Your Prep Sports
A year ago Regina got a taste of the state cross country meet making its first appearance since 2015.
In its return trip to Fort Dodge on the Friday the Regals got a lot more.
Regina won Class 1A state title at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge on Friday finishing 24 points in front of top-ranked ACGC.
“Coming into it we felt confident,” Regina senior Henry Bottorff said. “We knew what we could do and nerves are just wasted energy so we had to be confident if we wanted to win and that’s what we were.”
Regina finished eighth last season in its first state meet appearance since 2015.
On Friday Regina claimed the ninth state title in program history and its first since winning the Class 2A title in 2010.
Second-ranked Regina finished with 102 points while ACGC was runner-up with 126.
Woodbine was third with 132 points followed by Bellevue with 164 and IKM-Manning with 181.
“They have been running so determined all year in practice and meets that’s what we talked about is we didn’t have to show up today and do anything different,” Regina coach Chad Swope said. “We just had to race like we’ve been racing all year.”
Led by a sixth-place individual finish from junior Aidan O’Neil Regina put three runners in the top 20 of team scorers.
As he has all season, O’Neil led the Regals on Friday secured a second consecutive individual state medal with his sixth-place finish in a time of 16:26.85.
“I feel like the first and third mile take care of themselves it’s really that second mile where you need to mentally push,” O’Neil said. “I am lucky that I have good competition, 1A was stacked this year and all the props in the world to my competitors pushing me every step of the way.”
The time of 16:26.85 for O’Neil was more than 30 seconds faster than the 17:01.61 that O’Neil ran on his way to a 14th place finish a year ago.
“I think the nice thing about cross country is it’s not like track where your place is your points,” O’Neil said. “I have six guys backing me up and I just go out and run my race and trust that all six of the other guys are running their race and in the end it paid off.”
A trio of seniors came up big for Regina behind O’Neil.
Dan Maley was 29th overall and 16th among team scorers in a time of 17:18.76 while Joe Maley finished 32nd overall in a time of 17:25.04 and was 17th among runners scoring team points.
“It’s awesome to be able to share it with Dan, Joe and Henry, seniors that this is their last year and just to go out that way,” O’Neil said. “For the younger guys it shows the program that those seniors have built.
Next year I’m just trying to carry on what they started.”
While O’Neil and the Maley’s were strong up front it was the depth that carried the day for Regina.
Bottorff finished 53rd overall and 28th among team scorers in a time of 17:44.83.
The 28th place finish from Bottorff was ahead of the third ACGC finisher giving the Regals a much need cusion.
“I wasn’t going to let a single ACGC guy pass me,” Bottorff said. “I knew I had to keep their three four and five behind me.”
Regina also got an impressive performance from junior Riordan Smith who was the fifth Regal finisher on Friday.
The sixth-place finisher for the Regals for most of the season Smith was 66th overall on Friday and 36 among team point scorers.
“Riordan until the two-mile mark he didn’t even know what ACGC looked like,” Swope said. “He had been our six runner this year and that’s there four, five and six and he had to get in front of them.
Smith used a late charge over the final half mile to finish in front of the fourth and fifth runners from ACGC.
“I didn’t know what ACGC looked like at first but there were three guys I was running with and people were pointing at them saying ‘ACGC’,” Smith said. “I promised myself I would go at 800 meters so I did and I passed them. I eventually sprinted past their fourth at the finish.”
The state title is the ninth in program history for Regina which ties City High and West Des Moines Dowling for the third most in state history.
It is the fourth title for Swope as head coach who led Regina to state titles in 2006, 2007 and 2010.
The four titles for Swope is one less than legendary Regina coach Bob Brown who directed the Regals to their first five titles.
“This is the ninth title and I’ve been a part of all of them and seen some crazy things,” Swope said.
The Regina girls finished 13th on Friday in their sixth consecutive state meet appearance.
Earlham won the 1A girls title with 101 points followed by South Winneshiek with 116 and Sibley-Ocheyedan with 151.
Regina was 13th with 268 points.
Senior Mya Whitaker led Regina placing 61st overall and 33rd among team scorers in a time of 21:18.32 in her fourth trip to the state meet.
Freshmen Ruby Greving and Ruby Eastman finished 76th and 84th overall in their state meet debuts on Friday.
Class 1A State Meet
Team scores – 1. Earlham 101; 2. South Winneshiek 116; 3. Sibley-Ocheyedan 151; 4. Logan-Magnolia 151; 5. Hudson 176; 6. Alta-Aurelia 178; 7. Fort Dodge St. Edmond 196; 8. North Linn 215; 9. Pekin 245; 10. Madrid 246; 11. IKM-Manning 254; 12. Woodbine 260; 13. Regina 268; 14. Cascade 269; 15. North Iowa 285; 16. North Tama 337
Individual leaders – 1. Noelle Steines (Calamus-Wheatland) 18:39.45; 2. Madison Brouwer (S-O) 18:42.12; 3. Nora Peterson (A-A) 19:02.8; 4. Maddy Childs (Grandview Christian) 19:06.9; 5. Mackenzie Harger (EAR) 19:17.02; 6. Madison Marco (S-O) 19:21.69; 7. Alyssa Richman (Manson Northwest Webster) 19:24.88; 8. Meghan Wheatley (NL) 19:26.05; 9. Jolee Mesz (Lawton-Bronson) 19:26.61; 10. Kadence Huck (Nashua-Plainfield) 19:27.07; 11. Katelyn Brandhorst (MAD) 19:28.04; 12. Ava Campbell (ACGC) 19:44.95; 13. Billie Wagner (SW) 19:46.18; 14. Addison Murdock (WOD) 19:46.42; 15. Hallie Kelchen (CAS) 19:49.57
Regina (268) – 33. Mya Whitaker 21:18.32; 45. Ruby Greving 21:34.17; 51. Ruby Eastman 21:45.07; 66. Grace Gaarde 22:22.95; 73. Faith Boileau 22:50.22; 78. Cate Klitgaard 22:57.88; 82. Ellie Johnson 23:34.66
Team scores – 1. Regina 102; 2. ACGC 126; 3. Woodbine 132; 4. Bellevue 164; 5. IKM-Manning 181; 6. Ogden 190; 7. Council Bluffs St. Albert 198; 8. Fort Dodge St. Edmond 205; 9. Cascade 206; 10. East Marshall 218; 11. Lake Mills 263; 12. Madrid 283; 13. Clayton Ridge 283; 14. North Mahaska 290; 15. Sioux Central 311; 16. North Linn 315
Individual leaders – 1. Landon Bendgen (WOD) 15:58.11; 2. Caden Keller (IKM) 16:13.07; 3. Payton Griebel (BEL) 16:15.03; 4. Patrick Heffernan (Boyer Valley) 16:21.63; 5. Ethan Loutzenheiser (MAD) 16:23.12; 6. Aidan O’Neil (ICR) 16:26.85; 7. Justin Rygh (LM) 16:32.41; 8. Colin Lillie (CBSA) 16:35.1; 9. Jacob Schellhorn (MFL Mar-Mac) 16:37.18; 10. Aaron Lursen (FDSE) 16:39.3; 11. Ryan Kelly (Mason City Newman) 16:42.68; 12. Justin Reinhart (ACGC) 16:43.45; 13. Carson Van Sickle (OGD) 16:43.45; 14. James Gruver (Lynnville-Sully) 16:49.29; 15. Marcus Blount (Prince of Peace) 16:50.35
Regina (102) – 5. Aidan O’Neil 16:26.85; 16. Dan Maley 17:18.76; 17. Joe Maley 17:25.04; 28. Henry Bottorff 17:44.83; 36. Riordan Smith 17:57.7; 48. Samuel Welter 18:18.03; 56. Colin Olney 18:29.87