Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 23, 2017

Runners brave heat at Van Buren

Fairfield girls earn third place
By ALLYUS FRITZ/Ledger sports editor | Sep 11, 2013
Photo by: ALLYUS FRITZ/Ledger photo Fairfield’s Benjamin Boender out runs Fort Madison’s Noah Dean for ninth place at the Van Buren Invite Tuesday.

Trees were giving off a shadowy glow as dusk approached the Riverview Golf Club in Keosauqua Tuesday.

Cross-country races normally aren’t run this late in the day, but extreme heat pushed the race’s start back. The Van Buren Invitational finally got underway at 6 p.m.

The girls braved the course first.

The AA race was dominated by Ally McClure and Addie McKee; who are both Davis County runners. They finished first and second and were in the top five throughout the latter portions of the race. Fairfield’s Taylor Ferrel took fifth by crossing the finish line three seconds before her teammate Ashlyn Elmore. Ferrel’s little sister Maggie, a freshman, finished 23 seconds behind the tenth place finisher, which is something Fairfield cross-country coach Jerrod Belzer took pride in.

“Ashlyn Elmore, Maggie Ferrel and Alyssa Fitch really stood out to me for the girls,” Belzer said. “This is only their second high school meet and they all ran with the confidence and guts of veterans.”

Both the boys and girls were split up into AA and A divisions depending on the high school’s size. Fairfield took third overall in the AA race. Davis County took first and was followed closely by Fort Madison.

Van Buren took third overall in the A race. Unity Daugherty was in contention for a victory until Holy Trinity’s Allison Sporkman pulled away from her on the second lap. Van Buren’s Sydney Atwood finished third. The Holy Trinity squadwould also win the race.

The Cardinal girls finished fourth overall. Lexi Engle led the way by finishing 11th. Each Cardinal runner, even Cardinal’s only male runner, Tommy Rice, took at least 20 seconds off their previous times.

“The team continues to improve and work hard no matter what the conditions,” cross-country coach Aaron Dose said.

Winfield Mount Union dominated the A boys race and would take home first place. Baron West finished 29 seconds before the second place finisher, none other than Johnathan Gavin, another WMU runner.

Van Buren took second overall. Seth Dickinson was the fastest Warriors runner, posting an 18:46 and finishing fourth. Thomas Fitzsimmons and Tyler Runyon also cracked the top 10.

Fairfield finished fourth overall in the AA boys race. Benjamin Boender finished ninth after outsprinting Fort Madison’s Noah Dean to the finish line.

“I keep pushing myself,” Boender said. “Last time I got tenth, this time I got ninth, so hopefully next time I get eighth.”

Boender said this with a smile as he continued to catch cold winds with his soaked jersey.

“I soaked myself in water,” Boender said. “My shirt is sopping wet, so that felt great. The last meet was really hot but this one was great.”

Not everyone feels the way Boender does. Belzer feels the heat played a large role in Fairfield’s performance. He’s proud of his runners, yet he feels many of them are more talented than they finished.

“These young kids aren’t used to running in this kind of heat and running these kinds of distances especially with this pace,” Belzer said. “Nothing that we need to get too worked up about though. It’s just one meet.”

Once the awards were handed out the sun was nearly down. Dusk settled on the golf course’s greens, leaving only sweat and cheers behind.


Van Buren Results

AA Girls- Individual

1. Ally McClure DC 16:12

2. Addie McKee DC 16:22

3. Kaylee Alvarez Ft. Mad 16.27

4. Renee Buschling CC 16:27

5. Taylor Ferrel FF 16:42

6. Ashlyn Elmore FF 16:45

7. Kalleigh Tharp DC 16:50

8. Savannah Bonwart Mepo 16:53

9. Alysha Stickfort Ft. Mad 17:06

10. Haley Thie Mepo 17:17

Maggie Ferrel FF 17:40

Tracy Andermann FF 17:57

Chloe Spalla FF 18:15

Alyssa Fitch FF 18:24

Kylie Kurtz FF 18:41

Anuja Pharasi FF 18:48


A Girls- Individual

1. Allison Sporkman HT 16:44

2. Unity Daugherty VB 16:55

3. Sydney Atwood VB 18:01

4. Molly Conrad HT 18:35

5. Grace Palmatier Dan/NL 18:43

6. Kinsley Parrott Dan/NL 18:49

7. Abby Steffensmeier HT 18:53

8. Megan Buck HT 19:03

9. Jennie Greene WACO 19:16

10. Rachel Beck Dan/NL 19:26

19. Caitlyn Millard VB 21:14

20. Kadie Meck VB 21:19

21. Abby Rider VB 21:35

23. Taylor Murgia VB 21:40

32. Jesse Cassens VB 24:25


AA Girls- Team

1. Davis County

2. Fort Madison

3. Fairfield

4. Mediapolis

5. Keokuk

6. Clark County

7. Central Lee


A Girls- Team

1. Holy Trinity

2. Danville/New London

3. Van Buren

4. Cardinal

5. Wayne

6. Harmony


8. WMU


AA Boys- Individual

1. Dillon Timmerman Mepo 16:25

2. Nick Guzman FM 16:28

3. Zach Houghland DC 16:53

4. Jeremy Maldanado FM 17:44

5. Derek Tallman FM 17:45

6. Garrett Hinson Mepo 17:57

7. Ethan Kelley Cen. Lee 18:18

8. Cody McNeil Mepo 18:26

9. Benjamin Boender FF 18:28

10. Noah Dean FM 18:30

Nathan Haerr FF 19:08

Elijah Parr FF 20:25

Mitchell Burnstedt FF 21:42

Jordan Van Dijk FF 21:50

Mitchell Taglauer FF 22:18


A Boys- Individual

1. Baron West WBND 18:00

2. Johnathan Gavin WBND 18:29

3. Johnathan Quinn WMU 18:35

4. Seth Dickinson VB 18:46

5. Gavin Bencze WMU 18:49

6. Kohm Lintz WMU 18:53

7. Thomas Fitzsimmons VB 19:05

8. L. Baker-Martinez Wayne 19:44

9. Tristan Garcia WBND 19:52

10. Tyler Runyon VB 19:54

14. Nolan Lydolph VB 20:05

16. Drew Nolting VB 20:16

19. Josh Wenke VB 20:28


AA Boys- Team

1. Fort Madison

2. Mediapolis

3. Davis County

4. Fairfield

5. Central Lee

6, Clark County

7. Keokuk


A Boys- Team

1. Winfield Mount Union

2. Van Buren

3. West Burlington Notre Dame

4. Danville/New London

5. Holy Trinity

6. Harmony

7. Wayne



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