ATLANTIC, Iowa — Andy Campbell's smile told the story on Monday.
For the first time in 18 years, Campbell's Shenandoah/Essex team captured a state-qualifying cross country meet. The sixth-rated Mustangs scored 54 to knock off No. 4 Boone by three points for top honors in Class 3-A at the Nishna Hills Golf Course.
Shenandoah's victory was even more impressive considering Boone's top runner, second-rated Albert Meier, was back in action after missing time to an injury. He won the race, with teammate Chandler Austin placing second.
“I knew Boone was awful strong,” Campbell said. “I didn't expect their No. 1 guy to run, but he did. If you'd have told me we were going to win it with their No. 1 guy running, I don't know if I'd have believed you. But the guys really stepped up.”
The western Iowa team qualifiers on the girls' side were second-place Harlan (74) and third-place Shenandoah/Essex (82). They finished behind champion Dallas Center-Grimes (52). DC-G's Madison Waymire won the race, as the top 10 individuals advanced to state.
But the Shenandoah/Essex boys were the top story. Campbell said seniors Sean Skillern (third) and Zac McCoy (fifth), and sophomore Nate Hoyt (11th) turned in strong outings.
“Those three were tremendous today,'' he said. “Actually, I could go on. Joe Blake was 14th, and Bradley Young was our seventh man all year, and was our fifth guy tonight.''
The news wasn't as good for 10th-rated Glenwood. The Rams finished in the dreaded fourth place with 112 points. Their lone representative at state will be Jeff Reeve, who finished ninth.
The drama in the girls race came in the homestretch. Harlan No. 2 runner Bailey Kuhl, safely in the top 10 at the time, tied up and was struggling to keep her feet in the humid conditions. She finally dropped to the soggy grass about 75 meters from the finish, her body uncooperative.
“She's fine,” Harlan coach Doug Renkly said. “We were good enough to get second today without her, which is a tremendous compliment to those girls who finished.''
Kuhl was telling friends and coaches that she was sorry as she tried to regain her breath and her stability.
“I told her that it's not something that she did or didn't do,” Renkly said. “These things just happen once in a while. She's got great teammates around her. I told her that we'd gladly give up everything just to make sure she's OK.”
The Harlan girls had two individual qualifiers: second-place Jessica Feldman and eighth-place Marissa Klindt. Three other western Iowa girls advanced as top-10 finishers: fifth-place Maria Mostek of Creston, seventh-place Tiffany Williams of Atlantic and 10th-place Megan Hart of Shenandoah/Essex.
The Harlan boys had a pair of qualifiers in Philip Sciranko (seventh) and Chris Brace (eighth).
Boys team scoring (top 3 to state): 1, Shenandoah/Essex 54; 2, Boone 57; 3, Ballard 89; 4, Glenwood 112; 5, Dallas Center-Grimes 118; 6, Harlan 156; 7, Creston 208; 8, Perry 223; 9, ADM 263; 10, Norwalk 285; 11, Winterset 302; 12, Saydel 302; 13, Atlantic 314.
Individual state qualifiers: 1, Albert Meier, Boone, 16:27; 2, Chandler Austin, Boone, 16:49; 3, Sean Skillern, Shenandoah, 17:16; 4, Noah Wheeler, Ballard, 17:28; 5, Zac McCoy, Shenandoah, 17:34; 6, Michael Wuestenberg, Ballard, 17:38; 7, Philip Sciranko, Harlan, 17:38; 8, Chris Brace, Harlan, 17:39; 9, Jeff Reeve, Glenwood, 17:40; 10, Luke Kohut-Jackson, Ballard, 17:42.
Girls team scoring (top 3 to state): 1, Dallas Center-Grimes 52; 2, Harlan 74; 3, Shenandoah/Essex 82; 4, Winterset 103; 5, Creston 112; 6, Ballard 168; 7, ADM 194; 8, Glenwood 216; 9, Perry 219; 10, Atlantic 230; 11, Norwalk 238; 12, Saydel 356; 13, Boone 361.
Individual state qualifiers: 1, Madison Waymire, DC-G, 15:18; 2, Jessica Feldman, Harlan, 15:33; 3, Abby Kohut-Jackson, Ballard, 15:37; 4, Brittany Sawyers, Winterset, 16:04; 5, Maria Mostek, Creston, 16:07; 6, Dominique Fleming, Winterset, 16:11; 7, Tiffany Williams, Atlantic, 16:35; 8, Marissa Klindt, Harlan, 16:38; 9, Heidi Tuttle, DC-G, 16:42; 10, Megan Hart, Shenandoah, 16:43.
Other Harlan finishers: 11, Mercedee Mayberry 16:45; 15, Dru Beach 17:07; 38, Rachel Pauley 18:03; 41, Chantel Schmidt 18:17.
Other Shenandoah/Essex finishers: 13, Mariah Johnson 17:00; 17, Jasmine Glasgo 17:13; 20, Frannie Clark 17:19; 22, Angela Ray 17:34; 31, Alexis Saner 17:51; 43, Erica Munsinger 18:21.
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