At the Shenandoah Invitational on Thursday, Glenwood’s Lacey Jackson and Kate Kaufman broke a school record that was set by fellow teammate Aubrey McIntyre just one year ago.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, Jeff Janssen is now in his third season as the Rams’ girls coach.
“The big thing we’ve been preaching the last couple years is a having family atmosphere and trusting the process,” Janssen said, whose Glenwood squad came in first place in team scoring. “Right now our biggest focus is trying to stay the course…Obviously it’s been paying off.”
The attention to detail and genuine desire to see the Glenwood runners succeed seems to have struck a chord with the Rams, who currently sit at 11th place in the Class 2A girls rankings.
“This year, it was about reliability for all of us girls,” senior Kaufman said, who came in fifth with a time of 19:22. “(Coach Janssen) knows each of our strengths and knows how to push us individually and I think that has really helped us as a team.”
“We’ve been pushing mileage,” Jackson (fourth place, 19:19) said. “We set a goal and we try to get that many miles in a week or month. If we’re running six miles, three miles feels like nothing.”
Last season at the Iowa Western course, McIntyre set the Rams record with a time of 20:07. Not only did Kaufman and Jackson easily break that mark on Thursday, but so did the eighth place McIntyre (19:53).
At the top of the race, Class 1A No. 11 Janette Schraft of East Mills came in first with a time of 18:35, while Emma Lucas of Bedford (19:04) was second and Taylor McCreedy of Atlantic finished third (19:08).
After the top two Glenwood girls, Greichaly Kaster of Harlan took sixth (19:36) and Abraham Lincoln’s Claire Wilder was seventh (19:50).
As far as what to expect from a Rams’ team that keeps breaking records, Janssen has high hopes of taking Glenwood to state for just the fifth time and the first since 2004.
“We’d love to be in the hunt with Atlantic, Denison, Harlan, Shenandoah. And hopefully we will be in two weeks,” Janssen said.
On the boys side, it was all Council Bluffs schools at the top of the leader board.
Thomas Jefferson came in first (68), Lewis Central was second (75), St. Albert was fourth (75) and Abraham Lincoln rounded out the top five (181). Glenwood was the third place team with 75 points.
St. Albert sophomore Leo Garrigan came in third place with a personal record time of 16:33.
“It was the first time I’ve ever got top three,” Garrigan said. “I felt good before the race. I knew that it was a flat course, so I thought I’d try something different by going out harder at the beginning.”
While the next St. Albert runner came in at 22nd in Brady Heisterkamp (17:08) followed by Luke Blaha in 33rd, the Falcons were able to utilize the pack running style that cross country coaches love to preach.
Coming in fifth place in team results with no runner above 21st, Abraham Lincoln’s Scott Miliner knows that they will have to use a similar style if they want to continue to improve their standing.
“We don’t have the hammer, the monster runner in this group of guys,” Miliner said, whose top runner was Joe Harding with a time of 17:07. “We have to rely on the pack-type running to compete in the team scoring.”
After Harding, the Lynx had Caleb Linen (17:39) finish 34th, Steven Hornberg (17:44) in 35th, and Reed Willadsen at 47th (18:08).
Lewis Central and Thomas Jefferson remained at the top, much like previous meets between the Council Bluffs schools.
T.J. had one top ten finisher in Anthony Humpal (16:39) and five total in the top 20, between Aidan Booton (16:46), Wimach Gilo (17:02), Archie Powders (17:03) and Zack Booton (17:05).
For L.C., Cael Woltmann (16:41) held his top ten status with a ninth place finish and senior Ethan Fuller (16:43) came in tenth. Connor Lancial (16:48) was 12th, while Nathan Sell (17:09) came in 23rd.
Titans coach Taylor May is hoping to see more consistency outside of their top three runners (Cael Woltmann, Ethan Fuller and Connor Lancial) if they plan to unseat the firepower that accompanies the Yellow Jacket boys.
“It’s been a battle all year between T.J., Glenwood and us,” May said. “It was the closest spread we’ve had between us three all year. We just want to continue to move up.”
Boys team results
1, Thomas Jefferson 68; 2, Lewis Central 75; 3, Glenwood 75; 4, St. Albert 141; 5, Abraham Lincoln 181; 6, Harlan 184; 7, Atlantic 186; 8, Shenandoah-Essex 208; 9, Underwood 272; 10, Southwest Iowa 272; 11, Clarinda 275; 12, Treynor 278; 13, Red Oak 279; 14, Riverside 390; 15, Bedford 413; 16, East Mills 460.
Individual Top 10
1, Jerry Jorgenson, Treynor, 15:52; 2, Adam Thompson, SWI, 16:21; 3, Leo Garrigan, St. Albert, 16:33; 4, Dalton Fischer, AHSTW, 16:36; 5, Jalen Petersen, Atlantic, 16:37; 6, Mason Parks, Glenwood, 16:38; 7, Anthony Humpal, Thomas Jefferson, 16:39; 8, Parson Covington, Glenwood, 16:40; 9, Cael Woltmann, Lewis Central, 16:41; 10, Ethan Fuller, Lewis Central, 16:43.
Girls team results
1, Glenwood 37; 2, Atlantic 56; 3, Harlan 88; 4, Abraham Lincoln 113; 5, Lewis Central 148; 6, Shen-Essex 154; 7, AHSTW 215; 8, Thomas Jefferson 217; 9, Red Oak 230; 10, Underwood 283; 11, St. Albert 295; 12, Griswold 309; 13, Treynor 347; 14, Riverside 412.
Individual Top 10
1, Janette Schraft, East Mills, 18:35; 2, Emma Lucas, Bedford, 19:04; 3, Taylor McCreedy, Atlantic, 19:08; 4, Lacey Jackson, Glenwood, 19:22; 5, Kate Kaufman, Glenwood, 19:22; 6, Greichaly Kaster, Harlan, 19:36; 7, Claire Wilder, Abraham Lincoln, 19:50; 8, Aubrey McIntyre, Glenwood, 19:53; 9, Heidi Hall, AHSTW, 19:58; 10, Karsyn Rush, Atlantic, 19:59.