Your Prep Sports
It was another memorable cross country season in the Your Prep Sports area.
Four teams from the Your Prep Sports area qualified for the state cross country meet with Solon securing a team trophy for the second consecutive season with a third-place finish in Class 3A.
The annual Your Prep Sports area cross country team honors some of those athletes responsible for the success of their teams this season.
The seven-member 2022 Your Prep Sports area girls cross country team features runners from five different schools and includes school record holders and state medalists.
Solon senior Kayla Young is the captain of the 2022 team after leading the Spartans to a third-place team finish in Class 3A with an individual runner-up finish.
Young finished second at the 3A state meet in a time of 18:24.13.
Kayla Young (Captain)
Over the last two seasons Young has rapidly ascended into one of the premier runners in the state.
The quick climb toward elite status for Young started late in the 2021 season as she posted three consecutive top-five finishes to close her junior season.
This fall Young took things to another level.
Young finished her prep career with three consecutive top-two finishes including a runner-up finish at the Class 3A state meet.
As a junior Young was third at the WAMAC Conference meet, won the 3A state qualifier and finished fifth at the 3A state meet.
This season Young was even better at each of those meets.
Young was runner up at the WAMAC Conference meet and won the 3A state qualifier for the second consecutive season.
A Northern Iowa recruit, Young finished runner-up at the state meet in a time of 18:24.13 which was more than 50 seconds faster than the state meet time from her junior season.
Young finished behind only Ballard senior Paityn Noe who set the all-time Iowa record with a time of 16:48.58.
The time of 18:24.13 for Young was the ninth fastest time at the state meet across all classes.
Senior, Clear Creek Amana
A stalwart in the Clear Creek Amana lineup for the past four seasons Barker cemented her status as one of the best in program history with a stellar senior season.
The big senior season from Barker helped Clear Creek Amana qualify for the state meet for the first time since 2003 where the Clippers posted a top-10 finish.
A four-time state qualifier Barker improved in each of her four trips to the 3A state meet capping her career with her first state medal this season.
Barker was 63rd at the state meet as a freshman, 33rd as a sophomore and 20th as a junior before securing her first medal with a 13th place finish this season in a time of 19:33.61.
The 13th-place finish from Barker helped Clear Creek Amana place ninth as a team in 3A.
In her strong senior season Barker also posted her fourth consecutive top-three finish at the WAMAC Conference meet, finishing third and was runner-up at the Class 3A state qualifying meet.
Sophomore, City High
One of the top freshmen in the state last fall Wedemeyer followed up her strong debut season with a stellar sophomore campaign.
Wedemeyer improved her finish from last season at each of her final four meets this fall concluding a strong season with a 27th place finish at the Class 4A state meet.
As a freshman Wedemeyer was 16th at the MVC Super Meet, ninth at the MVC Divisional met and 13th at the 4A state qualifier before placing 31st at the state meet.
This season Wedemeyer moved into the top six in the three meets prior to the 4A state meet.
Wedemeyer was sixth at the MVC Super Meet, fifth at the MVC Valley Divisional meet and sixth at the 4A state qualifier.
The time of 19:38.5 for Wedemeyer at the Class 4A state meet was more than four seconds faster than her state meet time from her freshman season.
Whitaker closes her career as one of the most decorated runners in Regina history.
Just the second athlete to qualify for the state meet each season as an individual and as a part of the team, Whitaker helped the Regals to top-10 finishes at the 1A state meet in three of the past four seasons.
Whitaker placed 12th at the loaded River Valley Conference meet and a week later finished third at the Class 1A state qualifier for the second consecutive season.
In her fourth trip to the state meet Whitaker finished 61st in a time of 21:18.32 to help Regina to a 13th place team finish.
Senior, City High
A leader within the Little Hawk program for most of her career Wedemeyer came up with another strong season as a senior.
Wedemeyer placed seventh at the Class 4A state qualifier for the second consecutive season while helping City High return to the state meet for the third time during her four-year career.
After placing 42nd and 36th in her first two state meet appearances Wedemeyer placed 76th at the state meet this fall in a time of 20:32.6.
Wedemeyer also finished 11th at the MVC Valley divisional meet as a senior.
A state qualifier as a freshman and a sophomore, Fiala closed her career with her best season.
Fiala finished a career-best 36th at the Class 3A state meet to help Solon earn a team trophy for the second consecutive season with a third-place finish.
As a freshman Fiala placed 54th at the state meet and was 45th at state as a sophomore.
In her final appearance at the state meet Fiala finished 36th in a time of 20:20.81 which was nearly nine seconds faster than her state meet time in 2020.
Prior to her state meet performance Fiala was 16th at the WAMAC Conference meet and finished 12th at the 3A state qualifier.
Kate Van Waning
Freshman, West High
The more races Van Waning got under her belt this fall the better the West High freshman seemed to get.
By the end of the season Van Waning had emerged as a front of the pack runner for the Trojans and one of the top freshmen in the area.
The strong finish to the season for Van Waning started with a 25th place finish at the MVC Super Meet and continued with a 19th place finish at the Valley Divisional a week later.
Van Waning concluded her strong freshman season with an 18th place finish at the Class 4A state qualifying meet in a time of 19:49.