Runners overcome messy conditions at Atlantic Invitational

ATLANTIC, Iowa — On a gloomy and rainy afternoon, runners were focused on staying healthy at the Atlantic Invitational on Thursday.

That may be part of the reason why Class 1-A No. 3 Jerry Jorgenson didn’t finish in his normal position.

“It was just a mess out there, not very convenient for racing,” the Treynor junior said. “It’s hard to race to your fullest when you’re trying to save yourself from injury.”

The impressive field was also a factor in the lower finish for Jorgenson, as he was joined by Class 3-A No. 6 Scott Miles and Class 1-A No. 2 Evan Wilson. Scott finished first and Wilson was second.

With conference meets just a week away, not getting injured was on a number of runners’ minds.

“My main fear was going down the hills and around the corners,” Scott said.

For team scoring, Class 3-A No. 1 power Dallas Center-Grimes came in first, followed by ADM, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, Tri-Center and Earlham. Abraham Lincoln came just outside the top 5 with a sixth-place finish and St. Albert came in 13th.

With a field that included solid teams from all over the state, Tri-Center coach Dennis Jarrett was happy with the result.

“I told them to go out and have fun with the weather conditions,” Jarrett said. “They ran like they usually do, stuck together pretty well and had a pretty good race.”

Lewis Central’s boys and girls chose not to race, citing dangerous conditions, along with the Glenwood boys.

For the girls, Tri-Center’s Peyton Pogge finally broke through for her first varsity win after spending most of the season in the top 10 as a freshman.

Unlike most other runners, the rain presented an exciting opportunity for Pogge.

“I like it, it gave me water to cool me down,” said Pogge, ranked No. 16 in Class 1-A. “People came out really fast and were ahead of me so I had to push to stay up with everyone.”

Pogge’s competitors may have had a different perspective, as the freshman pulled away in the last mile and was waiting for some time before second place Raegan Anderson of Dension-Schleswig crossed the finish line.

“That was pretty exciting, a memorable night,” Jarrett said. “Winning on a night with those conditions, I told her that will be a great memory to have down the road.”

In team scoring, Class 3-A No. 8 Dallas Center-Grimes came in first, followed by Glenwood, Denison-Schleswig, Atlantic and Harlan. Abraham Lincoln was seventh and it was a 15th place finish for St. Albert.

With an impressive showing by Glenwood against top-flight competition from all over the state, Rams coach Jeff Janssen is energetic about what the future might hold.

“I couldn’t be happier with how tonight went,” Janssen said. “Our girls were excited and competed really well given the conditions. To close the gap between us and some of the top dogs in the state was great.”

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