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Wave of the future? Kind of confusing

Girls 2nd, boys 4th at divided Bob Brown Invitational

IOWA CITY– Solon’s girls finished second, with the boys cross country teams taking fourth, in a revamped version of Regina’s Bob Brown Invitational Cross Country meet, Sept. 3.
Trouble is… they only ran directly against about half the runners there.
Regina conducted the meet with “wave” starts. Girls ran in one of two divisions; up, down and across the same course at Kickers Complex in south Iowa City. The boys did likewise. Trouble is, the full results reported were from two divisions; 14 boys’ teams and 16 on the girls’ side. Hundreds of runners, but in separate races. Eliminated was the face to face factor; starting, competing against and finishing your race against runners in smaller, larger and same-size enrollment. On the other hand, the runners were not jammed tight, as they would have been in a single race.
There were several ranked schools and individual runners on the course, from across Iowa’s four cross country enrollment classes. Solon’s sixth-ranked (Class 3A) girls placed second in the eight-team, 110 runner B division, behind Class 4A, 15th-ranked Liberty High School.
Iowa City Liberty’s Ashlyn Keeney was the division winner, running the 5-kilometer course in 19:33.
Still, there was the other A Division for girls, with schools ranging in size from tiny 1A Prince of Peace in Clinton, to 4A Clear Creek Amana running– and being scored– separately from the A runners. The Lady Spartans would have been fourth, overall, had all teams been scored together.
Senior Kiersten Conway, ranked 16th in the latest 3A poll, was first across for the Lady Spartans, at 21:39, good for 10th overall. Junior Emma Bock was 12th, in 22:19, with freshman Gracie Federspiel 14th, two seconds back. Junior Meg O’Neill was 15th (22:21) and one second behind her. Freshman Anna Quillin (17th, 22:36) finished the team scoring for Solon. For insurance, teammates Mary Fiala (22:37, 18th), Kaia Holtkamp (22:39, 19th) and Mara Düster (23:01, 22nd) backed them.
“Emma Bock really had a good race,” said Solon Head Cross Country Coach Emy Williams. “Anna Quillin was another one. They really stepped it up this meet. We really have 13, 14… 15 runners that could be running varsity for other schools. So, to think of them all running together for us? They really made a move.
“We got to run all 28 of our JV (junior varsity) girls together, and all 30 of the boys,” noted Williams. “They all had teammates they could go with; pushing each other during the race.”
The boys faced steeper odds; finishing fourth in the 163-runner B Division, which competed and was scored separately from the six-school, 79-runner A Division. Overall, Solon’s boys would have finished fourth in the combined field, as well. Tipton’s Caleb Shumaker was 16:46 across the course, with a 22-second win.
Tyler Bilskie was first across for the Spartans (17:47), ninth in the section. Ben DeValk was 14th (in 18:25) with freshman Brick Kabela 17th, (in 18:29). “Tyler had a really strong race. Brick, as a freshman coming in, has done a great job and now– for the second meet– shown consistency and that he’s a strong runner,” said Williams. “Brick is putting in a lot of work and a lot of miles. When you look at the results, though we were missing our top runner (senior Gabe Hinman) we still were just one point out of second place. That’s great to see that we just have so much more depth than what we’ve had in the past!”
Another freshman, Michael Yeomans, was Solon’s fourth runner, across the finish stripe in 19:08. Ty Becicka, a junior, rounded out the Spartan scoring; 29th in 19:11. Seniors Noelan Garbes (40th, 19:28) and Gabe Yetley (41st, 19:31) were next coming through the chute.
With the season fully underway now, Solon has one to two meets each week. “Right now, we’re training through a lot of their meets. They have a lifting circuit. We actually did it right after school, before we left for the meet. We try to train through those,” outlined Williams. ‘We (also) have a distance day, we have a speed day. I’m just trying to get all those things in so when it comes to the end of the season, our legs feel fresh and are faster.”

Boys Division Team Results:
Iowa City Liberty 20
Tipton 83
Mount Vernon-Lisbon 86
Solon 88
Monticello 91
Iowa City Regina 197
Wilton 217
North Cedar 238

Girls Division Team Results
Iowa City Liberty 23
Solon 68
Tipton 95
Mount Vernon-Lisbon
Monticello 132
Iowa City Regina 136
Wilton 202
North Cedar 209