Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – With a stomach full of nervous butterflies Peter Woodward just kept telling himself it was just like any other race.
Really for the Liberty High sophomore it was more than that, it was history and it was more like any other workout than any other meet.
Running in the first meet in Liberty High history Woodward placed third at the West High Early Bird Invitational on Thursday at Ashton Cross Country Course.
“I was a little nervous,” Woodward said. “The first race of the year you always have some butterflies in the stomach but I just tried to treat it like any other race.”
The experience was a new one for Woodward and his Lightning teammates but the course wasn’t new for Woodward.
Wood trained often at the Ashton Course last season as a freshman at West High and used that prior knowledge to post a time of 17:15 on Thursday.
“I practiced here with West High last year and I think that helped,” Woodward said. “It helps knowing where the hills are and how your pace should go on those hills and where you are going to finish. It helped with the nerves.”
The third-place finish by Woodward led Liberty which placed third with 66 points.
North Scott won with 26 followed by Davenport Assumption with 43.
“It was fun, we had two guys that had run 5K before so everyone else had a 5K personal best and Peter ran a pr as well,” Liberty coach Josh Hildebrand said. “The excitement was there from the start of the race to the end and to the awards.”
Chris Guise of Davenport Assumption won the individual title in 16:48 while Jackson Schrock of North Scott was second in 16:55.
Woodward was less than 20 seconds off the past of Schrock in his first varsity event.
“We knew that Assumption had a state qualifier and we kind of gauged off of that,” Hildebrand said. “We knew that kid would be tough but I knew Peter would run a smart race and he did that.”
Jack Kinzer finished ninth in 18:24 and Spencer Knight was 17th in 19:53 for the Lightning.
“I feel like our team did really good today,” Woodward said. “We had some surprising runs, a lot of guys ran really well and we can improve. I think it’s just going to get better as the year goes on.”
West High Early Bird Invitational
Team results – 1. North Scott 26; 2. Davenport Assumption 43; 3. Liberty High 66.
Individual Results – 1. Chris Guise (DA) 16:48; 2. Jackson Schrock (NS) 16:55.9; 3. Peter Woodward (ICL) 17:15; 4. Colin Wiersema (NS) 17:45; 5. Gabe Jensen (NS) 17:47
Liberty (60) – 3. Peter Woodward 17:15; 9. Jack Kinzer 18:24; 17. Spencer Knight 19:53; 18 Caleb Schillinger 19:54; 19. Dylan Schmidt 20:35; 20. Nicholas Moore 21:33; 21. Gavin Hayes 22:18.