Clear Creek Amana's Wyatt Sedlacek and Cole Liebe. By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – The sting that came with missing out on a team spot at the state meet last season stuck with the Clear Creek Amana cross country team for a while.
That disappointment lingered a little bit longer with Cole Liebe.
Clear Creek Amana had four individual qualifiers at last year’s state qualifying meet but missed a team berth by a single point with a fourth place finish.
Liebe was the fifth place finisher for the Clippers last season.
“We thought a lot about how much it hurt coming up one point short last year,” Liebe said. “I know I thought about that for a long, long time.”
On Thursday Liebe left that memory in the dust and finally put the lingering disappointment of last year’s finish behind him.
Clear Creek Amana senior Luke Wingert
Liebe was one of three Clippers to finish in the top 15 on Thursday at the Class 3A state qualifying meet at the Solon Nature and Recreation helping Clear Creek Amana earn its second ever state meet berth and first since 2013.
“I was motivated,” Liebe said. “There was no way the same thing was going to happen that happened last year. No way.”
After finishing one point out of the top three last season Liebe and the Clippers left no doubt this season.
Class 3A No. 14 Clear Creek Amana finished third behind top-ranked Mount Vernon-Lisbon and No. 9 Marion to punch its ticket to the state meet Oct. 29 at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge.
Mount Vernon-Lisbon won the team title with 29 points followed by Marion with 60 and Clear Creek Amana with 90, 36 points clear of fourth place Williamsburg.
“We did bring up last year this week but it didn’t happen on purpose and I’m so glad it did because we were so fired up,” Clear Creek Amana coach Ben Robison said. “We were so focused, we knew what we had to do we came here and I think they kicked butt today.”
Senior Wyatt Sedlacek placed 13th, Liebe was 14th and freshman Nick O’Connor was 15th as Clear Creek Amana put five runners in the top 30 on Thursday.
Sedlacek finished in 17:11 just seven seconds faster than O’Connor as the Clippers joined Mount Vernon-Lisbon as the only team with three runners in the top 15.
“I thought at the start of the year we could have two individual qualifiers and today we had three in the top 15,” Robison said. “I credit all the closeness of the guys. They pack run and they know what they have to do and they are killing it.”
Liebe was a big part of the turnaround from last season as he jumped from the fifth place finishers for the Clippers a year ago to second on Thursday.
The sophomore finished in 17:17 to secure his first chance to run at state.
“There is one guy that it affected way more than everybody else and that was Cole Liebe,” Robison said. “He was out here on a mission and today he did what he needed to do.”
Senior Luke Wingert finished 20th in 17:46 and fellow senior Ben Oxley was 28th in 18:04 to round out the scoring for the Clippers.
“We just thought if we do the little things right things would go our way,” Wingert said. “We were on the short end of the stick not just at districts last year but at a lot of meets we were always on the outside looking in. This year we took care of business I guess.”
Class 3A State Qualifying Meet at Solon Nature and Recreation Area
Team scores (Top 3 qualify for state meet) – 1. Mount Vernon-Lisbon 29; 2. Marion 60; 3. Clear Creek Amana 90; 4. Williamsburg 126; 5. Davenport Assumption 147; 6. Central DeWitt 148; 7. Fairfield 204; 8. Solon 208; 9. Washington 229; 10. South Tama 282; 11. Maquoketa 323; 12. Keokuk 341.
Individual results (Qualifiers for state meet) – 1. Jeremy Fopma (Mar) 15:46; 2. Myles Bach (Mar) 16:35; 3. Thatcher Krob (MVL) 16:40; 4. Will DeHaan (CD) 16:43; 5. Garrett Herring (MVL) 16:49; 6. Jack Young (MVL) 16:51; 7. Chase Mclaughlin (MVL) 16:53; 8. Liam Conry (MVL) 16:58; 9. Ben Lamparek (Wil) 17:01; 10. Chris Guise (DA) 17:01; 11. Zach Krogmann (MVL) 17:06; 12. David Wolfe (MVL) 17:09; 13. Wyatt Sedlacek (CCA) 17:11; 14. Cole Liebe (CCA) 17:17; 15. Nick O’Connor (CCA) 17:18.
Clear Creek Amana (90) – 13. Wyatt Sedlacek 17:11; 14. Cole Liebe 17:17; 15. Nick O’Connor 17:18; 20. Luke Wingert 17:46; 28. Ben Oxley 18:04; 46. Jack Wingert 18:47; 53. Ben Szot 19:01.
Solon (208) – 16. Jorel Justus 17:30; 37. Payton Philipp 18:30; 47. Christian Haight 18:49; 51. Tanner Larkey 18:58; 60. Logan Yakish 19:20; 64. Jake Roskopf 19:32; 73. Jack Bell 20:02.