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XC girls finish runner-up, boys succeed in Iowa Star Meet

October 24, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

The cross country regular season came to an end for North Tama at the Iowa Star Conference Cross Country Meet on Thursday, Oct. 17 at Dakin's Lake as the girls ran for runner-up and the boys had good performances.

"The girls were all extremely excited for this meet," coach Katey Holbach said. "They knew there was a chance that they could do very well as a team, and they were shooting for first place. They each set a goal to improve their time from when they were there a week ago. The boys did as well."

Jules Breakenridge continued her strong first season as she took second place overall in the girls race with a time of 21:47, followed by Grace Lidgett in fourth place with a time of 22:29 and Olivia Ketter in 10th place with a time of 23:13. Each were named All-Conference for finishing in the top 10.

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The North Tama girls cross country team came in second at the Iowa Star Conference Cross Country Meet in Zearing on Thursday, Oct. 17, bringing home three All-Conference runners in Jules Breakenridge (2nd), Grace Lidgett (4th) and Olivia Ketter (10th) and some well-earned hardware.

"Jules had her mind set on first because she was going in ranked first, and Olivia and Grace wanted all conference honors as well. However, the Janesville runner came out of nowhere and ran a stellar time. She gave Jules a fight and so did Kori Wedeking from Clarksville, but Jules held her off at the end. Having three All-Conference runners on the girls side is huge. It's great for each of them as well because it gives them the recognition they deserve and shows them that their hard work will pay off."

Jordan Rigel finished 34th with a time of 26:51, followed by Rachel Robinson in 41st with a time of 29:00 and Sabryna Rigel in 46th with a time of 30:47.

"Jordan and Sabryna Rigel really wanted to end their senior year of cross country on a big note, and I think they accomplished that," Holbach said.

Though the boys were unable to score as a team, success came individually as Sam Snyder finished third overall with a time of 18:45 for All-Conference honors, followed by Logan Kennedy in 13th with a time of 19:46, Paden Ketter in 43rd with a time of 21:42 and Scott Lewis in 62nd with a time of 26:49.

"Sam has really improved through the season mainly through his mindset," Holbach said. Sam wants to do well. He wants to get to state, and he wants to put North Tama XC back on the map. He wants other runners to be worried about North Tama's XC team when they step up to the line and know that North Tama is the one to beat, and I think he is doing a fantastic job of that. When other coaches in the conference talk to me, they know Sam and Logan by name and they have their athletes look for them. Which in a running sport, is huge. You want to be the kid that other coaches look at to set the pace and chase down."

With their regular season in the rearview, the Redhawks will next compete at the State Qualifying Meet at Birdsall Park in Cedar Falls on Thursday, Oct. 24. The girls will run at 3:00 p.m. and the boys at approximately 4:00 p.m.

"For districts, Jules, Logan, and Sam know who they have to run with to qualify," Holbach said. "I expect them to run their absolute best and leave it all on the course. They each have a fair shot at going to State, but now they have to be determined to get there and run with their heart. Grace and Olivia could have an outside chance of making it, but they would have to drop some time and run in the front from the very start. Overall, my goal is to get all of them the experience at districts so it isn't quite as nerve-racking next season."

Yet as the season begins to draw down, Holbach has been pleased with the results the Redhawks have produced, ranging from individual medalists to the girls placing high as a team in multiple meets for the first time in her five years coaching.

"This season our motto from the start has been 'Run as one. Work as a team. Finish as a family,'" Holbach said. "This crew has wholeheartedly embodied this motto. I've never had a crew for XC who truly acts like a family. They push each other, they irritate each other, they work together, but ultimately they are there for each other and expect a lot from each other. This season has been so exciting for me as a coach. They all work so hard and they have fun (most times) doing it. They may hate the workout, but they don't quit. Almost always they give me 100 percent everyday and it has made this whole season enjoyable."

The Traer Star-Clipper will have coverage of North Tama at the State Qualifying Meet Cedar Falls. Follow Editor CJ Eilers on Twitter (@cjeilers) for updates. Final results will be posted on the TSC Facebook page when available.



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