Spartans shine in own invite

Sixth-ranked Grundy Center boys edge Charles City for 1st

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - Grundy Center runners Kaden Lynch, left, and Emerson Vokes run side-by-side on their way to a 1-2 finish at the Sam Iverson Invite on Thursday at Town & Country Golf Club in Grundy Center. The Spartan boys won the team title behind Lynch, who placed first in a time of 16 minutes, 31.74 seconds, and Vokes, who clocked in at 16:37.18.

GRUNDY CENTER — Kaden Lynch was proud of his individual success on Thursday afternoon.

But the Grundy Center senior is more excited for his team’s potential come late October.

Lynch won his final home meet as a Spartan, and Grundy Center narrowly beat Charles City for the team title at the Sam Iverson Invite at Town and Country Golf Club.

The Spartans scored 48 points, one better than the Comets’ 49. Lynch was part of a 1-2 Spartan finish, crossing first in 16 minutes, 31 seconds, ahead of sophomore teammate Emerson Vokes in 16:37.

“I came out here telling myself to go have fun, stay relaxed and just have an enjoyable last home meet,” Lynch said. “Emerson and I knew we were going to push each other until the end, and it’s really cool to end like that.”

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - Grundy Center’s Grace Storjohann runs the course at Town & Country Golf Club during Thursday’s Sam Iverson Invite in Grundy Center. Storjohann placed seventh to lead all local runners with a time of 21 minutes, 25.56 seconds.

Vokes added, “I’m proud of him. It was a fun race and I was able to run with him for most of it.”

Ranked eighth in Class 1A, the Spartans showed their strength against a larger Charles City school. Tyler Venenga was ninth in 18:03; Sullivan Dirks was 15th in 18:52; Brayden Davie finished 21st in 19:22.

Dirks, a first-year runner, catching Jesup’s Tyler Nolan at the finish line for 15th may well have been the difference-maker on Thursday — Charles City’s sixth runner was five spots ahead of Grundy’s No. 6.

“This last couple of weeks the times have really been dropping,” Lynch said. “Especially with kids in their first year running, they’re still experimenting with how they’re running the race, and [Dirks] was sub-19 for the first time, which makes a tremendous difference, basically a 30 second PR — and if we can get that dialed in, we could really do some deadly stuff at state.”

Two other area teams posted top-5 team finishes — East Marshall was fourth with 102 points and West Marshall was fifth scoring 156 points.

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - Grundy Center’s Tyler Venenga, left, and East Marshall’s Kaleb Grant run alongside each other during the Sam Iverson Invite on Thursday in Grundy Center. Grant finished seventh in 17 minutes, 46.48 seconds, while Venenga was ninth in 18:03.32.

Kaleb Grant led the Mustangs with a seventh-plae time of 17:46.

“I felt like I could’ve ran a little better,” Grant said. “But I felt pretty good, no crazy hills or anything like that. … We’re pretty young as a team but I feel like we have a lot of potential.”

Brevon Gibson was West Marshall’s top runner in 20th at 19:15.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck was the other area contingent with a full team, placing 14th with 346 points, led by Christopher Utterback’s 49th-place run of 20:31.

GMG and North Tama did not field full teams. Brayton Davis was the top Wolverine, running 19:44 for 32nd overall. Andrew Beenken led the Redhawks in 21:28, 66th overall.

T-R PHOTO BY JAKE RYDER - West Marshall sophomore Addie Thompson leads a pair of Union runners around a corner during Thursday’s Sam Iverson Invite in Grundy Center. Thompson took 12th place in 22:05.90.

Grundy Center’s girls were the top area team, scoring 110 points for fifth place out of 10 teams on Thursday. Hudson won with 43 points and Sumner-Fredericksburg was the runner-up with 72 points.

Grace Storjohann was seventh in 21:25 to steer the Spartans, and Laney Dole, one of two seniors for Grundy Center, was 18th in 22:29. Olivia Patrick, the Spartans’ other senior, ran JV on Thursday.

While a small group of seniors, Dole and Patrick bring plenty of value to the team, Storjohann said.

“They’ve always been positive influences on our team,” the sophomore added. “They really show us what we need to do. Olivia’s been putting in the work for years and Laney came on last year and has put everything she has into this. I really respect what they’ve done for this team.”

Dole, though a relative newbie to the sport, is grateful for how it helped her connect with younger runners.

“My junior year was like my freshman year with this team, so it was fun to experience that with the other freshmen who were also doing this for the first time,” Dole said. “And all of us are just super close and we get to do this together, so it’s really fun.”

Grundy Center head coach Kerri Lynch added, “The seniors have been awesome this year, boys and girls. Their leadership skills are great and they do wonderful with all of the age groups, bringing this 7-12 group together and making everybody feel like part of the team.”

North Tama’s girls finished ninth with 227 points. West Marshall scored 231 points in 10th. Jamie Jacobs led the Redhawks in 28th in 23:15. West Marshall’s Addie Thompson was just shy of a top-10 finish in 12th in 22:05.

East Marshall’s Ava Hendricks completed the course in 24:29 for 46th place overall. The Mustangs did not field a full team on Thursday.

Sam Iverson Invite


Team Standings — 1. Hudson 43; 2. Sumner-Fredericksburg 72; 3. Union 83; 4. Jesup 107; 5. Grundy Center 110; 6. New Hampton 141; 7. Aplington-Parkersburg 203; 8. Wapsie Valley 217; 9. North Tama 237; 10. West Marshall 248; 11. South Hardin 288; 12. Waterloo Christian 320.

Individual (top 10) — 1. Hillary Trainor, S-F, 18:29; 2. Clare Wright, JES, 19:37; 3. Mackenzie Wilson, JES, 19:51; 4. Amilia Condon, UNI, 20:12; 5. Mollie Hansen, HUD, 20:38; 6. Sophie Glaser, NH, 20:50; 7. Grace Storjohann, GC, 21:25; 8. Desi Lang, HUD, 21:34; 9. Ella Steele, HUD, 21:45; 10. Reese Hansen, HUD, 22:01.

GRUNDY CENTER (110) — 7. Storjohann 21:25; 18. Laney Dole 22:29; 20. Makenna Steinmeyer 22:42; 32. Karlee Lynch 23:19; 33. Evelyn Geerdes 23:22; 35. Kate Hayes 23:42; 62. Emerson Lynch 26:12.

NORTH TAMA (237) — 28. Jamie Jacobs 23:15; 43. Gabby Seda 24:39; 48. Delanie Taylor 25:17; 49. Ava Breakenridge 25:18; 59. Violet Seda 27:39; 61. Ava Monat 28:07.

WEST MARSHALL (248) — 12. Addie Thompson 22:05; 51. Summer Kurth 25:41; 55. Olivia Randall 26:57; 56. Mia Christianson 26:59; 57. Savanna Davenport 27:18; 60. Millie Meester 27:48.

EAST MARSHALL — 46. Ava Hendricks 24:29; 61. Aubrey Lambi 26:01; 70. Mallory Ostroski 27:20; 80. Isabelle Hendricks 29:06.


Team Standings — 1. Grundy Center 48; 2. Charles City 49; 3. Jesup 87; 4. East Marshall 102; 5. West Marshall 156; 6. Hudson 161; 7. Sumner-Fredericksburg 175; 8. Union 210; 9. South Hardin 260; 10. Wapsie Valley 273; 11. Valley Lutheran 280; 12. Waterloo Christian 286; 13. New Hampton 289; 14. Gladbrook-Reinbeck 346.

Individual (top 10) — 1. Kaden Lynch, GC, 16:31; 2. Emerson Vokes, GC, 16:37; 3. Aidan Shannon, WV, 17:04; 4. Nick Williams, CC, 17:19; 5. Xander Graeser, CC, 17:33; 6. Nathan Pint, JES, 17:36; 7. Kaleb Grant, EM, 17:46; 8. Isaac Thompson, CC, 17:47; 9. Tyler Venenga, GC, 18:03; 10. Karsten Nuehring, JES, 18:09.

GRUNDY CENTER (48) — 1. Lynch 16:31; 2. Vokes 16:37; 9. Venenga 18:03; 15. Sullivan Dirks 18:52; 21. Brayden Davie 19:22; 35. Brayden Wallis 19:58; 67. Dalton Oltman 21:57.

EAST MARSHALL (102) — 7. Grant 17:46; 11. Cooper Lenz 18:16; 17. Chandler Curtis 19:01; 29. Austin Pansegrau 19:36; 38. Cael Curphy 20:07; 42. Cale Hungerford 20:12; 60. Maddux Bennett 21:10.

WEST MARSHALL (156) — 20. Brevon Gibson 19:15; 22. Dylan Thompson 19:27; 25. Aiden Downs 19:32; 27. Jacob Eirikson 19:35; 62. Erick Rosas-Canchola 21:26; 74. Evan Meester 22:31.

GLADBROOK-REINBECK (346) — 48. Christopher Utterback 20:31; 59. Devin Wrider 21:09; 70 Caleb Bowser 22:25; 84. Kaden Kauffman 24:06; 85. Alex Rogers 24:36.

GMG — 32. Brayton Davis 19:45; 72. Drayson Stephenson 22:13; 86. Henry Dieleman 23:17.

NORTH TAMA — 66. Andrew Beenken 21:28; 74. Case Monat 22:23.


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