Union XC continues its competitive season
The Union Knights girls’ cross country team moved up to No. 11 last week from No. 14 the week prior thanks to recent strong finishes from its core varsity runners including junior Amilia “Millie” Condon who is currently ranked seventh (Week 5) in Class 2A.
At the Starmont Invitational held last week Tuesday, Sept. 12, Union’s girls’ team took sixth out of 17 scoring teams, while the boys finished 13th out of 19 teams.
Condon was the top finisher for the Knights, crossing in fourth place with a time of 19:50.4. Cooper Davis was the top finisher for the boys in 38th place with a time of 18:39.3.
“I felt like we finished where we should have finished as a team. Starmont is a mentally tough course, but our kids did a nice job of working to meet goals that they set the night before the meet,” Union head coach Justin Parson told the Telegraph following the three-lap race that takes place around the K-12 Starmont complex in rural Fayette County surrounded by agricultural fields.
“Millie ran a great race and she was happy with her time, but she knows that she has more in the tank moving forward. I really believe the girls are deserving of their 11th-place ranking. Our goal is to continue to improve and try to be a top-10 team before district assignments come out.”
Sydney Anton was the second runner to cross the finish line for Union, coming in 22nd with a time of 21:39.1, while Brynn Albertsen finished in 33rd with a time of 22:11.7. Lily Lorenzen finished 36th with a time of 22:14.7; Emily Petersen in 64th with a time of 23:24.8; and Kate Carlson in 70th with a time of 23:38.4.
Following the Starmont race, Union competed at Independence on Sept. 14 where both the girls and the boys teams finished third overall in addition to being the top teams in Class 2A.
“We see a lot of great competition and we are working on trying to close the gaps on teams that we are currently chasing,” Coach Parson continued. “Our kids have the right mindset to compete and we know that we can be successful if we continue to believe and put forth the effort. We will continue to see teams that are ranked in front of us, so we need to continue to prove that we can make gains on them.”
After running at 2A No. 6 Denver (girls and boys) on Monday of this week, the Knights were scheduled to compete in Grundy Center on Thursday before running the 2023-24 Union Homecoming game ball on Friday, Sept. 22.
Prior to the Starmont race, the team’s annual homecoming run fundraiser had reached its $5,000 goal. Money raised this year is earmarked for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to fund research in the fight against ALS, an incurable disease to which Union assistant coach Jennie Lorenzen – mother to Union runner Lily Lorenzen – lost her father Paul Klockner in 1995 when he was just 33 years old.
“He fought through many challenges,” Coach Lorenzen wrote of her father on the fundraiser’s webpage, “but still went to every single one of the activities my sisters and I were involved in. He tried his best to live a quality life despite these challenges. With the love and support of my mom and our family, he fought hard against ALS for 12 years.”
The Knights cross country team will present the fundraiser check to the UI Hospitals and Clinics on the track at Union Stadium ahead of Friday’s game against PCM which kicks off at 7:30 p.m.
GIRLS TEAM STANDINGS 1. Denver 87; 2. Hudson 90; 3. Beckman Catholic 110; 4. Sumner-Fredericksburg 112; 5. Center Point-Urbana 119; 6. Union 139; 7. North Linn 148; 8. Waukon 229; 9. West Delaware 233; 10. Dike-New Hatrford 235; 11. North Fayette Valley 279; 12. Vinton-Garrison-Shellsburg 301; 13. MFL MarMac 312; 14. Oelwein 372; 15. Aplington-Parkersburg 388; 16. Alburnett 461; 17. East Buchanan 493
UNION STANDINGS 4. Amilia ‘Millie’ Condon 19:50.4, 22. Sydney Anton 21:39.1; 33. Brynn Albertsen 22:11.7; Lily Lorenzen 22:14.7; 64. Emily Petersen 23:24.8; 70. Kate Carlson 23:38.4
BOYS TEAM STANDINGS 1. Waukon 61; 2. Center-Point 91; 3. Vinton-Garrison-Shellsburg 108; 4. Denver 113; 5. Oelwein 128; 6. West Delaware 167; 7. Beckman Catholic 203; 8. Alburnett 266; 9. Hudson 277; 10. Sumner-Fredericksburg 300; 11. North Linn 321; 12. Starmont 330; 13. Union 332; 14. Wapsie Valley 339; 15. Columbus Catholic 377; 16. North Fayette Valley 392; 17. Independence 410; 18. Dike-New Hartford 432; 19. Janesville 587
UNION STANDINGS 38. Cooper Davis 18:39.3; 69. Cameron Mullen 19:57.3; 71. Sawyer Spence; 88. Maddux DeWinter 20:39.9; 93. Mason Herman 20:41.1; 95. Kengo Uchiyama-Hansen 20:46.3