Bailey Nock competes at the MVC Super Meet Thursday in Cedar Rapids.By Susan Harman
Your Prep Sports
CEDAR RAPIDS – Just a couple days after having been elevated to the top-ranked team in Class 4A, the West High girls cross country team was unceremoniously dethroned in the Mississippi Valley Conference Super meet.
West senior Gabby Skopec and junior Bailey Nock finished 1-2, but the Women of Troy were unable to muster enough support and placed fourth behind Cedar Falls, Dubuque Hempstead and City High.
The Tigers entered the meet ranked fifth, behind West and third-ranked City. Hempstead was ranked seventh.
“We didn’t have the team performance that we wanted to have,” West coach Mike Parker said. “It’s something we’ve done a better job of as we went throughout the season. I’m not going to make any excuses, it just happened.
“We give all seven of our girls a race strategy on what they’re supposed to do. At the mile mark and the two-mile mark we have to take inventory and pay attention. When we got to the mile mark it was clear we were not in the position we needed to be. Our competitors were just better today, and we couldn’t stay with them.”
The West High boys were fourth behind the third- and fourth-place finishes of Kolby Greiner and Ali Ali. City High was sixth, led by Michael Berg (12th) and Matthew Dodge (14th).
West High senior Gabby Skopec
Sixth-ranked Dubuque Hempstead was the surprise winner, beating third-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie.
In the girls race Hempstead freshman Hannah Brown and Cedar Falls senior Cassidy Christopher set the pace early, and it was quick. But Skopec and Nock eventually closed in and took the lead. Skopec’s time was 18:07.33 and Nock’s was 18:12.69.
“I didn’t want to go out in the lead,” Skopec said. “I didn’t want to go at that pace. I felt like it was fast, but I figured I could at least catch up to her. I caught up to her when we went across the bridge the first time and then we were kind of even for a while on the other side of the bridge. By the time we got across the bridge again I was ahead of her.
“I didn’t get to run in this meet last year (stress fracture in her heel), and I was really upset so I really wanted to come back and win it this year.”
Nock, who helped pick up the slack for West last year when Skopec was injured, ran perhaps her best race of the season.
“Right before the two-mile (I caught the leaders),” Nock said. “I just knew that if I let anybody get too far ahead that I would not be able to chase them down. I need to be up with the front people with a mile to go so I have a chance to catch them. I would say it was one of my better races of the season. (Parker’s) been doing these strategies the entire year, and today I think I finally put it together.”
West’s remaining runners finished between 31st and 38th.
City senior Mary Arch, who was 10th in 18:51.05, was the winner of this race a year ago, but she was lucky to be running at all.
“I was really, really sick last week,” she said. “I could barely even walk to my bed from the bathroom. I was hurling and stuff. So this week my body did not feel 100 percent. So I was really blessed that I could run.”
The Little Hawks’ Emily Bywater was 14th, Anna Lindower 20th, Annie Rummelhart 24th and Bridget Brown 25th. City was 10 points ahead of West and just five behind runner-up Hempstead.
Linn-Mar’s third-ranked Ryan Murphy won the boys event in a blistering 15:15.36 edging top-ranked Sam Schillinger of Cedar Falls by 5 seconds. Greiner finished in 15:45.85 and Ali in 15:47.08.
Ali said earlier in the season his goal was to break the 16-minute mark, and he shattered that on Thursday.
“It was a lovely race,” Ali said. “I love this course. It’s one of my favorites. I could have finished better. I’ll have to do better next time.
“I just stayed in the middle and moved up and got to the top two. Unfortunately I could not hold on to them.”
City High’s Michael BergAndrew Murley (23rd) was next for West followed by Ethan Trepka (31st) and Kyle Sulwer (49th).
City’s Berg finished in 16:03.10.
“It definitely was a fast pace,” he said. “It might be a short course, I think.
“I’m very excited with how I ran. I had a strong second mile, which is something I needed to get to really improve.”
City High boys coach Jayme Skay was pleasantly surprised with how his top five finished because the team is yet to taper for the championship season and is still pushing hard in practice.
“Last year we really wanted to make it to state and get back,” Skay said. “This year we’re more focused on making sure we’re going to state but competing at state. Last year we worked everything toward having the district meet be our best meet of the season. This year we want state to be our best meet. So focus on our training has extended another week or two, so we’re not going to let up for another week or two.”
Both schools run in MVC divisional races in one week.
MVC Super Meet
Noelridge Park, Cedar Rapids
Girls varsity team results – 1. Cedar Falls 59; 2. Dubuque Hempstead 89; 3. City High 94; 4. West High 104; 5. Dubuque Senior 119; 6. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 159; 7. Linn-Mar 166; 8. Dubuque Wahlert 194; 9. Cedar Rapids Prairie 228; 10. Cedar Rapids Washington 299; 11. Cedar Rapids Xavier 307; 12. Waterloo West 351; 13. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 365.
Individual results – 1. Gabby Skopec (ICW) 18:07.33; 2. Bailey Nock (ICW) 18:12.69; 3. Hannah Frazee (CRP) 18:20.48; 4. Reagan Gorman (CRW) 18:31.91; 5. Cassidy Christopher (CF) 18:44.33; 6. Hannah Brown (DH)18:46.61; 7. Mackenzie Michael (CF) 18:49.27; 8. Mackenzie Gaherty (DS) 18:49.93; 9. Ashley Donovan (DS) 18:50.50; 10. Mary Arch (ICH) 18:51.05.
City High (94) – 10. Arch 18:51.05; 14. Emily Bywater 19:02.04; 20. Anna Lindower 19:13.49; 24. Annie Rummelhart 19:26.63; 26. Bridget Brown 19:27.70; 27. Esti Brady 19:28.67; 28. Kinsee Brands 19:29.13.
West High (104) – 1. G. Skopec 18:07.33; 2. Nock 18:12.69; 31. Claire Ronnebaum 19:37.23; 32. Olivia Moore 19:40.10; 38. Jessie Skopec 19:54.21; 56. Deniz Ince 20:48.85; 57. Emma Durian 20:51.75.
Team scores – 1. Dubuque Hempstead 70; 2. Cedar Rapids Prairie 78; 3. Cedar Falls 99; 4. West High 110; 5. Cedar Rapids Washington 112; 6. City High 131; 7. Linn-Mar 165; 8. Dubuque Senior 169; 9. Dubuque Wahlert 215; 10. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 226; 11. Cedar Rapids Xavier 340; 12. Waterloo West 345; 13. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 365; 14. Waterloo East 462.
Individual Results – 1. Ryan Murphy (LM) 15:15.36; 2. Sam Schillinger (CF) 15:20.57; 3. Kolby Greiner (ICW) 15:45.85; 4. Ali Ali (ICW) 15:47.08; 5. Dalton Gosch (LM)15:48.54; 6. Jalen Hildebrand (DS) 15:49.26; 7. Addison Kalb (DH) 15:55.40; 8. Sam McDermott (CRW) 15:55.73; 9. Cam Steffens (CRP) 15:59.23; 10. Max Laue (CRP) 16:00.48.
West High (110) – 3. Greiner 15:45.85; 4. Ali 15:47.08; 23. Andrew Murley 16:17.90; 31. Ethan Trepka 16:29.52; 49. Kyle Sulwer 16:54.09; 69. Micah Bailey 17:09.87; 70. Tysen Skopec 17:11.00.
City High (131) – 12. Michael Berg 16:03.10; 14. Matthew Dodge 16:06.75; 33. Lucas Firmstone16:32.22; 35. Caden Turnbough 16:37.85; 37. Robbie Strang 16:38.67; 41. Michael Taylor 16:45.96; 46. Max Quenton 16:51.61.