Tiffany Christensen's dreams of winning an individual state cross country crown will have to wait another year.
Despite a typical valiant effort, the Eagle Grove fourth-ranked junior settled for bronze Saturday in the Class 1A meet, clocking a time of 14:29 at Lakeside Golf Course. Griswold's No. 2 sophomore Rebekah Topham (14:05) earned her second consecutive 1A state victory, while Sibley-Ocheyedan's top-rated junior Leah Seivert (14:15) turned in a runner-up performance.
"I was just trying my best to stay with (Topham)," said Christensen, who was unbeaten this season heading into yesterday's action. "I've become a lot smarter runner with my strategies and have really learned how to be a good team leader and captain. I hope to come back again next year now and get either first or second."
Christensen, a two-time defending North Central Conference and district champion, previously placed 60th at state as a freshman and seventh as a sophomore. Team-wise, 12th-ranked Eagle Grove checked in 15th yesterday afternoon with 301 points. No. 1 Griswold (86) picked up its first-ever state cross country title.
Hailey Adams (93rd, 17:33), Alaina Helmke (94th, 17:37), Sam Helmke (101st, 17:51), Sami Simons (103rd, 17:53), Kylee Almond (114th, 18:25) and Hannah Hanson (123rd, 20:08) were the other competitors for the Eagles, who were making their third state appearance in a row.
No. 28 senior Erin Reedy capped off her standout career for the Golden Bears with a fourth Top-20 state effort, finishing 13th (15:23) in the 1A field. Fourteenth-rated Garrigan was also represented by Erin Quinlin (54th, 16:26), Nicole Behr (68th, 16:52), Emily Riesenberg (96th, 17:41), Erica Carlson (105th, 17:56), Morgan Frideres (124th, 20:31) and Courtney Carlson (125th, 21:05). The Golden Bears, who were seventh here last fall, placed 11th Saturday with 242 points.
Jaclyn Rittgers, a 17th-ranked Warrior senior, placed 18th in 1A with a time of 15:31. Rittgers had previously finished 10th, 17th and 23rd individually on the big stage.
Prairie Valley's other runners were Erica Rittgers (31st, 15:53), JoJo Krekow (81st, 17:10), Katie Clough (97th, 17:41), Anna Heatherington (109th, 18:08), Hannah Miller (110th, 18:09) and Angela Dopita (115th, 18:26). The Warriors were 12th as a team, notching 245 points.
In her state debut, sophomore Rose Meyer finished 67th (16:50) for the Indians in 1A.
For the Eagles, 24th-ranked junior Emma Luhmann was 20th (15:34) in 1A. Luhmann finished 31st here last fall in 15:49.
South Central Calhoun
Mady Dick, a No. 26 freshman, placed 58th (16:37) in the 2A field for the Titans. Danville-New London's second-ranked senior Cassandra Stuflick (14:54) took home individual gold.
On the boys side, South Central Calhoun checked in 15th in the team race, accumulating 293 points. No. 1 Monticello (52) repeated as state champions.
Ryan Daisy (38th, 17:18), Tanner Schrad (66th, 17:35), Lucas Farrington (73rd, 17:44), Matthew Nieland (95th, 18:08), Nicholas Collison (96th, 18:10), Zach Ludwig (119th, 19:19) and Ben Clark (123rd, 20:29) all ran for the Titans, who were 13th here a year ago.
Manson Northwest Webster
Second-ranked junior Jack Walstrom, a recent district champion, was 14th in 1A for the Cougar boys, clocking a 16:58. Classmate Alex Dengelser was also 48th (17:36) for Manson Northwest Webster.
Council Bluffs St. Albert's No. 1 senior Josh Sindelar (16:15) was the 1A individual winner.