Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
The 2021 cross-country season has come and went and as usual, Southeast Iowa had a stellar year.
Two area teams, however, stood out above the rest, at least when it comes to the All-Union squad. Of the eight names on the list, six of them belong to Washington or Danville-New London.
Washington scooped up a couple of premier spots on the list. The Demons had three names, a coach and two players. The 2021 captain also comes to us in Demon orange.
Danville-New London had three runners named after a second-place finish at the state meet. The other honorees represent Mid-Prairie and Columbus.
Stefanie Haworth, Washington
The Demons’ head cross-country coach gets the nod on the boys’ list, but really it was her work in both girls and boys cross-country that earned her the coaching slot on the 2021 All-Union team.
Washington rose to the top of the Southeast Conference in both boys and girls cross-country this year, and they did so in style. The Demons saw themselves climb in both the boys’ and girls’ rankings and finished the year with two SEC titles.
The Demon boys used a one-two finish to anchor a nine-point victory over Fairfield at the SEC meet. The girls had five Top-10 finishes to win by 29.
Washington does lose its lone state qualifier next year, but Haworth’s Demons should be a force to be reckoned with in Southeast Iowa for the foreseeable future.
Lance Sobaski, senior, Washington
It seemed like every southeast Iowa boys cross-country race this season had the same lead dog, and for the most part, they always did.
Washington’s Lance Sobaski polished off a storied career at Washington with his best year yet, not only as an individual but team-wise as well.
The Demon’s senior leader led the team to the SEC team championship with a first place time of 16 minutes and 32 seconds, securing his second-straight individual title in the process.
The Demons failed to qualify for state as a team by just one point, but Sobaski made his final trip back as an individual and made the most of it, placing eighth in the Class 3A race with a time of 16:20.15.
Ty Carr, senior, Danville-New London
You can’t have an All-Star cross-country list without Danville-New London’s Ty Carr.
Carr has been a staple of the D-NL cross-country team for the last four years, and a leader on the senior class that has brought the program to remarkable heights.
Carr knotched a big score in late Sept. when he won the Southeast Iowa Super Conference boys race, finishing in 16:55.64 to lead D-NL to another conference crown.
The Bears weren’t able to defend their Class 2A title this year, but did finish second at the state meet. Carr once again led the way in Fort Dodge with a fifth-place time of 16:34.96.
Thaddeus Shetler, senior, Mid-Prairie
The Golden Hawks had a golden senior in Thaddeus Shetler this season, and he had some huge results for a team that had to scratch and claw in tough meets all year.
Mid-Prairie finished second in the River Valley Conference meet, and Shetler’s fifth-place finish was a big reason for the Top-2 mark. He crossed the line at Anamosa in 5:44.6.
Shetler took sixth at the state qualifying meet, where the Golden Hawks finished second as a team to earn a team berth.
When he arrived at state, Shetler was at his best. He cut below 17 minutes for a 14th-place time of 16:55.73.
Alexander Julian, senior, Danville-New London
D-NL senior Alexander Julian is the other end of the Bears’ one-two punch. He and Carr unsurprisingly kept the Bears at the top of the conference with dominant performances.
Julian finished second to Carr at the SEISC meet, crossing the tape in 17:07.87. At state, Julian gave the Bears two Top-15 finishes with a 15th-place 17:03.59.
Micah Rees, sophomore, Washington
Joining senior teammate Sobaski on this list is Demon sophomore Micah Rees. The up-and-coming Washington star was a huge reason for the team’s success in 2021.
Rees was the second Demon to cross the line at the SEC boys race, and the second runner period, with a time of 16:55. One week later, he finished ninth at the state qualifying meet to earn a trip to Fort Dodge.
At state, Rees showed out with a 36th-place finish. He crossed the line in 17:17.50, giving himself a good mark to build on as he steps up to potentially lead the team in 2022.
Freddy Vergara, senior, Columbus
It was hard work for the Columbus boys cross-country team to do what they did in 2021, and they can thank their talented upperclassmen for leading the way. Vergara was the leader of a Wildcat squad that finished second in the SEISC and earned a state berth.
Vergara finished just outside the Top-5 in a stacked SEISC race, taking sixth place with a time of 17:31.39.
After leading Columbus to the Class 2A state meet with a second-place team finish at the qualifiers, Vergara had one last chance to show his stuff in high school. He sneaked into the Top-25 in the Class 1A race, grabbing a 14th-place finish in 17:25.51.
Rylan Martin, junior, Danville-New London
With an absolutely stacked senior class ahead of him, Rylan Martin has had a lot to live up to as one of the varsity six on the Class 2A power D-NL team, and in 2021, he showed just how much depth that squad has.
Martin was the third-best runner for D-NL this season. He was the third Bear in the Top-5 at the SEISC meet, finishing fifth place with a time of 17:27.87.
When the state meet rolled around, Martin showed out again with a Top-30 finish. He took 29th in the Class 2A race, crossing the tape in 17:19.97.