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Dodgers, Gaels put early miles to the test

Photo by Troy Banning, Daily Freeman-Journal St. Edmond’s Caroline Shelly competes at Tuesday’s Lynx Invitational in Webster City.

WEBSTER CITY — Cross country is one of the few sports that the Fort Dodge and St. Edmond athletic programs compete against one another.

The schools did just that here Tuesday evening at the Lynx Invitational.

The Gael girls finished third overall, the Dodger boys were third and the St. Edmond boys placed fifth in the team standings.

Jed Tracy from St. Edmond and Josh Meier of Fort Dodge battled step-for-step down the stretch, with Tracy taking sixth in 18:09.67. Meier was seventh in 18:09.98, while FDSH teammate Eric Crawford placed ninth in 18:14.

Hayden Mayer was 26th overall in 19:32 for the Gaels, with Grant Heldorfer (31st, 19:49), Ronnie Orres (36th, 19:57) and Ryan Duckett (38th, 20:03) joining Tracy to round out the Top-5 Gael finishers.

“I think it’s neat being able to compete against the Dodgers,” SEHS head coach Mike Szalat said. “Their boys have improved a great deal since last year. The kids from the two schools get along very well and support and cheer each other at these meets.”

Along with Meier and Crawford, Dodger teammates Jonathon Madden placed 15th in 18:36, Ryan Madden was 19th in 19:04, and Carter Delanoit crossed 33rd in 19:52. FDSH was third in the team race.

“The boys were just thrilled, coming so close to second (place),” FDSH head coach Joe Jackson said. “They’ve really been pushing each other in practice and have their goals set for this season.

“Some of them went out a little too fast and kind of paid for it at the end of the race, but it’s a lesson learned. I’m very pleased with how things are coming together for them (in the early going).”

:”For the girls, St. Edmond’s Aubrey Bemrich was ninth in 22:58 with teammate Aleksandria Aljets placing 13th (23:04). Anna Kolacia (23:59) and Caroline Shelly (24:09) were 20th and 21st, respectively, followed by Kelli Kersten (31st, 24:56).

“I thought our kids, for the most part, improved from the first meet in terms of getting out more conservatively,” Szalat said. “Jed ran really a smart race. for example.”

Fort Dodge’s Alexis Read led her team, placing 24th in a time of 24:15. Isabel Beekman was 35th (25:52) and Piera McBride placed 43rd (27:05).

“The girls did a great job overall,” Jackson said. “They’re getting there. We are kind of low on numbers and battling some injuries, but this is a good starting point and we’re seeing real progress.”

Next action for the Dodgers will be Thursday, Sept. 12, when they compete at the Marshalltown Invitational starting at 4:30 p.m. St. Edmond runs again on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the CYO meet hosted by Ridge View at the Holstein Golf Course beginning at 9 a.m.