a 47th place finish, followed by Lauren Hughes in 61st, Madelyn Berglund in 72nd and Caitlin Hebel in 77th.

Glenwood girls coach Marissa Klindt could not be prouder of her team or program in its seventh straight state meet.

“We came into the state meet ranked sixth and ended up fifth,” Klindt said. “We gave the girls a game plan before the race, and they executed it perfectly.  Grace ran her normal strong race and finished eighth to earn a place on the medal deck.

“We told Breckyn and Lauren, as well as Caitlin and Madelyn they should pair up and run together as much as possible, which they did. It’s been an amazing season which was capped off by an incredible day.”

The Glenwood girls will graduate one varsity starter from this year’s squad while the boys must replace five senior starters that played key roles on four straight state meet qualifying teams.

“They came in running good as freshmen and they just kept improving,” Peverill said. “They’re a good group, they’re good leaders and they worked hard the entire time they were in the program. Very seldom do you see that large a group that dedicated from middle school through high school.”

Lauren Hughes is the lone senior on the Glenwood girls squad. And she will be sorely missed, Klindt said.

“She’s been in high school as long as I’ve been with the program, so that makes losing her just that much harder,” she said. “She’s a special one both on and off the course. We will miss her greatly.”

In the Class 1A portion on Friday, Fremont-Mills’ Hannah Wilson was 46th. The junior ran a 20:45 to finish 22 spots better than she did a season ago in her first state meet.

Iowa State Cross Country Meet
Class 3A Girls Top 10 Team Results
    1. Pella, 80. 2. Mount Vernon-Lisbon, 129. 3. Gilbert, 142. 4. Sioux Center, 155. 5. Glenwood, 172. 6. Ballard, 176. 7. Marion, 208. 8. Solon, 209. 9. Clear Lake, 209. 10. Bishop Heelan, 225.

Glenwood Girls Place Winners
    8. Grace Berglund, 19:08. 47. Breckyn Petersen, 20:06. 61. Lauren Hughes, 20:20. 72. Madelyn Berglund, 20:34. 77. Caitlin Hebel, 20:41. 102. Katelyn Harms, 21:04. 131. Megan Hughes, 22:30.

Class 3A Boys Top 10 Team Results
    1. Gilbert, 57. 2. Pella, 63. 3. Council Bluffs Lewis Central, 100. 4. Carlisle, 144. 5. Washington, 186. 6. Winterset, 196. 7. Solon, 215. 8. Mount Vernon-Lisbon, 223. 9. Clear Creek-Amana, 229. 10. Glenwood, 241.

Glenwood Boys Place Winners
    5. Andrew Smith, 15:51. 10. Bryant Keller, 16:05. 54. Maverick Mixan, 17:04. 120. Bryce Keller, 18:00. 125. Liam Hays, 18:18. 128. Ethan West, 18:36. 129. Bodhi Langille, 18:39.


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