Lewis Central boys capture first Hawkeye Ten Conference cross country title in 34 years

Lewis Central boys capture first Hawkeye Ten Conference cross country title in 34 years
Glenwood's Janette Schraft claimed the individual Hawkeye Ten Conference title in 18:10 on Thursday. (World-Herald News Service)

GLENWOOD – It was a historic day for the Lewis Central boys cross country program.

The Titans were 21 points better than Glenwood on Thursday, winning their first Hawkeye 10 Conference championship since 1984.

“This is an absolutely incredible day,” Lewis Central coach Taylor May said. “These kids have worked so hard all year. It means so much for the Lewis Central program. I’m so excited, I can’t believe it.”

Connor Lancial and Aiden Rudloff finished second and third to pace the Titans. May said Cael Woltmann’s ninth-place finish may have been the top performance for the team as he battled through an illness that had kept him out of practice all week.

The next three Titans – Nathan Sell, Tyler Ruiz and Josh Sell – finished between 15th and 18th.

“Having six in the top 20 was huge for us,” said May. “That’s what we have talked about all year was sticking together.”

The Titans finished with 45 points, beating out Glenwood’s 66 and 83 from Atlantic.

Harlan’s Trey Gross finished in 16 minutes, 57 seconds to edge Lancial by three seconds to win the individual conference championship.

Gross took the early lead and kept it the rest of the way.

“My plan was to be ahead and keep trying to grow (the lead),” said Gross. “This is a tight course and I figured if I could get ahead, they wouldn’t be able to find me.”

Atlantic’s Jalen Petersen and Parson Covington of Glenwood completed the top five.

Gross’ title wasn’t the only one for the Cyclones as Harlan’s girls edged Glenwood 51-52 to win their first conference team title since 2012.

“Getting to run with a quality team like Glenwood pretty much every week has helped both programs,” Harlan coach Doug Renkly said. “I told the girls that this is one of the sweetest (championships) that we have been able to accomplish. It’s pretty special.”

Kaia Bieker paced Harlan with a sixth-place run of 20:09. The next five Cyclones were between eighth and 16th.

Glenwood finished with two of the top five, including individual champion Janette Schraft. Her finish in 18:10 was 33 seconds ahead of Atlantic sophomore Taylor McCreedy.

“Winning this meet against some pretty tough competition is quite an accomplishment,” said Schraft. “Taylor and I have been running together all season, so it was nice to run against her and have her help push me.”

Glenwood’s Abby McIntyre took fifth, just behind Creston’s sister duo of Brielle and Braelyn Baker.

McCreedy led Atlantic to a third-place team finish.

Next Thursday are teams will compete in state-qualifying meets.

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