CLARINDA, Iowa — You couldn’t dream up a better day for Glenwood at the Hawkeye Ten conference meet Thursday.
The Rams came away from the race at Clarinda with a sweep in the team scoring, as both the boys and girls took home conference titles. It was the first conference title for the girls since 1985.
The Glenwood girls tied with Denison-Schleswig at 56 points with the tiebreaker being the lowest finisher. Glenwood’s Abi Schultz was 23rd and Denison-Scheslwig’s Dayana Lora came in 28th. Dension-Schleswig’s Raegan Andersen won the individual title, followed by Taylor McCreedy of Atlantic.
For the boys, the Rams (38) ran away with the title to repeat as conference champs, outscoring second-place Lewis Central by 21 points. St. Albert was third with 94 points.
Glenwood’s Mason Parks (17:59) was the winner individually, followed closely by teammate Parson Covington (18:02).
For Jeff Janssen and the Class 3-A No. 12 Glenwood girls, they are excited to see how they can build on title heading into districts and further down the road.
“We need to build off of it, for sure,” Janssen said, whose team will compete at Atlantic for state qualifying. “We need to have a good week of practice. I think mentally our girls are in a good spot. It’s going to be an interesting next week.”
With her Denison-Schleswig team being so close to capturing a conference title for the third year in a row, Class 3-A No. 10 Raegan Andersen was proud of the way her team performed and believes they are the strongest they’ve been all year long.
“I definitely think we’re getting close to our peak,” Andersen said. “I’ve been running pretty good lately too and hopefully we can carry that into the postseason.”
Denison-Schleswig finished with four runners in the top 14, while Glenwood closed out the race with four in the top 13. With that kind of consistency from their top performers, Monarch coach Nick Bradley is confident his girls can bounce back quickly.
“(If) any one girl in the top five finishes one place higher then it goes in our favor,” Bradley said. “The girls were really upset about it but I told them it’s really not a big deal. This was one of their goals but this isn’t the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is next week.”
For the Glenwood boys, the idea of going back-to-back as Hawkeye Ten conference champions was something they had hoped to accomplish all year, evidenced by the “Defend the 10” t-shirts they wore all year long.
But with Lewis Central beating the Rams at Shenandoah two weeks prior, Rams coach Todd Peverill knew it would be no easy feat once the conference meet rolled around.
“When Lewis Central got us in a tie-breaker at Shenandoah, I was thinking ‘oh no,’ ” Peverill admitted. “But we’ve been training on hills because we were planning on really pushing the hills next week. I wasn’t expecting this to be as (hilly) as it was so all of our hill training really paid off.
”With the title defense in hand, Peverill got an extra surprise when his top two runners, Mason Parks and Parson Covington, came in first and second place. It was an emotional moment for the Rams.
“It’s what we’ve been hoping for this season,” Covington said. “When you come across the line and your coach is crying and comes up and hugs you, you know you did good.”
“I knew if we stuck together we would push each other throughout the race,” Parks said.
Despite the second place finish, Lewis Central coach Taylor May was impressed with the effort showed by his team, highlighted by Connor Lancial in fifth place and Cael Woltmann in sixth.
“I thought we ran a really good race today,” May said. “Glenwood just ran tremendous today so all the credit to them. But I thought our boys ran well. Connor and Cael have been leading us and it’s good to see them finishing in the top 10.
”Going forward, the Rams’ coach is encouraged by the sight of five of his runners finishing in the top 14 with Parks, Covington, Gable Thompson (9th), Sam McIntyre (12th) and Tyler Huey (14th).
“Hopefully this will be a springboard for next week,” Peverill said. “I think we can take at least second. I hate to get bold and say we can win it but with what we saw today, who knows.”
Boys team results: Glenwood 38; Lewis Central 59; St. Albert 94; Carroll Kuemper 126; Harlan 129; Atlantic 149; Red Oak 190; Dension-Schleswig 203; Shenandoah-Essex 216; Clarinda 239; Creston 273.
Individual top 10: 1, Mason Parks, Glenwood, 17:59; 2, Parson Covington, Glenwood, 18:02; 3, Jalen Petersen, Atlantic, 18:03; 4, Clayton Stafford, Creston, 18:03; 5, Connor Lancial, Lewis Central, 18:07; 6, Cael Woltmann, Lewis Central, 18:16; 7, Tyler Holloran, Clarinda, 18:24; 8, Leo Garrigan, St. Albert, 18:26; 9, Gable Thompson, Glenwood, 18:29; 10, Bennett Hesiterkamp, St. Albert, 18:33.
Girls team results: Glenwood 56; Denison-Schleswig 56; Atlantic 88; Harlan 94; Creston 130; Lewis Central 153; Shenandoah-Essex 176; Red Oak 189; Carroll Kuemper 256.
Individual top 10: 1, Raegan Andersen, Dension-Schleswig; 2, Taylor McCreedy, Atlantic, 20:42; 3, Brielle Baker, Creston 20:52; 4, Braelyn Baker, Creston, 20:56; 5, Ellie Mendlik, Denison-Schleswig, 21:21; 6, Greichaly Kaster, Harlan, 21:25; 7, Lacey Jackson, Glenwood, 21:31; 8, Katelyn Malcolm, Glenwood, 21:32; 9, Brecken Van Baale, Harlan, 21:33; 10, Morgan Goslar, Dension-Schleswig, 21:37.