MOUNT VERNON - There was a déjà vu feel to the season-opening meet for the Springville-Central City cross country team in Mount Vernon Tuesday, Aug. 27.

      But unfortunately, the end of the race turned out a little differently than it did back in 2018.

      “The girls’ race started out much the same as last year,” said Springville-Central City cross country coach Steve Pershing, as star senior Emily Staal raced right with Ames’ Camille Jackson.

      “Jackson got out top a fast start with Emily about seven-seconds behind at the mile. Unlike last year, Emily was unable to catch the senior and finished with a time equivalent to last year’s winning time.”

      Staal and Jackson sprinted well ahead of the entire 229-runner field from the start, and only increased the gap as the race wore on as Staal placed second with a solid season-opening time of 19-minutes, 00.6-seconds while Jackson broke the tape with her 18:25.6 clocking.

      “I was quite pleased with the way the girls ran together and all finished in the top half of the scoring field,” Pershing said. “Katie Flitsch, Liz Stejskal, Isabel Guererro, Carrie Staal and Caydence Schultz all helped to the team’s eighth-place finish.”

      Flitsch was among the top runners at the event placing 29th overall with a sparkling 22:55.3 clocking was Stejskal was 61st after her 24:42.6 performance.

      Guererro, just a freshman and competing in her first-ever high school cross country race, wasn’t fazed by the competition and scored 62nd overall after crossing the finish line with a time of 24:49.8.

      Carrie Staal (65th, 24:55.7) and Schultz (71st, 25:14.3) also took to the loaded course for the Springville-Central City girls’ team, who placed a solid eighth against the talented 13-team field scoring 179 points.

      Dubuque Hempstead claimed the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Invitational team title scoring 53 points while North Scott was runner-up after turning in a score of 84.

      The Springville-Central City girls defeated Davenport North (270 points), Vinton-Shellsburg (303), North Cedar (311), West Delaware (329) and Louisa-Muscatine (411).

      Things came a little tougher for the Springville-Central City boys, who scored 374 points to place 12th in the team standings that featured 14-teams overall.

      “Freshman Evan Robertson led the team finishing in 21:31,” Pershing said. “We did have five runners compete, but two already have minor injuries that slowed their performances.”

      Robertson’s clocking allowed him to finish a team-best 105th overall while Tryston Engen was second on the team and 111th overall after his 21:33.7 performance.

      Luke Frosch (112th, 21:34.5), Adrian Banowetz (164th, 23:16) and Matt Uhlenkamp (227th, 26:20.6) also competed at the meet for the Springville-Central City boys’ team.

      Led by individual champion Ryan Winger (16:31.4), Dubuque Hempstead completed the sweep also claiming the boys’ team title with a dominating 32-point performance while Marion was runner-up finishing with 88 points.

      The Springville-Central City boys defeated 13th-place North Cedar (382) and last-place Louisa-Muscatine (402).

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