LYNX 7 PACK: WCHS girls stick close together, finish fifth

WEBSTER CITY – Check and check, Ashley Flaws.

The Webster City sophomore had never run varsity or nudged out twin sister, Allie, at the finish line prior to yesterday’s Lynx Invitational, but now she’ll just have to jot down a new list of goals.

Because the old ones are taken care of.

Ashley Flaws jumped to the front of Webster City’s pack of seven in the second half of the 4-kilometer race and went on to lead the team in her first-ever varsity race at The Links. The flat course offered up a time of 18 minutes, 37.60 seconds to Flaws, who lost a foot race at the finish line to Boone’s Alex Mullins for 22nd.

“I’m in shock right now. I really can’t believe it,” Ashley Flaws said. “I was happy with everything and I’ve never beaten (sister Allie) before, so that was a surprise. We were both crying at the end, but I’m pretty happy about it.”

WCHS placed all seven of its runners within 19 spots of one another en route to 120 points and a fifth-place team finish. North Central Conference rivals Algona (45 points) and Humboldt (56) dominated the team race. Boone (80) was third, followed by Roland-Story (115).

The Bulldogs placed three runners in the top 10 and all five scorers in the top 17. Humboldt’s five scorers were all 21st or better.

Eagle Grove senior Tiffany Christensen was a woman amongst girls – so to speak – throughout, as she claimed her third straight individual gold medal at the invite. She sprinted to the front trucking up the first hill and never looked back, winning in 15:57.92 – 13 seconds ahead of runner-up Tangy Wiseman of Algona.

Wiseman blew past Humboldt’s Sam Larson (16:11.78) in the final 15 meters to secure the silver.

The Lynx lineup basically ran stride-for-stride over the first mile before eventually putting some distance between one another. But no one was able to make a push with the front pack.

Morgan Shannon was right on the heels of Ashley Flaws and placed 24th in 18:42.49. Only one more runner crossed the finish line before Cassidy Bultena gave the Lynx 26th-place points in 18:49.24. Just two and three spots in back of Bultena, in 28th and 29th, were Allie Flaws (18:51.02) and Gina Moline (19:00.73).

The heat – it actually got hotter in the minutes leading up to the girls’ varsity race as the breeze went silent – was a pain in the side of Allie Flaws, who grimaced throughout. She flopped to the ground and had to be helped off the course just two steps after she crossed the finish line.