IOWA CITY - Coming into their second meet of the season, this time in Iowa City Thursday, Sept. 3, Anamosa cross country coach Ken Sunseri wanted to put his girls at ease going against yet another absolutely loaded field of runners.
“I told the girls that we’re going to use this meet as a training session more than anything else, and I had one goal I wanted them to accomplish,” he said. “I wanted them to attack the hill at the end of the opening stretch. Anything else the girls accomplished during the course of the meet would be a bonus, but I wanted them to go right at that hill.”
“I was proud of them. They really attacked that hill the first time through the course. Not quite so much the second time through, but the girls did what I asked of them and survived it. Races are won on the hills and that’s something I wanted our kids to learn, and they’ll keep getting better at it, too.”
Liz Riniker turned in an outstanding performance for the Anamosa girls against a field of seven-state ranked teams that also included Iowa City Liberty’s class 4A top-ranked Ashlyn Keeney (19:33.61), who claimed the girls’ individual championship edging teammate Cami Mac (19:43.41) by 10-seconds.
Riniker crossed the finish line 40th against a field that featured 167 runners by turning in a time of 23:31.69 while Lily Rogers was second on the team and 56th overall coming through with a time of 24:13.31.
Natalie Hersom added a 25:40.54 clocking that was good enough to finish third on the team and 89th overall while Ashlynn Brown came in 93rd with her 25:45.53 effort.
Leah Sleep crossed the finish line 103rd overall coming through with a time of 26:26.81 while Ashlynn Garrett added a 30:16.55 effort that was sixth on the team and 142nd overall.
Mickala Herrick posted a time of 30:45.07 to place 150th at the meet.
Iowa City Liberty cruised to the girls’ team title scoring a mere 35 points as the Lightning had four girls in the meet top-10.
Class 4A eighth-ranked Western Dubuque was meet runner-up scoring 87 points while 3A sixth-ranked Solon was third with 97 points.
Class 3A eighth-ranked Mount Vernon-Lisbon (131 points), 2A 11th-ranked Tipton (131), 3A 14th-ranked Monticello (180) and 1A top-ranked Iowa City Regina (207) were also in the field.
Anamosa tallied 319 points and placed 11th against the 14-team field and topped Wilton (332), Cascade (333) and North Cedar (342).