Panorama girls return to state meet with dominant performance

Senior Josh Carstens will represent the Panther boys as an individual qualifier.

The Panorama girls, as a team, advanced to the State Cross Country Meet by winning Thursday's State Qualifier in Mount Ayr. Moving on as individuals with top 15 finishes were, from left: Devyn Kemble, Brianna Hoffman, Ella Waddle, and Gwen and Olivia Steffen. Josh Cartsens advanced for the Panther boys by placing seventh. Photo courtesy Eileen Nordquist.

MOUNT AYR — For the sixth consecutive season, and the 10th in the last 12 years, the Panorama girls will participate in the Class 1A team race at the State Cross Country meet.

Panorama overwhelmed the competition at Thursday’s qualifying meet, with all seven runners placing the top 25 and all five scorers in the top 10. The first three teams and top 15 individuals earned the right to advance to the final meet, to be held Saturday at Kennedy Park in Fort Dodge.

While the Panther boys narrowly missed the third and final team spot in an effort to make consecutive state meet appearances, senior Josh Carstens secured an individual spot by finishing seventh overall.

Dominant Thursday as they have been all season, the Panorama girls ran off with the team title at Thursday’s State Qualifying meet in Mount Ayr. Photo courtesy Eileen Nordquist.

The Panther girls needed only 32 points to win their team title, with Baxter a distant second at 100 while AHSTW was third with a 119.

Panorama freshman Ella Waddle sped to second place in 20 minutes, 9 seconds, with senior Devyn Kemble sixth in 21:21. Freshman twins Gwen (21:26) and Olivia (22:01) Steffen were seventh and ninth, respectively, with senior Brianna Hoffman finishing between the sisters and in eighth place in 21:54.

Junior Brooklyn Behrends (18th, 23:11.5) and sophomore Chloe Webster (23rd, 23:44) also ran for the Panthers.

Top-ranked Nodaway Valley sparkled in winning the boys meet with 29 points. Woodward Academy showed strength in placing second at 69, with Earlham third at 122 and Panorama just missing advancing by finishing fourth at 136. Earlham had beaten Panorama by 80 points a week earlier at the WCAC meet, but the Panthers nearly made up the entire gap, missing out by only 14 points.

The Panorama boys cross country runners pose at Thursday’s State Qualifying meet in Mount Ayr. Photo courtesy Eileen Nordquist.

Carstens crossed in 17:39 to return to the state meet, with senior Danny Nordquist — who was also an individual qualifier as a junior — placing 24th in 18:55. Juniors Levi Richey (19:28) and Noah Kirtley (19:30) were 33-34 for the Panthers, with sophomore Emry Colby finishing 38th in 19:34.74.

Also competing for the Panthers were seniors Kaleb Randol (40th, 19:37) and Sam Webster (44th, 19:46).


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