TIPTON - Turning in their best team performance of the young season at Tipton Tuesday, Sept. 10, Anamosa cross country coach Ken Sunseri was pleased for his improving boys’ squad, but also wanted to make sure they remained focused on the big picture.

      “That was our best run as a group so far this season,” said Sunseri, as the Raider boys placed seventh at the 15-team Tipton Invitational. “Right now, though, we’re not concerned about standings. There are too many variables with different courses to be concentrating on there we finish as a team at meets. The kids have to understand it’s about the effort and learning the skills we’re teaching. The strongest runner usually wins the race, not the fastest, and we want to build strong runners here at Anamosa and we’re on pace to do that.”

      Ben Moss turned in a team-best 20th-place finish against the 104-runner varsity field posting a time of 19-minutes, 01-seconds while Will King was second on the team and 28th overall with his 19:43 clocking.

      “Ben is right on goal right now,” Sunseri said. “We want to get him under 18-minutes and he’s on course to do exactly that. We want Ben to get to state. I think Will King can get there too. I think he has the potential, but it may take him a little more time.”

      Shea Keister (37th, 20:24), Kole Haverly (38th, 20:26), Tristan Weers (72nd, 22:01), Giovanny Lopez (85th, 23:14) and Kolin Wilmoth (90th, 23:33) also took to the warm and muddy Tipton course for the Raider boys.

      Class 2A top-ranked Tipton dominated the boys’ field scoring a mere 35 points to win their own title while Northeast was runner-up with 116 points.

      The Raider boys defeated Durant (211 points), Wapello (213), Central DeWitt (219), Iowa City Regina (254), North Linn (296), Midland (351), North Cedar (390) and Louisa-Muscatine (396).

      Sean Hollett led the Raiders in the JV boys’ race placing 40th with a time of 23:32 while Jack Troester turned in a top-20 performance in the 1.5-mile middle school boys’ event finishing 17th in 9:25.

      The Anamosa girls failed to score in the team standings as a pair of Raider runners were unable to finish the race, though Dakota Bierer did lead the way with her 24:22 clocking that placed her 31st overall against the 77-runner varsity field.

      Lily Rogers (41st, 25:20), Emma Dales (50th, 25:57) and Paige Fahey (68th, 30:22) also finished for the Anamosa team.

      Solon claimed the girls’ team title scoring 54 points.

      The Raider teams made their way to Monticello Saturday, Sept. 14, where the girls placed ninth against a field that featured five state-ranked teams.

      “We had a tough training session on Thursday and everyone flourished at practice,” Sunseri said. “We’re trying to set everyone up for success and I though everyone ran like champs in Monticello. Did everyone run their best? Probably not. But they all finished and made progress.”

      Liz Riniker turned in a time of 22:09 to place 28th against the extremely talented field while Ashlynn Brown was second on the team and 36th overall with a 22:28 clocking.

      Natalie Hersom (41st, 22:43), Bierer (49th, 23:03), Rogers (62nd, 23:47), Dales (69th, 24:08) and Fahey (79th, 27:14) also helped the Raider team score 207 points overall.

      Class 2A top-ranked Mid-Prairie claimed the team title scoring 52 points while Western Dubuque was second with 79 points.

      The Anamosa girls defeated class 1A 15th-ranked North Linn (225), Maquoketa Valley (295) and Camanche (341).

      The Raider boys had an even more challenging field, going against six state-ranked teams where they placed 11th at the 15-team event scoring 297 points.

      Moss was the first Anamosa boys to cross the finish line turning in a time of 18:17 that placed him 40th overall while Haverly added a 56th-place finish after his 19:01 clocking.

      Weers (62nd, 19:17), King (63rd, 19:23), Keister (80th, 20:39), Lopez (84th, 20:56) and Hollett (86th, 21:25) all took to the Monticello course for the Raider boys.

      Tipton edged Western Dubuque for the team title scoring 47 points to the Bobcats’ 56 while Anamosa defeated Wilton (321), Clayton Ridge (368), Springville-Central City (398) and Beckman (426).

      The Raiders’ solid performances weren’t just limited to the varsity teams in Monticello, as Grayson Weers (3rd, 12:27), Troester (4th, 12:28), Bryce Burnough (5th, 12:31), Miken Wheeler (7th, 12:58), Nate Fischer (8th, 12:59), Carver Reiss (13:00) and Grant Lubben (10th, 13:01) helped the Anamosa middle school boys to a team championship scoring a mere 27 points to dominate the nine-team field.

      The Raiders defeated runner-up Mid-Prairie by a whopping 69 points to claim the crown.

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