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Top stars, best performances in Iowa boys cross country last week

Some of the top performances in Iowa boys prep cross country last week
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By Barry Poe | Photo by Matthew Putney  

Talk about outstanding times.

Twelve boys were clocked under 16 minutes during the Gray Division of the Steve Johnson/Dan Huston cross country invitational last Saturday at Wartburg College in Waverly.

The winner was from Minnesota, Manny Putz of Onalaska, timed in 14:50.65. Putz covered the 5,000-meter course 25 seconds faster than Jaxson Plumb (15:15.71), a Johnston senior who’s ranked seventh in Class 4A by the Iowa Association of Track Coaches.

Another of the sub-16 minute runners was the winner of the Varsity Orange division, Tommy Tyynismaa, a junior from South Tama. It was the third win of the season for Tyynismaa, who was clocked in 15:59.60.

The following is a look at some of the outstanding performances recorded throughout the state.

Ford Washburn, Sr., Iowa City City High

Coming off a third-place finish at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., the second-ranked (Class 4A) Washburn blazed to an outstanding 14:50.58 while taking first place and leading the No. 5 Little Hawks to the title at the City High Invitational. It was Washburn’s third title of the season.

Miles Wilson, Sr., Cedar Rapids Kennedy

Wilson, Class 4A’s third-ranked runner, was definitely pushed as he defeated three Class 3A state-ranked opponents with a first-place 15:45.0 at the Western Dubuque Invitational. Wilson has been clocked under 16 minutes three times during his five victories this season.

Ethan Loutzenheiser, Jr., Madrid

A seventh-place finisher in last year’s Class 1A state meet, Loutzenheiser cruised to his fourth victory of the season, timed in 16:24.08 while winning the Ogden Invitational. It was the fastest time of the campaign for the Tigers’ standout, who is ranked second in 1A.

Landon Bendgen, Jr., Woodbine

Simply put, Bendgen just keeps on winning. Bendgen climbed up to No. 4 in the Class 1A state rankings and picked up his second consecutive victory, timed in 16:08.35 while leading the fourth-ranked Tigers to a first-place 37 points at the IKM Manning Invitational.

Carson Owens, Sr., Southeast Polk

Owens’ sharp time of 16:07.8 was good for first place at Southeast Polk Invitational and it was his first meet title since Week 1. Ranked fifth in Class 4A, Owens led the No. 20 Rams to a first-place 59-61 win over No. 14 (4A) Dallas Center-Grimes.

Kaden Lynch, Jr., Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck

One of the state’s biggest high school meets of the week was the Jesup Invitational which featured 24 participating boys teams. Lynch, Class 2A’s fifth-ranked runner, claimed his third win of the season, timed in 16:11.3, six seconds faster than Starmont’s Charlie Sieck, a five-time champ.

Chase Lauman, Sr., Pella

Lauman won his first meet since Week 3 at Grinnell with a 16:26 time at the star-studded Williamsburg Invitational where seven of the top eight finishers were state-ranked like himself. Fifth-ranked in Class 3A, Lauman led the No. 2 Dutch to a first-place 42 points.

Tommy Tyynismaa, Jr., South Tama

Tyynismaa is right behind Lauman, seated sixth in the Class 3A ratings and he trailed the Pella senior by just six seconds at Williamsburg. Tyynismaa has won two meets this season and finished second at three others for the 16th-ranked Trojans.

Jacob Murney, Sr., Pleasant Valley

Murney headed into the Iowa City City High Invitational knowing he’d have to give it an outstanding effort with No. 2 (Class 4A) Ford Washburn running for the home team. The No. 6 (4A) Murney gave it his all, timed in a sharp 15:18.19 as the meet’s runner-up.

Aaron Lursen, Sr., Fort Dodge St. Edmond 

Lursen avenged an earlier-season loss to Algona’s Ryan Stundahl with a first-place 16:50 time, 10 seconds ahead of the Bulldogs’ senior during the Algona Invitational. Tabbed seventh in Class 1A, Lursen is a three-time Class 1A state qualifier who also claimed victory at Emmetsburg.

Solomon Zwagg, Jr., Mediapolis

Eighteenth-ranked (Class 2A) Mediapolis made a bid for a perfect score of 15 points at Winfield-Mount Union, as No. 7 Zwagg set the tone with his winning time of 16:57.0. Zwagg saw teammates finish in second and third as the Bulldogs won the meet with 36 points.

Caleb Ten Pas, Fr., Des Moines Christian

Positioned second in the Class 2A individual rankings, Ten Pas is the highest-ranked freshman in either the boys or girls divisions by the IATC. One of the squad’s three rated runners, Ten Pas was clocked in a third-place 16:56 as the No. 1 Lions and Winterset tied for first with 30 points at the Perry Invitational.

Canaan Dunham, Fr., Pella

Another of the state’s outstanding freshman male runners is Dunham, who’s ranked eighth while competing for Class 3A’s second-ranked team. Dunham posted his third Top 5 finish of the season, taking third (16:37.99) as the Dutch scored 42 points while winning the Williamsburg Invitational.

Aidan O’Neil, Jr., Iowa City Regina

The sixth-ranked (Class 1A) O’Neil wasn’t fazed by the Class 4A runners who surrounded him during the Iowa City West Invitational. O’Neil turned in his best time of the season (15:55.8) while placing second while leading the No. 2-ranked Regals to second place at the meet.

Mason Back, Sr., Winterset

Back posted his first victory of the season, timed in 16:48.81 while leading the fifth-ranked (Class 3A) Huskies to a first-place 22 points at the Knoxville Invitational. The No. 9-ranked Back was a Class 3A state meet qualifier in 2020.

Micah Rees, Jr., Washington

The 10th-ranked (Class 3A) Rees dominated in front of the hometown fans at the Washington Invite, winning in 16:17.75, 59 seconds ahead of the runner-up. It was the third victory of the season for Rees, a returning Class 3A state qualifier.

Gabe Nash, Sr., Sioux City North

Nash won his second meet of the season, timed in 16:17.08 during the South Sioux City (Neb.) Invitational. Nash, who later in the week took third (15:24.4) in the Gray Division at Wartburg is ranked 13th in Class 4A and led the No. 15 Stars to a first-place 23 points in the Class A division of the meet.

Max Sporaa, Sr., North Polk

No doubt, Max Sporaa, Class 3A’s 13th-ranked runner, has been pushed by his twin brother Zach, who is tabbed third. For the fourth time this fall, Max was the runner-up (16:38.02) and Zach was the champ (16:09.74), this time at the Nevada Invite. The Sporaa twins are each three-time 3A state qualifiers.

Kaden Galles, Jr., MMCRU

Galles has come so close to victory this season – four times, in fact. The 18th-ranked (Class 1A) Galles, a returning 1A state qualifier, tasted triumph for the first time this fall during the Alta-Aurelia Invitational, where he was timed in 17:14.65.

Gunner Wagner, So., Woodbine

Ranked 27th in Class 1A, Wagner was a Top 5 finisher for the fourth time this season, taking fifth (18:03.22) while helping No. 4 Woodbine win its second straight meet, this time at IKM Manning. Wagner is one of six returners from last year’s ninth-place 1A state meet team.

Moustafa Tiea, So., Iowa City West

One of five returning runners from last year’s squad which placed eighth in the Class 4A state meet, the unranked Tiea claimed his first win of the season, clocked in 15:47 while winning the Iowa City West Invitational. The No. 17 Trojans also had two others in the Top 4 while scoring a first-place 24 points.

Tyson McDale, Sr., Lamoni

An unranked Class 1A runner, McDale posted his first victory of the season, timed in 18:06.79 during the Orient-Macksburg Invitational. McDale made his Class 1A state debut a year ago and is well-ahead of last year’s pace with three other Top 5 finishes to his credit.

Micah DeYoung, Sr., MOC-Floyd Valley

The unranked DeYoung took fourth (17:15.11) and was ahead of two Class 3A state-ranked teammates (No. 10 Isaiah Hulshof, No. 17 Trevor Mirande) while leading 11th-ranked MOC-Floyd Valley to victory at Western Christian. He is one of two returners from last year’s sixth-place Class 3A state meet team.

Easton VanDenBerg, Sr., Sioux Center

Ranked 30th in Class 3A, VanDenBerg was the runner-up (16:49.58) while leading the 17th-ranked Warriors to second place at Western Christian. The returning 3A state qualifier was within four seconds of meet winner Lane Henrichs (GLRCL), someone he’ll face in the upcoming Siouxland Conference meet.

Trigg Heimdal, So., Okoboji

Heimdal, who’s ranked 28th in Class 2A, is one of six returning runners for the Okoboji squad which finished ninth in last year’s 2A state meet. He finished fifth (17:23), just hundredths of seconds behind classmate and No. 6 Evan Osler as the Pioneers won the Algona Invitational.