Ehlers, Zinkula earn third-straight state trip for Spartans

PHOTO BY TROY HYDE/NEWTON DAILY NEWS • Lily Ehlers of Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck leads West Marshall’s Avril Sinning along the course at Pella’s Class 2A state-qualifying meet on Thursday.

PELLA — Three local athletes walked out of the Class 2A state-qualifying cross country meet on Thursday with a ticket punched to the big dance, as the Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck girls team earned two state qualifiers and the West Marshall team earned one.

Lily Ehlers and Reegan Zinkula both took back state qualifications for the Spartans, the third-straight for both girls, as Ehlers finished in eighth place with a time of 21 minutes, 26 seconds and Zinkula took 13th in 22:23.

Avril Sinning from West Marshall earned her second-straight nod for the Trojans by taking fifth with a time of 21:20. The sophomore was joined by junior teammate Grace Girard, who placed 12th in 21:47.

GMG’s Wilkening gets No. 3

OTTUMWA — Kyla Wilkening from GMG earned her third-straight state championship appearance with a fourth-place finish at the Class 1A state-qualifying meet hosted by Pekin.

PHOTO BY TROY HYDE/NEWTON DAILY NEWS • West Marshall's Grace Girard, left, and Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck's Reegan Zinkula stand on the podium as individual state qualifiers following Thursday's Class 2A meet at Pella.

Wilkening, the first-ever cross country runner to qualify for state back in 2015, ran a 20:52 to take fourth place. GMG finished in fourth place as a team, just one spot away from the Wolverine’s first-ever team qualification.

Katie Thompson from BCLUW finished in 31st for the Comets, while Molly Kvidera from North Tama finished in 37th for the Redhawks. Delicia Guevera was the top finisher for Meskwaki, coming in 61st for the Warriors.

Pair of Cadets moving on

MANCHESTER — Two athletes from the Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR girls cross country team found themselves saddled with a trip to the state tournament at the conclusion of the 3A state-qualifying meet.

Aubrie Fisher finished in third for the Cadets with a time of 19 minutes, 39 seconds, while Ellie Meyer took ninth with a time of 20:15.

Two Tigers come up shy

DIKE — Jordan Carr placed 25th and Chloe Webb came in 31st as the South Hardin girls competed at the 2A qualifying meet at Fox Ridge Golf Course.

Mustangs shut out

IOWA CITY — The East Marshall girls cross country team placed sixth at the 2A state-qualifying meet, and the Mustangs were led by Melinda Puumala’s 27th-place time of 23 minutes, 31 seconds.

No qualifiers from STC

SOLON — South Tama placed 10th in the 3A state-qualifying meet at the Solon Sports Complex, and the Trojans were led by Jessica Musgrave’s 31st-place time of 21 minutes, 33 seconds.

Royals denied state berth

EAGLE GROVE — The Colo-NESCO girls cross country team placed 19th in the 1A state-qualifying meet, and the Royals were led by Alexis Britten’s 51st-place time of 23 minutes, 42 seconds.