Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 19, 2018

Henry County trio on to state

Mertens, Ryon and Krieger-Coble advance to Ft. Dodge from Solon qualifiers
Oct 20, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Mt. Pleasant’s Cody Mertens runs in second in the early stages of the Class 3A boys’ race.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


SOLON — The Mt. Pleasant and Winfield-Mt. Union cross-country teams were in Solon on Thursday evening as runners attempted to punch their ticket to the state meet in Ft. Dodge.

It wasn’t the best day team-wise for any of the four Henry County squads in action, but three area runners cracked the top-15 to make the state meet individually. Mt. Pleasant’s Cody Mertens and Abby Ryon will both return to Ft. Dodge, and Pearl Krieger-Coble were make her state debut for Winfield-Mt. Union.

The best finish of the day went to Mertens. He stuck with 2016 state runner up Myles Bach of Cedar Point-Urbana throughout the race and finished just 11 seconds behind Bach with a second-place time of 16:28.

Mertens will be making his third straight trip to Ft. Dodge after qualifying with the team in 2015 and 2016. He finished 16th at the state meet last season.

As a team, the Panther boys scored 146 points for sixth place, three spots away from qualification.

Kyle Vanderham was the next Panther to cross, placing 28th in 17:52. Dalton Moyle was 31st in 17:58. Alec Gardner finished 40th in 18:19. Drake Snavely placed 45th in 18:30. Cade Warner was 50th in 18:41, and Dakota Triska placed 64th in 19:25.

“It’s obviously a little different with the guys not around,” said Mertens about going up as an individual. It won’t be as fun in the hotels, but (it’s) definitely more of a business trip this time. Last year we had the team and this year (it’s) a little more focusing on myself. It’s definitely more fun as a team, but it didn’t go our way today.”

Ryon also cruised to a top-five finish to get back to state. She finished fifth place, with a time of 19:31.

The sophomore will be making her second trip to state in as many years. She qualified as an individual in 2016 and walked away with a 39th-place finish.

“It felt great. I mean, it really hurt because you’re running, but it felt great,” Ryon said. “I am really bummed my team didn’t make it with me (but) I’m excited to go back and I’m excited to do better than last year.”

As a team, the Panthers scored 139 points, and much like the boys, finished sixth in the standings.

Taylor Murray was the top Mt. Pleasant runner outside of the state qualifiers. The senior ran a time of 20:47 to give Mt. Pleasant a second top-20 finisher.

Delaney McDowell, another senior, was the next Panther to cross, finishing 32nd with a time of 21:37. Kelsey Notestein was 43rd in 22:03. Cristina Carthey was 45th in 22:14. Kendall Dascher placed 46th in 22:14, and Claire Holtkamp finished 58th in 23:03.

Krieger-Coble added to her fantastic year with an eighth-place finish in the 1A girls’ race. The W-MU senior finished in 21:08 and is Henry County’s only Class 1A runner to qualify for Ft. Dodge.

Cecelia Hemsworth cracked the top 25 but didn’t quite have enough for top 15. She finished 24th place in 22:34. Isabella Mertens was 74th in 25:45. Whitney Vantiger placed 77th in 25:51 and Fiona Sparrow was 89th in 26:37. The W-MU girls finished 10th as a team with 234 points.

The two top W-MU boys narrowly missed out on qualification, finishing just outside the top 15. Freshman Brody Barton was 16th in 17:43, seven seconds away from the top spot, and junior Jarod Kadel crossed in 20th with a time of 17:57.

The W-MU boys finished ninth as a team. Asa Gipple placed 54th in 19:37. Dana Sweezer was 88th in 20:34. Tristan Kauffman placed 96th in 20:48, and Bryant Holtcamp finished 116th in 21:36.

Those who did qualify for state will be in action in just over one week. The state meet in Ft. Dodge will take place on Saturday, Oct. 28.

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