Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – Sometimes it can be difficult for a coach to pinpoint if an athlete is ready to take major steps forward.
In the case of City High junior Iris Wedemeyer it was easy to see breakthrough coming.
“She works incredibly hard, she loves to compete, she pours her heart and soul into really so you knew she would just continue to get better,” City High co-head coach Ryan Ahlers said. “It’s something that is a huge part of her life and you are seeing her spread that throughout the team and it’s really cool.”
Wedemeyer continued to flash her improvement on Thursday with a fifth-place finish in a strong field at the Bud Williams Invitational at Kickers Soccer Complex in Iowa City.
The fifth-place finish was the best of the season for Wedemeyer outside of the opener at Hillcrest Academy and helped City High to a fourth-place team finish.
Class 4A No. 10 Dubuque Senior won the team title with 44 points while seventh-ranked Ankeny Centennial was runner-up with 50.
No. 14 Cedar Rapids Prairie finished third with 54 points followed by No. 13 City High with 64.
City High had five runners in the top 20 on Thursday led by Wedemeyer who finished in 20:12.3.
Class 3A No. 16 Clear Creek Amana was fifth with 142 points.
“I think just training consistently over the summer has really helped me,” Wedemeyer said. “Last year we had a lot of breaks in our season and when I trained alone it’s never as good as when you are training with your team. We trained super hard this summer, through hot weather.”
Wedemeyer has been a consistent contributor for the past two seasons.
She was 17th at the state qualifying meet last season as a sophomore in a time of 19:44.
This season she has stepped things up.
Wedemeyer has been either the first or second finisher for City High at each of the past four meets.
“She came on as a freshman and was a huge addition to our team right away, she trained hard she wanted to work as hard as it was intelligent to do and she was a fierce racer and she always has been,” Ahlers said. “It’s clicking and she is just continuing to improve and coming on at the right time. I think her teammates are feeding off that too.”
Wedemeyer has already matched her state qualifying meet time from last season, clocking a 19:44 at the Dubuque Invitational last week.
Temperatures in the upper 80s on Thursday stopped Wedemeyer short of matching that time but didn’t stop the junior from competing.
Wedemeyer finished behind a pair of ranked runners in Rondi Quass of Ankeny Centennial and Lourdes Mason of Cedar Rapids Prairie along with Dubuque Senior’s Leah Klapatauskas.
Gabrielle Cortez of Cedar Rapids Prairie won the individual title in 19:29.68.
“That really gives me confidence seeing all these girls from these amazing teams and seeing where they are in the race,” Wedemeyer said. “Some of those top girls from Prairie that I raced in track that I was nowhere near being able to see them in these races gives me a lot of confidence.”
Wedemeyer led a group of five Little Hawks that finished in the top 20 on Thursday.
Her younger sister Ani, a freshman, finished seventh in a time of 20:47.45.
“She has come on the scene and just kept improving every race,” Iris Wedemeyer said of Ani. “I think the consistency and the improvement in her racing has been really amazing.”
Ani Wedemeyer was just 25 seconds behind her older sister while posting her best finish since the season opener.
“It was really hard today and I was nervous because this was the hottest meet that we have had,” Ani Wedemeyer said. “While we were racing it just felt like a ball of fire it was so hot.”
Rowan Boulter finished 14th in a time of 21:08.01 and freshman Nina Kuhlmann was 18th in 21:29.29.
Lucy Corbin finished 20th in 21:35.33.
Haidyn Barker led Clear Creek Amana with a 19th place finish in a time of 21:34.33 while Sara Kinzebaw was 25th in 22:14.1.
Bud Williams Invitational
At Kickers Soccer Complex
Team scores – 1. Dubuque Senior 44; 2. Ankeny Centennial 50; 3. Cedar Rapids Prairie 54; 4. City High 64; 5. Clear Creek Amana 142; 6. Pekin 170; 7. Danville/New London 221; 8. Ottumwa 228; 9. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 258
Individual leaders – 1. Gabrielle Cortez (CRP) 19:29.68; 2. Rondi Quass (AC) 19:36.78; 3. Leah Klapatauskas (DS) 19:59.75; 4. Lourdes Mason (CRP) 20:03.19; 5. Iris Wedemeyer (ICH) 20:12.3; 6. Georgia Harms (DS) 20:27.93; 7. Ani Wedemeyer (ICH) 20:47.45; 8. Kaitlyn Miller (DS) 20:49.18; 9. Tillie Smith (AC) 20:54.12; 10. Anika Mohrhauser (AC) 20:57.81; 11. Lily Johannes (CRP) 21:01.1; 12. Claire Hoyer (DS) 21:03.42; 13. Bella Hodges (AC) 21:06.2; 14. Rowan Boulter (ICH) 21:08.01; 15. Emily Gorton (DS) 21:10.12
City High (64) – 5. Iris Wedemeyer 20:12.3; 7. Ani Wedemeyer 20:47.45; 14. Rowan Boulter 21:08.01; 18. Nina Kuhlmann 21:29.29; 20. Lucy Corbin 21:35.33; 27. Erin Anderson 22:32.66; 28. Sophia Romero 22:33.72
Clear Creek Amana (142) – 19. Haidyn Barker 21:34.33; 25. Sara Kinzenbaw 22:14.1; 26. Kalin Rotzoll 22:18.09; 32. Kira Barker 22:55.53; 40. Avery Allan 23:53.05; 43. Allie Kounkel 24:16.19; 47. Raegan Wyant 24:39.61