- A pair of underclassmen helped power Ipswich to a sweep of the team titles during the Lake Region Conference cross country meet on Wednesday afternoon.
Ipswich finished with the top three runners to score 6 points in the girls’ division as Heinz edged teammate Tori Moore by one second for the victory. Northwestern was second in team points.
Things were much closer in the boys’ division as just two points separated the top three teams. Ipswich finished with 14 points, one better than Warner and two better than Aberdeen Christian.
Gilborne crossed the finish line three seconds ahead of Warner’s Chance Torrance. Tucker Iwerks of Christian was third as the Knights placed three runners among the top seven.
“It was one of the most competitive Lake Region Conferences I’ve ever seen,” said Christian coach Matt Scott, noting that his team had four runners among the top 10 and five among the top 12 and still finished third in team points. “It’s just a flurry of good runners that are tough.”
Iwerks finished with a 26-second improvement to his personal best on a day that featured windy conditions.
“He looked very strong,” Scott noted. “It was nice to see him step up in the moment when it was needed.”
Christian’s Seth Lundeen was sixth, Noah Aderhold seventh, Cole Lundeen 10th and Tanner Droog 12th.
“I’m very pleased with how the boys ran,” Scott said. “A guy here or there does (catch) a team when it comes to a close race like that. We did run very well. It just wasn’t our day today.”
Christian’s Kiana Lundeen was also all-conference with an eighth-place finish.
“It’s a nice building block for us,” Scott said of the effort from his seventh-grader.
The Knights now head to the Region 1B meet Wednesday in Webster.
Scott figures the team title will be much like the conference with multiple teams in the mix.
“We have a very good chance at the region,” he said. “I think there’s definitely a few teams in the hunt and I think we can be one of them.”
Team Points: Ipswich 6, Northwestern 17.
1, Macy Heinz, Ipswich, 16:14; 2, Tori Moore, Ipswich, 16:15; 3, Taylor Loken, Ipswich, 16:27; 4, Peyton Groft, Northwestern, 17:22; 5, Autumn Pitz, Ipswich, 17:49; 6, Josie Clemens, Northwestern, 18:46; 7, Darby Duncan, Northwestern, 19:00; 8, Kiana Lundeen, Aberdeen Christian, 19:19; 9, Megan Walworth, Frederick, 19:30; 10, Tory Makela, Ipswich, 20:02; 11, Taryn Flinn, Frederick, 23:59.