Regina’s Molly Blondin runs at the Bob Brown Classic. By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Moving up from Class 1A to Class 2A the Regina girls cross country team didn’t have to wait long to see how they stacked up against the best in 2A.
Regina got a first hand look at the top team in 2A on Thursday at the Bob Brown Classic.
Class 2A top-ranked Monticello had the top two individual finishers and had three runners finish in the top nine while cruising to the team title in a field that featured three ranked teams at Kickers Soccer Field.
Regina placed sixth at its home meet behind the Panthers and a pair of ranked Class 3A teams.
“We talked about this is just step one, step one of a lot of steps,” Regina coach Chad Swope said. “It’s a challenge moving up to 2A but they are ready for it. Now we know what we have to work on.”
Monticello finished with 53 points followed by Class 3A No. 11 Marion wuth 69 and 3A No. 14 Mount Vernon-Lisbon with 71.
Solon had three runners in the top 30 and finished fourth with 126 points while Regina finished sixth led by sophomore Molly Blondin who placed 23rd 22:11.16.
“We learned that we can stick with the tougher competition today,” Blondin said. “We saw we are a capable of a lot more than we think we are.”
Solon’s Erin Kerkhoff and Sophie Nicol compete at the Bob Brown Classic on Thursday.
Blondin led a balanced Regina performance that saw the top five Regal finishers place between 23 and 41.
Natalie Shank (23:16.48) finished 35th, Nourah Abusada (23:23.76) was 37th while Molly Vittetoe and Elizabeth Klesner finished 40th and 41st.
“They raced really well,” Swope said. “We had amazing time drops, they just really competed.”
Solon got top-15 finishes from both Erin Kerkhoff and Sophie Nicol on its way to a fourth place team finish.
The Spartans placed 18th out of 20 teams at the Cedar Rapids Prairie Invitational on Saturday but showed progress in Thursday behind Kerkhoff and Nicol.
“That’s kind of why we decided to go to Prairie is it’s your first meet and that’s overwhelming anyway and they come here and they see they can do it and they feel much better about themselves,” Solon coach Emy Williams. “Also it’s a much better day, not as humid as it was on Saturday so that helped too.”
Kerkhoff finished in 21:31.04 to place 13th while here teammate Nicol was less than a second off her pace at 21:32.01.
“I think our times were much better than they were last weekend but we just raced today,” Williams said. “I feel like on Saturday we were just kind of out there figuring out a 5K but today I felt like kids were out there racing.”
Clear Creek Amana sophomore Kaylie Barker led the Clippers placing 11th in a time of 21:10.47.
Paige Holub of Monticello won the individual tile in 19:59.96 while teammate Jordyn Patterson was second in 20:16.43.
Team Scores – 1. Monticello 53; 2. Marion 69; 3. Mount Vernon-Lisbon 71; 4. Solon 126; 5. Anamosa 140; 6. Regina 176; 7. Tipton 184; 8. Wilton 188; 9. Durant 234; 10. Clear Creek Amana 240.
Individual results – 1. Paige Holub (MON) 19:59.96; 2. Jordyn Patterson (MON) 20:16.43; 3. Emma Duncan (ANA) 20:20.02; 4. Hallie Kelphart (MAR) 20:24.55; 5. Faith Anton (MV-L) 20:56.29; 6. Kaylee Ford (WIL) 20:58.6; 7. Corrina Dittmer (MAR) 21:00.33; 8. Ellie Berry (DUR) 21:05.02; 9. Keeley Anderson (MON) 21:05.67; 10. Maggie Davis (MV-L) 21:08.39.
Solon – 13. Erin Kerkhoff 21:31.04; 14. Sophie Nicol 21:32.01; 29. Ella Duster 22:25.43; 34. Aira Foster 23:13.38; 36. Nicole Shafer 23:17.03.
Regina – 23. Molly Blondin 22:11.16; 35. Natalie Shank 23:16.48; 37. Nourah Abusada 23:23.76; 40. Molly Vittetoe 23:25.31; 41. Elizabeth Klesner 23:28.16.
Clear Creek Amana – 11. Kaylie Barker 21:10.47; 53. Ally Loren 24:51.52; 54. Olivia Fairholm 24:59.74; 58. Emilie Harder 25:46.56; 64. Danielle Wnek 27:03.98.