Warhawk Runners Compete at State

North Mahaska’s cross country team battled with 150 runners for a chance for a medal at the state cross country meet. In red from left, Ben Yang, Lane Harmon, Nate Sampson, Brayden Veiseth and Asher DeBoef head out in the opening moments of the race.

North Mahaska’s cross country team battled with 150 runners for a chance for a medal at the state cross country meet. In red from left, Ben Yang, Lane Harmon, Nate Sampson, Brayden Veiseth and Asher DeBoef head out in the opening moments of the race.

FORT DODGE – North Mahaska’s boys cross country team and Aly Steil took to Lakeside Golf Course at Kennedy Park in Fort Dodge Friday for the state cross country meet. More than 300 runners competed at the state meet. North Mahaska boys placed 14th in the team race. Steil placed 97th in a field of 150.

Bright sunshine greeted the runners as they traversed the golden tree-lined course. Temperatures were in the mid-50s, which provided the right combination of temperature and a slight wind to keep the athletes in prime condition.

Steil, a freshman, was the first of the North Mahaska runners to hit the course. Prior to the meet she said she wanted to try to run her race and see where she could finish in the competitive field. Most of her races this year had generally four to six dozen. State had twice those numbers.

“There was a lot of bumping and elbowing on the curves and I wasn’t completely ready for that,” said Steil. “This was a big meet with a lot of runners.”

Noelle Steines of Calamus-Wheatland won the meet for the second time in as many years. She covered the 3.1 mile course in 18 minutes 39.45 seconds. South Iowa Cedar League champion Greenlee Smock of Lynnville-Sully was 19th in 20:02.28. Steil crossed the line in 22:05.69.

Steil said she will know how to better prepare next year.

“It’s been a great experience this year,” said Steil. “This team has been amazing and so supportive. I love spending time with them.”

North Mahaska’s boys came out of starting box six as 154 runners scattered across wide grassy expanse to start the race. The first couple hundred yards allowed the runners to prepare to narrow into the first corner.

Woodbine’s Landon Bendgen led a pack of Southwest Iowa runners across the finish line. He finished in 15:58.11. Sophomore Asher DeBoef led the Warhawks with a 31st place finish in the team race in 17:52.17. His cousin Brayden Veiseth took 44th in 18:05.12. Another sophomore Nate Sampson was 58th in 18:31.83 followed by the one senior and two-time state qualifier Lane Harmon. Harmon finished in 18:55.36. The last scoring runner was sophomore Ben Yang who placed 86th in 19:26.48.

Juniors Sean Knockel was 90th in 19:37.91 and Clay Thompson placed 11th in 21:27.78.

For Harmon it was a bittersweet end to his high school career but one he relishes.

“It was good day, a perfect way to end the unforgettable season and my running career,” said Harmon. “The start of the race was quick and then we all settled in and just tried to have fun.”

Harmon, who was making his second run at state, offered helpful hints to his running mates.

“I told the boys before the race to enjoy every second of this because before you know it, it’ll be your last time stepping up to the line,” said Harmon. “This team, this year, was something special and I loved every second of it. Even though I suffered an injury, my team was always there to uplift me. I would like to thank my family, teammates, coaches, and community for all the support as a North Mahaska cross country runner. I cherish all the memories and friendships made. I hope I made a difference on the cross country culture that continues to uphold as I move on.”

It was a magical season for the Warhawks. Picked up wins at a handful of meets, won the South Iowa Cedar League title for the second time in as many years, won the district title and took the team to state for the first time in school history. With the youthfulness and determination of the boys’ team and Steil’s tenacity, good things should come to the team in the future. Needless to say, Harmon has left the team in good hands.

Posted by on Oct 30 2022. Filed under Local News, School Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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