OTTER VALLEY-It came as no surprise to see Class 2A top-ranked George-Little Rock/Central Lyon cross-country boys as winners of the Siouxland Conference meet Tuesday, Oct. 10, but the Mustangs added to those spoils as the girls claimed second place in the conference.
George-Little Rock/Central Lyon scored 73 points to earn a tie for second place with Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley. Class 2A sixth-ranked Okoboji took home the girls’ conference title with 38 points.
“We really, really thought they ran well and we thought we could get second,” said Mustangs’ coach Curt Fiedler. “We really felt our top-four ran really, really good. We weren’t surprised that they ran better, but we were surprised they were running together. We’ve seen that throughout the year, just not on a consistent basis.”
Leading the girls’ team was Makayla Witt in seventh, earning all-conference honors once again in cross-country. The other two all-conference runners were Lauren Jurrens in 13th and Sami Ebel in 14th.
“We really felt that if we ran well we could get a number of girls in to the all-conference spots. We were hoping we would get at least two of them in there but we got Lauren in there, we got Sami in there and Makayla’s been consistent for us all year long,” Fiedler said.
Despite not getting all-conference honors, Fiedler liked the effort from Allison Henning with the 21st spot.
“Allison Henning ran a heck of a race. She just keeps getting better and better and she just keeps closing that gap on those girls in front of her. That’s what we need,” Fiedler said.
Rounding out the girls’ varsity team were Thea De Boer in 31st, Chloe Smit in 32nd and Mackensie Post in 35th.
The Mustangs were expected to win the Siouxland Conference title in the boys’ race and George-Little Rock/Central Lyon met those expectations by scoring 32 points. Class 2A fifth-ranked Sioux Center was second with 59 points.
“You look at that and you have 51 runners in the field. In a field of 51, for us scoring 32 points and them (Sioux Center) scoring 59 points that’s what we expected because it’s a small field. But I still really thought our guys ran a good race,” Fiedler said.
Winning the individual conference title and earning all-conference honors for the fourth-straight year was Gable Sieperda. Earning all-conference honors for the third-straight year was Joe Anderson in second. Blake Johnson slipped into the top-five with a fourth-place all-conference finish.
“Blake’s come back with some real purpose,” Fiedler said. “That purpose is how close he can be with those top-two guys. With our team, realistically, we have three guys that can be a No. 1 guy for a lot of other schools so that’s a plus for us.”
Other all-conference runners were Josh Haken in 10th and Taeron Olson in 15th.
“You don’t see Josh Haken smile very often, but Josh Haken had a very big smile on his face after the race. His goal was that he wanted to be all-conference. Last year Josh struggled a lot, but he hasn’t struggled a lot this year. He’s really had some determination and some focus,” Fiedler said. “Then Taeron comes in and gets 15th. So five in the top-15, that’s a pretty good day.”
Rounding out the team were Zach Springer in 16th and Austin Henning in 27th.
Expectations for the Mustang boys will remain high heading into the postseason, but Fiedler noted he does not want his team to look too far ahead.
“From here on in we’re going to take it a meet at a time. Let’s not look any further than the next meet we are going to run in. The guys have really been focused with that in mind,” Fiedler said.
The Mustangs went to the Unity Christian Invitational Friday, Oct. 13, and the South O’Brien meet Monday, Oct. 16, before the state-qualifying meet Thursday, Oct. 19.
Siouxland Conference cross-country meet at Otter Valley Country Club
Girls’ team results:1. Okoboji 38, 2. (tie) George-Little Rock/Central Lyon 73, 2. (tie) Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley 73, 4. MOC-Floyd Valley 90, 5. Sioux Center 96, 6. Sheldon 124
Individual girls’ results:7. Makayla Witt (all-conference) 21:49, 13. Lauren Jurrens (all-conference) 22:25, 14. Sami Ebel (all-conference) 22:28, 21. Allison Henning 23:13, 31. Thea De Boer 25:12, 32. Chloe Smit 25:12, 35. Makensie Post 25:50
Boys’ team results:1. George-Little Rock/Central Lyon 32, 2. Sioux Center 59, 3. Okoboji 89, 4. MOC-Floyd Valley 113, 5. Sheldon 128, 6. Sibley-Ocheyedan 145, 7. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley 149
Individual boys’ results:1. Gable Sieperda (all-conference) 15:59, 3. Joe Anderson (all-conference) 17:02, 4. Blake Johnson (all-conference) 17:20, 10. Josh Haken (all-conference) 17:47, 15. Taeron Olson (all-conference) 17:58, 16. Zach Springer 18:10, 27. Austin Henning 18:51
Mustangs take first and fifth at Unity
ORANGE CITY-It was one of the final two tune-ups for the George-Little Rock/Central Lyon cross-country teams at the Unity Christian Invitational Friday, Oct. 13, at Landsmeer Golf and Country Club and the Mustangs built momentum, but also noted it needs to work on a few things before state-qualifying Thursday, Oct. 19.
The George-Little Rock/Central Lyon girls finished in fifth place with 110 points. Winning the meet was LeMars with 81 points. Class 2A 12th-ranked Unity Christian took second with 103 points and Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley finished third with 106 points.
“I think we were maybe looking at a little different finish than that but we really had some girls really, really run good,” said Mustangs’ coach Curt Fiedler.
Leading the way for those individuals was Makayla Witt claiming fourth place in a time of 21:12.
“I thought Makayla ran a great race. Makayla came out as a junior and has really established herself as a good-quality top-10 finisher. More noticeable than that, her times just keep going down and down and down. That’s because she’s a competitor,” Fiedler said.
Other top runners included Lauren Jurrens in 18th, Sami Ebel in 23rd, and Allison Henning in 26th.
“I thought Lauren was a little nervous tonight and a little sore after the conference meet. But in the conference meet she ran hard,” Fiedler said. “Then if you talk to Sami I think she’d say she didn’t have a great night and that she could have done better, and then Allison comes in as our fourth runner.”
Fiedler said he likes the continued consistency from his top four and hopes the bottom three runners can continue to catch up to those top four.
“Those two (Jurrens and Ebel) have really been solid. But we still have to get five, six and seven to compete and get them closer to our one, two, three and fourth runners. Until we get that figured out, we’re just going to be pretty average. But when they do figure it out, we’re going to be pretty good,” Fiedler said.
Fiedler is happy to have the girls run one more race at the South O’Brien invitational Monday, Oct. 16, before state-qualifying in Orange City that Thursday.
“It’s only going to help us,” Fiedler said. “If anything it’s good for the kids to compete together one more time and that’s the important thing that we have to do.”
In the boys’ race, the top-ranked Mustangs took home another meet title with 36 points scored. Class 2A fourth-ranked Sioux Center was the second-place team with 87 points. Leading the way for George-Little Rock/Central Lyon was Gable Sieperda, ranked No. 1 individually in Class 2A, in first place and Class 2A third-ranked Joe Anderson in second place. The Mustangs added to those spoils, however, with Blake Johnson grabbing a fourth-place finish.
“I just thought Blake Johnson had a break-out race. It was one of those races where we can run really hard on a course that we are going to qualify for state for. I think some of our guys really took advantage of that,” Fiedler said. “But for Blake I just really thought you saw him run a smart race and really figure it out.”
Rounding out the varsity lineup was Josh Haken in 10th, Zach Springer in 19th, Taeron Olson in 22nd and Austin Henning in 46th.
“We’re seeing Josh Haken really solidify himself as a top-10 runner on a good team,” Fiedler said. “Then we see Zach Springer bounce back after being disappointed for getting 16th place (at the conference meet) and flipping the table by beating Taeron this time. We’re seeing some good things happen.”
Unlike the girls, Fiedler sees his team maybe running a different lineup at the South O’Brien meet to try and keep kids healthy for the state-qualifying meet.
“I think we may hold a kid out simply because they are stiff and sore. It’s just one of those things where if you are stiff and sore you don’t have to run on Monday. We need to stay healthy because what’s more important? South O’Brien or districts?” Fiedler said.
Unity Christian cross-country meet at Landsmeer Golf Club
Girls’ team results:1. LeMars 35, 2. Unity Christian 81, 3. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley 103, 4. Western Christian 106, 5. George-Little Rock/Central Lyon 110, 6. MOC-Floyd Valley 115, 7. Sheldon 138
Individual girls’ results:4. Makayla Witt 21:12, 18. Lauren Jurrens 21:46, 23. Sami Ebel 22:26, 26. Allison Henning 22:54, 39. Thea DeBoer 23:59, 35. Chloe Smit 24:14, 37. MacKenzie Post 24:23
Boys’ team results:1. George-Little Rock/Central Lyon 36, 2. Sioux Center 87, 3. LeMars 95, 4. Sheldon 108, 5. Unity Christian 124, 6. Western Christian 145, 7. MOC-Floyd Valley 162, 8. Trinity Christian 205, 9. Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley 234, 10. LeMars Gehlen Catholic 241, 11. West Lyon 260
Individual boys’ results:1. Gable Sieperda 15:29, 2. Joe Anderson 16:31, 4. Blake Johnson 16:47, 10. Josh Haken 17:14. 19. Zach Springer 17:42, 22. Taeron Olson 17:47, 46. Austin Henning 18:36