Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Solon has spent the better part of the regular season atop the Class 3A cross country rankings.
In the postseason the Spartans were out to prove that the number one ranking was warranted.
The top-ranked Spartans certainly looked like a top-ranked team on Wednesday.
Solon put six runners in the top 10 and secured its spot at the state meet by winning the team title by 48 points at the Class 3A state qualifying meet at the Solon Nature and Recreation Area.
“We just wanted to show people that we deserve to be number one,” Solon senior Emma Bock said. “We aren’t just there we deserve that spot.”
Junior Kayla Young won the individual title in a time of 19:24.8 and Bock was second in 19:39.3 as Solon finished with 26 points to easily outdistance runner-up Mount Vernon/Lisbon.
Marion was third with 89 points to earn the third state qualifying spot.
Solon has been impressive all season.
Fresh off a fifth-place finish at the 3A state meet a year ago Solon moved to the top of the 3A rankings on September 14 and hasn’t budged since.
“When we were ranked number one we saw that and we said ‘now what can we do to stay number one, what can we do to be better than number one?’,” Young said. “We always want to be better.”
The Spartans showed on Wednesday they are indeed the team to beat at the Class 3A state meet set for October 29 at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge.
Solon had all five scorers in the top nine and all seven Spartan runners finished in the top 21 on Thursday.
“We have had eight to ten different girls in the top five and so that depth is huge,” Solon coach Emy Williams said. “Hopefully that will carry us on.”
In addition to Young and Bock in the top two spots Solon had four more runners finish in the top 10.
Sophomores Anna Quillin and Gracie Federspiel were sixth and eighth respectively while senior Meghan O’Neill was ninth and Mara Duster was 10th.
“It’s really comforting to know that your teammates are going to be right there with you,” Young said. “The depth that we have as a team is amazing. We all work together and we all win together it’s not like one person and then people in the back it’s all of us together.”
It is the depth that sets Solon apart but Young has emerged as a state medalist candidate and a legit front of the pack runner at just the right time.
The win on Wednesday was the first individual title for Young who was third at the WAMAC conference meet last week.
“It was just me and how far I could push myself,” Young said. “I was just trying to catch the Gator, I was staring at it. It was like nothing I have ever experienced before.”
Young took nearly 21 seconds off her time from the conference meet on Wednesday while finishing more than 14 seconds in front of Bock.
“We knew going in that it was a possibility for her to be able to do that,” Williams said. So to see her go take the race, really from the mile marker she had it, and just to go lead the rest of the way was awesome to see.”
Quillin was sixth in 20:01.4 and Federspiel eighth in 20:04.7.
O’Neill and Duster both finished in under 20:15 for Solon which heads to Fort Dodge the unquestioned favorite in Class 3A.
“We wanted to prove that where we are is where we deserve to be,” Quillin said. “We wanted to prove we deserve our ranking going into next week.”
Class 3A State Qualifier
At Solon Nature and Recreation Area
Team scores – 1. Solon 26; 2. Mount Vernon-Lisbon 74; 3. Marion 89; 4. Davenport Assumption 95; 5. Washington 128; 6. Benton Community 142; 7. Mount Pleasant 191; 8. Fort Madison 210; 9. Central DeWitt 255; 10. Maquoketa 275
Individual leaders – 1. Kayla Young (SOL) 19:24.8; 2. Emma Bock (SOL) 19:39.3; 3. Anna Hoffman (MV/L) 19:49.9; 4. Peyton Steffen (MAR) 19:50.3; 5. Laura Swart (MV/L) 19:54.8; 6. Anna Quillin (SOL) 20:01.4; 7. Madison Prier (MAR) 20:01.8; 8. Gracie Federspiel (SOL) 20:04.7; 9. Meghan O’Neill (SOL) 20:07.6; 10. Mara Duster (SOL) 20:12.8; 11. Morgan Jennings (DA) 20:13.5; 12. Hannah Fruehling (Notre Dame/West Burlington) 20:15.8; 13. Hadley Augustine (Notre Dame/West Burlington) 20:18.1; 14. Nicole Carmona (DA) 20:19.1; 15. Emrie Johnson (MV/L) 20:26.2
Solon (26) – 1. Kayla Young 19:24.8; 2. Emma Bock 19:39.3; 6. Anna Quillin 20:01.4; 8. Gracie Federspiel 20:04.7; 9. Meghan O’Neill 20:07.6; 10. Mara Duster 20:12.8; 21. Kaia Holtkamp 21:08.8