For the first time since 1988 Clear Lake has brought home a North Conference cross country championship.
On the course that will host the State Championship Oct. 31, the Clear Lake boys cross country team ran their best meet of the year. The success was due to a true team effort, as every runner gave it their all.
According to Coach Nick DiMarco, the outcome was in doubt early in the race. Eventual runner-up Humboldt jumped out to an early lead. Humboldt’s Ivan Rasmussen led the race for the first mile before a Lion pack, including Ryan Faught, Eric Faught and Sam Pedelty, tracked him down and took control of the race.
Freshman Eric Faught led the race for the next one and one-half miles before giving way to eventual NCC Champion Harrison Mayer, from St. Edmonds.
Clear Lake won the team title with 43 points. Humboldt was second with 62 and Webster City finished third with 74 points. The remainder of the field included: Algona (91), St. Ed’s (93), IFA-AGWSR (172), Clarion-Goldfield-Dows (216), Hampton-Dumont (227).
Mayer, from St. Ed’s won the individual title in a time of 16:51.
Three Clear Lake runners earned All-Conference honors on the day. Eric Faught placed second in a time of 17:04; Sam Pedelty placed third in 17:16; and Ryan Faught placed fourth in a time of 17:18.
“To place three runners in the top four is a testament to how hard these boys raced and trained,” said Coach DiMarco.
The conference title would not have been secured without the effort of the entire team. Ike Branstad placed 15th in a time of 17:58.
“Showing grit and determination, Ike passed several runners in the final 200 meters,” added DiMarco. “Spencer Orr shaved 20 seconds off his all-time best, placing 19th with a time of 18:10. Senior Spencer left it all on the course, knowing that this was his last chance to win the Conference Championship and his determination paid off.”
Grant Dieken and Kaleb Froiland were next for the Lions, placing 23rd (18:22) and 27th (18:44) respectively.
“The way they finished pushed the entire Lion Pack and helped secure the title,” said DiMarco.
Girls fifth as a team
The young Lady Lions finished fifth as a team at the conference race. Humboldt took home the team title with 40 points, easily outdistancing runner-up St. Ed’s with 83 and Algona with 84 points. The remainder of the field included: IF-A 112, Clear Lake (124), Webster City (127), C-G-D (158) and H-D (207).
The Lions were paced by All-Conference selection Gretchen Jones, who finished 10th in a time of 21:09. Next for the Lions was Katelyn Moore, placing 22nd in a time of 22:25. Senior Erin O’Tool placed 26th in a time of 22:57. Bailey Larsen placed 31st in a time of 23:10. Alena Gabrielson placed 35th in a time of 23:31. Rissa Barragy placed 36th in a time of 23:34. Rounding out the Lion’s roster was Tali Tesar, who placed 45th in a time of 24:42.
“With three freshman, three sophomores and one senior, this team is poised for a fantastic 2016 season,” said Coach DiMarco. “Their times dropped remarkably throughout the year and