The Van Meter girls cross country team traveled south for their 5th meet of the season on Monday night at Nodaway Valley. The Bulldogs were looking to improve off of their season-high 2nd place finish at Clarke last week and they did just that, running their best collective race of the season.
The field of competition was full of highly ranked teams including #7 Panora, #8 AHSTW, #10 ACGC, #11 Nodaway Valley and Earlham who is currently in the “teams to watch” category on the IATC State Rankings.
With the team at full strength, Van Meter proved that it belonged with this group of teams. Clare and Mary Kelly started off the race in the top 8 and never wavered from those positions for the entirety of the race. Clare Kelly put together another great performance as she finished in 2nd place overall, in a time of 20:11. This second-place finish gives Kelly three straight top 2 finishes. Van Meter freshman, Mary Kelly, had a huge improvement on her career-best time in this one. Mary notched a 4th place finish, in a career-best time of 20:26. This was a 1:13 improvement on her best of the season. Maya Herman, Payton Rice, and Clair Lauterbach all hit their season-best times to round out the top 5 scorers on the night. These finishes put Van Meter in a great position for team overall scoring. Herman ran 22:17 and grabbed a medalist spot for the Bulldogs, finishing in 19th position overall. Rice ran her career-best time of 22:53 and finished in 29th position. Lauterbach continued to improve as she ran 23:13, in 31st position.
Van Meter tallied 85 team points on the night. This score was good enough to put the Bulldogs in the meet runner-up spot. Van Meter defeated ranked opponents Earlham, Panorama, ACGC, and Nodaway Valley. The Bulldogs were edged by 3 points to meet champion AHSTW.
Van Meter has one more meet on Thursday at Saydel before turning its focus on the WCAC Meet and State Qualifying over the next two weeks.
All Individual Performances
2 Clare Kelly (20:11)
4 Mary Kelly (20:26)
19 Maya Herman (22:17)
29 Payton Rice (22:53)
31 Clair Lauterbach (23:13)
35 Matti Rebelsky (23:57) *Career-Best
54 Claire Newell (25:24) *Career-Best