Fairfield’s Ferrel qualifies for stateBoys finish 10th and girls get fifth at district meet
For the first time all season, Fort Madison could not outduel the Trojans.
The Fairfield girl’s cross-country team has been plagued all season by Fort Madison, who has been the preverbal thorn in the Trojans’ side. Fairfield may have finished fifth in the state qualifying district race Thursday in Pella, but Fort Madison finished sixth. And for coach Jerrod Belzer and his team, it’s always nice to beat a rival.
“For the girls to beat Fort Madison for the first time this year and finish fifth is pretty special,” Belzer said. “Certainly that started up front with Taylor but all seven girls ran really well.”
Sophomore Taylor Ferrel placed sixth overall and will be traveling to the state meet on Nov. 2. Ferrel finished with the time of 15:58, which was five seconds in front of Fort Madison’s Kaylee Alvarez, who she has been competing with all season.
“I couldn’t be happier for Taylor. She knew she had to step it up last night and she was able to beat eight girls who have beaten her at some point this season,” Belzer said. “Every single day in practice she’s trained for this opportunity and last night she just went out and made it happen.”
The boy’s team finished 10th overall, with Nathan Haerr leading the way in 36th place. The boy’s team started the season with zero varsity runners from last year, so it took a long time for the squad to get into a rhythm. Belzer is proud of the way his team performed.
“The boys had an especially tough draw last night,” Belzer said. “I know place wise they’re disappointed, but they all competed so well.”
Belzer is already looking to next season with all of the potential his team has. He knows the team will miss seniors like Haerr, Wyatt Stark and Benjamin Boender, but a young core of runners will be returning.
“It’s nice to have a young group of guys with some varsity experience coming back,” Belzer said.
As for the girl’s team, Fairfield will have each one of its varsity runners returning next season. Samantha Fritz will be back from her injury, and talented eighth grade runners like Nicole Buch will be on the varsity stage.
The Fairfield teams certainly appear to have a bright future ahead of them.
Here are the results from the district meet:
1. Pella 56
2. Williamsburg 57
3. Grinnell 78
4. Oskaloosa 102
5. Fairfield 152
6. Fort Madison 163
12. Chariton 356
6. Taylor Ferrel 15:58
21. Ashlyn Elmore 16:49
38. Maggie Ferrel 17:31
41. Tracy Andermann 17:45
46. Kylie Kurtz 18:00
51. Chloe Spalla 18:09
56. Abby Melcher 18:36
1. Pella 46
2. Grinnell 62
3. Williamsburg 97
10. Fairfield 309
13. Keokuk 387
36. Nathan Haerr 18:16
64. Benjamin Boender 19:56
66. Jordan Van Dijk 20:03
68. Elijah Parr 20:21
75. Mitchell Burnstedt 20:51
81. Wyatt Stark 21:38
82. Mitchell Taglauer 21:40