ANAMOSA - Just a week after hosting the Cascade Invitational due to heavy rains on the Cougars’ cross country home at the Fillmore Golf Course, the Raiders were back at home again Saturday, Sept. 28.

      This time however, heavy rain in the area leading up to the race made the course around the Anamosa Middle School a little more tricky for runners.

      “The course was a quite a bit softer than it was a week earlier when we hosted the Cascade meet,” said Anamosa cross country coach Ken Sunseri, who welcomed three state-ranked girls’ teams and four boys’ programs to the annual Anamosa cross country invitational Saturday morning.

      “A lot of the times the kids were able to get was dependent on their running style. Times were kind of all over the place, and a lot of that had to do with the conditions and how runners dealt with that.”

      The Raider girls scored eighth against the 10-team field scoring 173 points and were led by a resurgent performance from Liz Riniker.

      “It was great to have Liz back and she really ran well,” said Sunseri, as Riniker has been battling injury and missed the Center Point-Urbana meet earlier in the week.

      “Liz is feeling better and getting better too, which is what we want to see her doing at this time of the year. Dakota (Bierer) has been running much better too. She really seems to be saving her best for the end of the season here and that’s exactly what we want all our runners to be doing. Saving their best times for the district meet coming up here in a few weeks. Lily (Rogers) and Natalie (Hersom) are really coming along, too.”

      Riniker led all Anamosa girls placing 23rd overall with a time of 22-minutes, 30-seconds while Bierer was right on her heels placing 24th with a time of 22:38.

      Hersom was third on the team and 34th overall after her 23:13 clocking while Rogers (38th, 23:36), Emma Dales (58th, 25:57) and Paige Fahey (63rd, 26:59) all helped the hosts top ninth-place Fort Madison (179 points) and last-place Cedar Rapids Jefferson (200).

      Class 3A 11th-ranked Solon claimed the Anamosa Invitational team title finishing with 45 points while class 2A third-ranked Monticello was runner-up with 70 points.

      Tipton (113), Springville-Central City (130), class 1A 15th-ranked North Linn (146), South Winneshiek (166) and Cascade (168) rounded out the top-8 teams at the meet.

      Springville-Central City’s class 2A second-ranked Emily Staal dominated the day winning the individual title with a time of 18:44, more than 45-seconds faster than the runner-up.

      The Raider boys tallied 230 points overall to place 10th against the 12-team field, led by another solid performance from Ben Moss.

      “Ben’s going to break through when Ben’s ready to break through and get that time down into the 17s,” Sunseri said. “He ran another good race today, but he’s got the ability to run up front. We’re to the point now where he has to be the one to believe that he can do that. We all know he can.”

      Moss, going against a field of eight state-ranked runners, placed a solid 33rd overall with an 18:42 clocking while Kole Haverly added a 42nd-place finish after crossing the finish line with a time of 19:07.

      Will King (51st, 19:38), Tristan Weers (53rd, 19:43) and Shea Keister (58th, 20:06) ran in a pack for much of the race while Drew Pate (68th, 20:46) and Sean Hollett (78th, 21:47) also competed for the home team.

      “Tristan ran 45-seconds faster than at the Cascade meet and we know Kole and Will can get down into the 18s as well,” Sunseri said. “This team has potential. It was a pretty cool day Saturday should have made for some faster times because we spent most of our time training in the heat this year.”

      The Anamosa boys defeated 11th-place North Linn (298) and last-place Springville-Central City (323) while class 2A top-ranked Tipton dominated the boys’ field winning the team title with a miniscule 36-point total.

      Camanche’s class 2A top-ranked Dylan Darsidan won the individual title finishing in 16:41, six-seconds faster than Tipton’s 2A third-ranked Caleb Shumaker (16:47).

      Nick Ralston led Raider JV boys posting a time of 21:22 which was good enough to place 28th overall while teammate Jacob Koopman was 32nd in 21:30.

      Anamosa’s middle school boys looked to defend the title they won on the same course last week, but were edged by Solon (26) and Linn-Mar (51) scoring 68 team points as Jack Troester (5th, 11:55.5) and Grayson Weers (9th, 12:20.9) turned in top-10 performances.

      Leah Sleep topped Raider middle school girls with her solid 13th-place effort after turning in a time of 14:01.

      Anamosa was in Center Point Tuesday, Sept. 24, where Bierer highlighted the day for Raider teams turning in a sensational ninth-place performance finishing with a time of 23:18.

      Hersom (15th, 24:01), Rogers (23rd, 24:58) and Fahey (50th, 29:02) also finished for the Anamosa girls.

      “We had enough girls start the race to compete in the team standings, but just didn’t have enough girls finish,” Sunseri said. “We’re still dealing with some injuries and we were without Liz (Riniker) too, so that made things a little tougher on us.”

      Marion won the girls’ team title scoring 53 points while the host and class 3A 15th-ranked Center Point-Urbana team was runner-up with 58 points.

      Moss just missed a top-10 finish for the Anamosa boys as his 19:15 clocking was 13th overall while King (19th, 19:55), Keister (20th, 20:01) and Haverly (21st, 20:03) all ran in a pack. Weers (26th, 21:01) and Giovanny Lopez (38th, 21:19) rounded out the Raider boys’ efforts.

      The host and 13th-ranked Pointers claimed the boys’ team title scoring 27 points while eighth-ranked Marion (34) was runner-up.

      Anamosa scored 93 points to place fourth at the seven-team meet defeating Edgewood-Colesburg (159), North Linn (162) and Springville-Central City (167).

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