Lidgett lights up South Tama Invite
TAMA — North Tama junior runner Grace Lidgett took a comfortable victory Monday evening in the South Tama County Invitational held at STC High School.
Lidgett was one of many area runners competing in the event, and her time of 20 minutes, 35.9 seconds was enough to defeat Peyton Steffen of Marion by 10 seconds. She wasn’t the only North Tama runner to have a sterling performance, as senior Jules Breakenridge came in third place having run a 21:31.7. Sophomore runner Jamie Jacobs finished 20th with a finishing time of 24:02.2.
The Redhawks finished second in the team standings with 80 points, 37 behind Marion but still a strong showing for a team that last season wasn’t able to field a full varsity team.
Head coach Katey Holbach was impressed with the team’s runs, and said Lidgett and Breakenridge are providing a strong example for the rest of the team following their performances at state cross country and track last year.
“Now that we have a full girls team, I definitely put that to them a lot,” Holbach said. “They have definitely taken on that leadership role quite a bit.”
Coming in fourth place in the girls’ standings was West Marshall with 102 points. The Trojans had two top-15 finishers on the day in Emelia Hauser and Lilly Buck. Hauser got seventh place with a 22:08.8, while Buck ran a 23:09.7 and finished in 14th place. Peyton Smith also finished in the top-30 with a 29th-placed time of 25:00.4.
Right behind the Trojans were East Marshall, led by 10th- and-11th-place finishes from Mkenzie Robinson and Ellie Hull, respectively.
Robinson ran the race in 22:16.6 and Hull was close behind in 22:25.6. Mustang freshman Mallory Ostroski finished in 27th with a time of 24:51.1.
East Marshall coach Trent Taylor said the South Tama course is a unique challenge for most teams.
“This is kind of a mystical, magical course,” Taylor said. “I don’t know what it is about it but it’s challenging and kids get a little bit deflated when they see their times, but they have to understand that this course takes a lot out of them.”
Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck finished in seventh out of nine teams with a team score of 150. Leading the way was senior Bella Dole in 18th place with a 23:45.5 and Taylor Stahl in 21st place with 24:11.3.
Three area teams didn’t place but had individual runners — South Tama, Meskwaki and BCLUW. JoJo Tyynismaa finished in sixth place after finishing strong with a time of 21:58.9. Mary Kate Frakes finished 17th in 23:35.4.
Meskwaki had a strong day with Shye Johnson and Wakinyela Bear, as the duo finished in 15th and 16th place, respectively, with times of 23:15 and 23:33.4.
Meskwaki coach Tracy Sienknecht was very pleased with where the duo’s times are at this early in the season.
“They’re gonna come out alright,” Sienknecht said. “Both finished in the top 20. They’re working towards getting further down in their times, their times aren’t too far off from where they were last race. They’re gonna be okay.”
BCLUW was led by Abby Kemp’s 25th-place finish (24:34.1).
On the boys’ side, GC/G-R took second place with 53 points, only 17 behind meet winners Marion. Brennen Sager finished in eighth place and ran 18:27.1, while Soren Cleveland was five seconds behind at 18:32.1 in ninth. Kaden Lynch, Paul Brockett and Ethan Sadler locked up finishing places 11, 12 and 13 for GC/G-R as well.
South Tama finished third in the standings with 79 points. Tommy Tyynismaa finished in a strong fourth place (17:54.9) to lead the way for the Trojans, with James Brant close behind in sixth place after finishing in 18:03.6. Clayton Graff came home in 18th place for the Trojans to back up the two team leaders, while Braxten Rohrs ran a 19:56.9 and finished 22nd.
Trojans head coach Robert Tyynismaa said the duo of Tommy and Brant is full of potential this season.
“Both of them have been running really well, they’ve been running tight together,” Robert said. “We’re hoping that they can work together and we can get booths of those boys to qualify for state.”
East Marshall finished in fifth without Joe Terrones, scoring 95 points. Hunter Hughlette led the team with a 14th-place finish and ran a 19:11.4, Kaleb Grant finished in 16th, Brock Curtis ran 19th and Patrick Slifer came in 20th place.
In sixth place was West Marshall with 159 points. The Trojans had the highest area finisher in Nicolas Thompson. The senior finished in third after running a 17:53.8, continuing on his strong form from last season.
Trojans coach Cynthia Hilleman said Thompson’s consistency has been a big help to the rest of the team.
“He has consistently done awesome,” Hilleman said. “He works hard every day in practice, he works hard on the weekend.
“I think he’s a really good leader, too, so the other kids, he really helps them and pushes them.”
Zane Kirke finished in 33rd and Dylan Thompson came home in 35th for the Trojans.
BCLUW was close behind in seventh at 193 points — led by Cayden McLeland’s 24th-place time of 20:07.6. Cayden White finished in 31st.
Meskwaki and North Tama didn’t field full teams. For the Warriors, Zayton Weninger-Brown finished in 28th place and ran a 20:23.4. Christian Dronebarger finished 64th for North Tama.