Your Prep Sports
FORT DODGE – As Ben Robison worked on developing the blueprint for building the Clear Creek Amana cross country program he started by identifying the cornerstones.
One of those big building blocks was Brandon Barker.
Barker certainly lived up to those lofty early expectations.
Barker capped a stellar career by capturing a second consecutive state meet medal with a ninth-place finish on Friday at the Class 3A state meet at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge.
“We knew from the beginning that he was going to be a big part of our success,” Robison said. “When we were mapping out the building of the program we knew that he was the one or two guy and he’s leaving a big hole and that specific hole can’t be filled again.”
A four-year state qualifier Barker has played a big role in helping the Clear Creek Amana program reach new heights.
He ran on Clear Creek Amana teams that posted top-10 finishes at the state meet the past two seasons highlighted by a runner-up finish a year ago.
On Friday Barker put the finishing touches on a brilliant prep career with his best state meet showing.
Barker was 13th last season and moved up four spots on Friday, posting his first top-10 finish.
“I felt better than I have in previous years. It definitely helped having run here before,” Barker said. “In previous years I had always gone out too fast and died. I knew from the past two years I had to run my own race so I started out 50th and the whole race I was just passing people.”
The ninth-place finished represented a steady climb for Barker who went from 42nd as a freshman to 22nd as a sophomore before earning his first medal a year ago.
Those three previous races at state provided experience that helped him, along with a late burst over the final mile, break into the top 10 on Friday.
“It was about the second mile that I started to go and I probably passed about 40 people in that mile,” Barker said. “My goal was to get top 10 today and I hit that goal so I’m happy.”
Junior Gavin Zillyete narrowly missed earning the first state medal of his career finishing 22nd in a time of 16:58.3.
Zillyette was 34th last season as a sophomore.
“Gavin ran the exact race that he was supposed to run,” Robison said. “His goal was to medal and he ran the way he ran to medal. He did a great job.”
In the Class 3A girls race Clear Creek Amana sophomore Haidyn Barker finished 33rd in a time of 20:11.9.
Barker cut more than 26 seconds off the time from her state meet debut last season when she placed 63rd.
“Haidyn killed it number one and number two she ran exactly the way she needed to,” Robison said. “We wanted her to stay close to the Wahlert girls and she did just that. I couldn’t ask anything more out of her.”
Class 3A State Meet
At Lakeside Golf Course
Team scores – 1. Dallas Center-Grimes 87; 2. Solon 135; 3. Carlisle 149; 4. Pella 157; 5. North Polk 161; 6. Decorah 173; 7. Center Point-Urbana 200; 8. Marion 203; 9. ADM 218; 10. LeMars 223; 11. Dubuque Wahlert 239; 12. Mount Vernon-Lisbon 251; 13. MOC-Floyd Valley 261; 14. West Delaware 278; 15. Glenwood 287
Individual medalists – 1. Nate Mueller (ADM) 15:28.7; 2. Quinton Orr (Humboldt) 15:48; 3. Aidan Ramsey (Dallas Center-Grimes) 16:05.5; 4. Eli Larson (Center Point-Urbana) 16:05.9; 5. Brady Hogan (Decorah) 16:12.4; 6. Luke Post (Center Point-Urbana) 16:23; 7. Craig Allan Becker (Atlantic) 16:27.3; 8. Zach Sporaa (North Polk) 16:38.1; 9. Brandon Barker (Clear Creek Amana) 16:36.6; 10. Max Sporaa (North Polk) 16:38.1; 11. Trey Gross (Harlan) 16:43; 12. Nathan Munshower (Dubuque Wahlert) 16:43; 13. Shane Erb (Marion) 16:44.6; 14. Anthony Schmitz (Pella) 16:45.3; 15. Jacob Ewers (Dallas Center-Grimes) 16:47.3
Solon (135) – 16. Gabe Hinman 17:01.3; 17. Brick Kabela 17:03.1; 22. Mike Yeomans 17:10.5; 35. Tyler Bilskie 17:22.3; 45. Ben DeValk 17:29.2; 85. Nate Ferguson 18:14.9; 86. Noelan Garbes 18:15
Clear Creek Amana – 9. Brandon Barker 16:36.6; 22. Gavin Zillyette 16:58.3