IOWA CITY – Highland’s Madison Thomann made a deal with coach Allison Strobel before Thursday’s Class 1A state-qualifying cross-country meet about getting food afterwards.
The deal paid off as Thomann’s final kick helped her finish fourth in 21 minutes, 32.06 seconds while fifth place was 21/100th behind her. Cheyenne Shaw of North Mahaska won in 20 minutes, 35.59 seconds.
Iowa Mennonite School’s Leah Bontrager was 14th in 22:14.6.
The top 15 individuals and top three teams advance to the state meet at Kennedy Park outside Fort Dodge Oct. 27.
Highland was fifth as a team. IMS was seventh. Columbus, WACO and Keota did not have enough runners for a team score.
In the boys race, Hunter Rickels of Calamus Wheatland won in 17:10.9. IMS was 10th in the team race while Columbus was 11th, WACO 17th and Highland 20th. Keota did not have enough runners for a team score.
“I wanted to go fast so that we can go eat,” Thomann said.
Her goal was just to place well enough to make it to state.
“My strategy was just to get to the front so that I didn’t get pushed back by the other runners,” Thomann said. “I got away from the pack by the time we got to the first hill. I like to have a couple people ahead of me so that I have something to work for, but I like people behind me because I like to stay in front of them. I’m not sure what to think about state. I just want to get a good time.”
“I am proud of her,” Strobel said. “She stayed consistent while other girls let the pressure get to them, but she didn’t.”
Bontrager had a stategy, but didn’t stick to it.
“I didn’t want to go out to hard in my first mile,” she said. “Then I was a little surprised that my time in the first mile was seven minutes. My adrenaline was making me go really fast. I tried to pass most of my people in the second mile, which worked out pretty good.”
She said she knew what place she was in throughout the race with a little help.
“I tried to keep track of where I was in my head and I told my dad to tell me and (IMS coach) Marty (Gingerich) was telling me.”
Her first thought after finishing was that she could never run that fast again. After she got through the chute, she lay on the ground for a little bit and then her mom came up and hugged her.
“I was just really excited. I don’t know what to expect at state because I have never been there before,” the freshman said.
Thomann, a sophomore, will also be at state for the first time.
Highland -- 3. Madison Thomann 21:36.06, 25. Taylor Sublette 23:16.9, 38. Fiona Mahler 24:27.22, 40. Alli Brand 24:34.57, 66. Kylie Wood 27:20.69
Iowa Mennonite -- 13. Leah Bontrager 22:14.6, 24. Sarena Gerber 23:12.76, 37. Esther Hughes 24:17.26, 67. Julia Boller 27:26.07, 71. Rachel Geyer 28:02.42
Columbus -- – 43. Anna Hamilton 24:27.83, 92. Juvixsa Valdez 29:01.01, 96. Esther Lian 29:26.35
WACO -- 75. Grace Conwell 26:54.58, 95. Makenzie Shelman 29:17.59, 105. Jackayla Vradenburg 31:52.87, 109. Caitlyn Sells 32:17.91
Keota -- 41. Paige Thompson 24:25.65, 66. Jenna Jaeger 26:08.78, 87. Bailey Sieren 28:09.6
Iowa Mennonite -- 26. Brian Nchoe 19:00.52, 51. John Hughes 20:13.22, 61. Jacob Boller 20:38.91, 72. Noah Miller 20:58.96, 98. Aaron Hershberger 21:55.64
Columbus -- 30. Isaac Acosta 19:11.68, 34. Hunter Humiston 19:25.22, 90. Freddy Vergara 21:20.71, 93. Garrett Palmer 21:2309, 103. Mason Hills-Carrier 21:52.9
WACO -- 43. Jonah Egli 19:50.8, 87. Larz Smith 21:26.94, 101. Tanner Conwell 22:14.66, 103. Joe Edeker 22:28.76, 105. Taylor Sutton 22:36.98
Highland -- 63. Jacob Roling 20:45.29, 111. Luke VanSchoyck 23:28.51, 113. Noah Oriano 23:39.88, 130. Matt Butler 28:05.36, 133. Noah Holden 28:28.15
Keota -- 77. Jayden Lawson 20:58.57