Hawk girls 2nd at home meet; Heeren rushed to hospital

JEWELL – The newly named Jim Klein Invitational ended on a somber note yesterday evening at the Jewell Golf and Country club.

South Hamilton’s cross country runners really weren’t worried about their times or where they placed in the team race. They were just hoping their teammate was OK.

Boys’ team leader Jacob Heeren, a junior, was taken to Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames by ambulance after complaining of significant pain in the upper portion of his left arm after he crossed the finish line in 17:47 to place 13th.

“He just had this really sharp pain in his upper left arm and then it was going to the back of his shoulder blade, but they didn’t exactly know where the pain was coming from,” South Hamilton head coach Darrell Paulsen said. “We’re just hoping everything is fine.”

Gilbert dominated both races; the fifth-ranked (Class 2A) Tiger girls compiled 23 points to own the field, while the No. 3 boys claimed a 12-point victory (47-59) over No. 6 (2A) East Marshall.

Grace Gibbons, a Gilbert junior who was the 2011 4A individual state champion at West Des Moines Dowling, cruised to individual gold in 15:28. Gilbert teammates Wesley Greder and Thomas Pollard ran together and away from the rest of the field. Greder pushed ahead late to pick up the top spot in 16:42.

Gibbons is the No. 1-ranked girls in her class. Pollard is No. 1, Greder No. 5 among 2A boys.

The 10th-ranked South Hamilton girls were a distance second with 81 points. East Marshall (102), No. 8 (2A) Panorama (106) and Nevada (134) rounded out the top five.

Kayla Lucas continued to fend off a head cold en route to an eighth-place finish in 16:53. Meghan Fisher was lucky No. 13 in 17:15, and just 10 seconds behind her was Kali Lucas (17:25) in 18th. Rachael Huegerich (17:29) gave the Hawks a fourth top-20 runner; she was 20th.

“The girls ran pretty well, but we’re still not healthy,” Paulsen said. “Kayla Lucas has been sick. Meghan Fisher ran well and Kali Lucas ran really well.”

MaKayla Monthei (17:30) was another victim of the illness bug, but she gutted out the 4K race to place 22nd.

The Hawk boys finished at the back of the 10-team pack with 215 points.

“I thought our boys ran pretty well, we just didn’t place well,” Paulsen said. “But there were some tough teams there.”

Heeren’s grueling finish was still tops on the team by more than a minute. Jacob Ratzke (18:58) was the next Hawk across the line; he was 41st.

Drake Thompson (19:30) placed 50th for South Hamilton, and Hunter Johnson (19:33) and Gabe Rueger (19:47) both set personal-best times; they placed 53rd and 58th, respectively.

South Hamilton will now prepare for Monday’s Heart of Iowa Conference meet at the ISU course in Ames. Paulsen says Heeren’s availability is questionable at best.

“I would really like to see him run just because he put in so much time training in the summer and he’s had a really good season,” Paulsen said. “But I really don’t know what’s going to happen.”