Woodward-Granger cross country competes at WCAC meet

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Most of the Woodward-Granger cross country teams, from grades 7-12, pose Thursday in Panora at the WCAC meet. Photo submitted.

PANORA — No Woodward-Granger runner earned All-Conference honors at Thursday’s West Central Activities Conference meet at the Lake Panorama Par 3 Golf Course, but Hawk head coach Dave Smeltzer said he could not have been more proud of the effort of each of the W-G teams.

“I’m happy with all our athletes,” Smeltzer said. “Our conference, both boys and girls, is tough as nails, with multiple teams ranked in the state and with many individual kids ranked. As the season went on all the kids, from the seventh graders through the seniors, have gotten stronger and faster.”



Seventh-ranked Panorama won the girls race with 27 points, with No. 11 AC/GC second at 46. Madrid (90), Earlham (117), WCV (147), Ogden (152), W-G (162) and Van Meter (181) completed the field. Des Moines Christian does not compete in girls cross country.

W-G’s Josie Noland (2335) and Kaitlyn Peters (2336) lead a pack along the course at Thursday’s WCAC meet in Panora. Photo submitted.

Panorama’s Ella Waddle, rated sixth, won the meet in 19 minutes, 41.48 seconds. Fourth-ranked and defending state champion Kate Crawford of AC/GC was second in 20:09.25, with Devyn Kemble (18th at state) third for Panorama in 20:54.68 while AC/GC’s Emma Swanson (4th at state but unranked because she has missed much of the year to injury) fourth in 20:56.65, highlighting Smetlzer’s point about the quality of competition.

Freshman Posey Robinson was the first W-G finisher, crossing 19th in 24:03.05. Sophomore Natalie Helbling (27th, 24:59.85), sophomore Chloe David (31st, 25:10.12), senior Kaitlyn Peters (38th, 25:54.71) and junior Josie Noland (47th, 26:51.78) also scored for W-G. AnnaMae Hanson (55th, 31:00.03), Emily Lingner (56th, 33:04.59) and Hannah Lingner (34:50.09) were also on the course for the Hawks.

The top three boys team spots were claimed by No. 9 Woodward Academy (66), Madrid (69) and AC/GC (71). Des Moines Christian was fourth at 83, with Ogden (104), Earlham (120), Panorama (183), W-G (223), WCV (266) and Van Meter (267) also in competition.

Third-ranked Sean McDermott of Madrid won the race in 17:05.17, with DMC’s Tyler Ketcham second at 17:19.86.

Trevor Faltonson (2344) and Alex Bice (2838) run for Woodward-Granger in Thursday’s WCAC meet at Panora. Photo submitted.

Senior Chandler Cavanaugh led W-G by finishing 36th in 19:29.56, with sophomore Alex Bice 39th in 19:41.22 and freshman Trevor Faltonson 41st in 19:49.32. Also scoring for the Hawks were sophomores Caleb Jones (53rd, 20:25.65) and Kaya Bowlsby (54th, 20:36.33), with Keith Braunschweig (61st, 21:01.93) and Hunter Pierce (65th, 21:21.85) also running for the varsity.

Cody Garland (21:43.68), Dylan Steele (22:03.51), Kurt Crouse (23:54.84), Kainen Fuson (24:11.56), Nick Busch (24:27.2), Cole Theisen (24:55.39) and Logan Roll (24:57.41) ran for the W-G junior varsity.

Earlham won the two-mile middle school girls race with 30 points, with W-G third at 83.

Makayla Hanna was 11th and Sydney Grell 12th, in 15:35.47 and 16:01.83, respectively, with Katie Grell 16th in 16:22.9. Makenzie Dresback placed 19th in 16:59.49 and Kaitlyn Smith 25th in 18:14.86.

Van Meter’s 64 points won the two-mile boys middle school competition, with W-G seventh in an eighth-team field with 129 points.

Sydney (2355) and Katie (2354) Grell compete in the middle school two-mile race at the WCAC meet in Panora Thursday. Photo submitted.

Alex Foster led the way for the Hawks by placing 13th in 14:53.79 while Carsten Wright was 23rd in 15:40.51. Ryan Fitch (27th, 16:06.97), Parker Griffin (32nd, 16:46.76) and Lucas Hansen (34th, 16:50.12) also scored, with Joel Harney (34th, 16:51.87), Landon Bogardus (42nd, 17:46.44) and Nick Bermel (19:38.88) running for W-G as well.

“Our of our kids are always giving it their all, and that is all I can ask,” Smeltzer noted. “It is only our second year and we have 38 kids out, which is amazing. We are only going to be better next season. I am excited going into next we as we head to Mount Ayr — we will see what happens, but I think we can compete very well.”

The state qualifying meet at Mount Ayr is scheduled for Thursday.

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