Lynx girls 4th, boys 6th at cold NCC meet

EAGLE GROVE – The Webster City cross country teams performed to the best of their abilities yesterday on a cold and blustery day at the North Central Conference meet, and in the end that was good enough for head coach Tony Bussan.

The Lynx girls’ squad put together a strong pack and placed fourth with 106 points at the Eagle Grove Golf Course, only three points behind bronze medalist Iowa Falls-Alden (103).

The Lynx boys slipped to sixth with 149 points, but that didn’t dampen Bussan’s spirits afterwards.

“Our girls team had (its) best overall race of the year in placing fourth, which was about the highest that we felt we could do coming into the race,” Bussan said. “When you run your best (boys) team race of the year and earn sixth in the conference, you have to accept that other teams did well in defeating you.”

No. 8-ranked (Class 3A) Humboldt dominated the girls field by placing four runners in the top 10 en route to 35 points – a 39-point advantage over runner-up Algona (74). The Bulldogs positioned three competitors in the top 10.

No. 4 (3A) Algona cruised to the boys’ team title by 39 points as well. The Bulldogs tallied 32 points, while runner-up Clear Lake checked in with 71. Eighth-ranked (2A) Fort Dodge St. Edmond (82) was third, followed by Humboldt (121) and No. 13 (1A) Eagle Grove (141).

Sophomore Allie Flaws stepped to the forefront for the Lynx girls’ squad and missed a spot in the top 10 by just 14 seconds. She came across in 17:03 – a season’s best clocking – to finish 11th overall.

Classmate Courtney Biere challenged her best time of the season, but fell a few ticks short. Still, her time of 17:16 was good enough to take 14th.

Ashley Flaws (18:02), Cassidy Bultena (18:08) and Gina Moline (18:10) all ran within steps of one another over the 4-kilometer course. Ashley Flaws placed 25th, Bultena came across in 27th and Moline was 29th.

“Overall, I felt our girls ran their best when it mattered the most,” Bussan said. “To be within three points of Iowa Falls-Alden, who had beaten us soundly at South Hardin 10 days ago, shows that we really stepped up and competed.”

Jacob Perin, Connor Foster, Seth Crouthamel and Demar Lemus all turned in their time races of the season for the Lynx boys. Perin took over the lead and closed out the 5K course in 18:18 to place 22nd. Foster was just 15 seconds in back in 18:33 to finish 26th. Crouthamel (18:52) fell into the 37th-place slot, while Lemus (19:04) was 42nd.

Seniors Brandon Arkland (18:35) and Adam McMurray (18:50) – competing with strep throat – gutted out the conditions to place 28th and 36th, respectively.

“Adam didn’t match his season’s best, but the fact that he scored for us is a huge statement of how much he cared,” Bussan said.

Eagle Grove’s Tiffany Christensen again reigned as the league queen, as she held off Humboldt’s Sam Larson down the stretch to win the girls’ individual gold. Christensen turned in a time of 15:16, while Larson crossed in 15:23.

Algona’s Bo Hjelle ran all by himself for much of the race and strolled to the boys’ individual title in 16:38. Silver medalist Antonio DeMarco of Clear Lake (17:35) trailed by 57 seconds.