The Garner-Hayfield/Ventura/West Hancock cross country team had two runners qualify for the State Cross Country Meet held on Thursday, Oct. 24, in Waverly. Senior Joel Toppin and freshman Chase Smith will
represent the Cardinals at the State Meet, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, in Fort Dodge.
“It is great to see Joel and Chase qualify individually, they ran a great race and Chase recorded his best career time at the meet,” said Coach Jeff Short.
As it has been most of the season, Toppin placed one spot higher than Smith. Toppin placed second in a time of 16:35, and Smith was right behind him in third place with a time of 16:38.
Also running varsity at the meet was A.J. Arnold, 34th, 18:04; Derek Brown, 46th, 18:22; Johnathan O’Connor, 48th, 18:23; Anthony Siegrist, 49th, 18:26 and Derek Lonneman, 56th, 18:40.
The boys team placed sixth in the 13-team field. Decorah won the competition with 36 points, followed by Charles City with 76 points and Vinton-Shellsburg with 88 points. GHV/WH finished the meet with 166 points.
Tiara Van Gerpen and Maddie Tusha led the girls team. Van Gerpen finished in 17th place with a time of 16:10. She was followed closely by Tusha, who ran the race in 16:15 and finished in 19th place.
Rounding out the girls varsity team was Maria Gonzalez, 28th, 16:33; Bri Bier, 46th, 17:15; Maribel Zamago, 56th, 17:21; Rebekah Larson, 59th, 17:37; and Kelly Anderson, 65th, 17:48.
The girls finished in fifth place with 138 points. Charles City won the meet with 47 points, followed by Decorah with 85 points.
“I thought the teams ran very well in a very tough State Qualifying Meet. They have run hard for us coaches all year and we are very proud of them,” said Short.