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Round Up: Girls runners see successful week

Rathe rakes in top finishes

Girls Varsity and JV cross country runners from 10 area schools jostle for position just after race start Tuesday, September 21 in Vinton during the Vinton-Shellsburg Invitational including Union’s Ellie Rathe (white uniform, front center) who took first place and Lauren Youngblut (white uniform, front right ) who finished fourth. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

Union Knights 2A second-ranked Ellie Rathe continued her streak of first-place finishes this past week — winning both the Vinton-Shellsburg Invitational on Tuesday, Sept. 21 and the Sam Iverson Cross Country Invitational in Grundy Center on Thursday, Sept. 23.

More than 15 schools came together for the Grundy Center meet including the North Tama Redhawks with both Union and North Tama’s girls varsity squads earning top five finishes.

It was a bit of deja vu Thursday night for those tracking Rathe’s progress this season as the senior finished with a time of 18:53.50 — nearly a minute ahead of the runner-up Addison Grady of Hudson — she did almost the same two days earlier in Vinton.

The Knights girls ended with a second-place team finish in Grundy Center (109 points) and a fourth-place team finish in Vinton (78 points).

Denver was the Grundy Center team champion with a dominant showing of 31 points, backed by a quartet of runners finishing in the top 10.

More than 15 schools came together for the Grundy Center meet on Thursday, September 23 including the North Tama Redhawks with both Union and North Tama’s girls varsity squads earning top five finishes.

Union’s other top 10 finishes Thursday night came from sophomore Lauren Youngblut who ran a 20:49.64 time. Youngblut finished fourth at Vinton with a time of 20:38.9, setting both a personal and season record.

Freshman Amelia Condon was next in for the Knights Thursday night, finishing in 17th place with a time of 20:30.24.

Further down the roster, Union got help from Lily Lorenzen (39th), Sydney Anton (42nd) and Elle Hookham (65th) on the Grundy Center course.

The Redhawks meanwhile earned a fifth-place team finish at Grundy Center with both of their ranked girls runners capturing top 15 finishes among a talented field.

Class 1A 10th-ranked Grace Lidgett ran in seventh place with a time of 20:38.84.

Union runner Ellie Rathe runs alone on the Vinton-Shellsburg High School course Tuesday, September 21 — her nearest competitor more than 30 seconds behind her. Rathe finished first in Vinton as well as in Grundy Center two days later and now ranks second in Class 2A. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

Redhawks’ 29th-ranked senior Jules Breakenridge also looked strong finishing with a time of 21:22.54.

Next in for North Tama was sophomore Jamie Jacobs in 37th place. Jacobs finished with a time of 23:14.21.

Also lacing it up for the Redhawks were Olivia Ketter (45th), Larissa Morrison (51st), Rachel Robinson (73rd) and Andi Dvorak (74th).

On the boys side, the Knights came in 12th in the team standings at Grundy Center.

Union’s top finisher was Keng Uchiyama-Hansen in 53rd place with a time of 20:31.71. Sophomore Wyatt Hoy was next for Union in 59th place with a finishing time of 20:53.22.

Union's 2A second ranked Ellie Rathe races to a first place finish on the Vinton-Shellsburg High School course on Tuesday, September 21. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

A group of four Knights runners featuring Austin Martin, Conner Prestemon, Amin Ben Lassoued crossed the finish line in close proximity taking the 70th through 73rd

places individually.

Also finishing for the Knights was Tim Griswold in 82nd place.

North Tama only featured one runner in the boys contest and did not place in the team contest.

Christian Dronebarger came in 81st with a finish time of 22:54.35.

Winning the Grundy Center boys meet was Charles City who had five runners in the top 15.

Lauren Youngblut with the Union Knights cross country team crosses the finish line in fourth place during the Vinton-Shellsburg Invitational Tuesday, September 21 with a time of 20:38.9 setting both a personal and season record. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

The overall meet champion was Isaac Natvig of Valley Lutheran with a time of 16:57.31.

North Tama will next take the course on Monday for a rescheduled meet at BGM (Brooklyn) that was rained out earlier in the year.

Following the Vinton meet Tuesday night — which incidentally took place just one day after Union ran in Denver — Knights Head Coach Justin Parson said he knows he’s got a strong girls squad again this year but that doesn’t mean the team doesn’t still have work to do.

“I thought our kids ran well [tonight] after another meet in Denver. We met a lot of goals and had some kids run faster times than the night before. Our girls are putting themselves in a good position with finishes, but we still have bigger goals and we are by no means content with where we are right now.”

Union Cross Country including Rathe and Youngblut will be in action again on Sept. 28 when they travel to Jesup for a super-meet alongside 29 other schools.

Union Knights Cross Country Coach Justin Parson (third from right) speaks to his boys team Tuesday, September 21 during the Vinton-Shellsburg Invitational. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

Photo by Darvin Graham

North Tama only featured one runner in the boys contest at the Grundy Center meet and did not place in the team contest. Redhawks runner Christian Dronebarger came in 81st with a finish time of 22:54.35. Photo by Darvin Graham