As the fall season winds down and district meets loom, the Alta High boys cross country team is hitting its stride - literally.
The Cyclones won for the third time in their last four meets here Saturday at the Charger Invitational. Alta finished with 62 points to 65 for Sioux Central and 92 for Galva-Holstein.
Coach Wendell Larson said his team was weary after a long homecoming week in Alta.
"We were a little tired and it showed on many of our kids," Larson said. "This was a short course so the times were a little misleading. Yet we had a few very good performances. Our boys ran well enough to beat an improving Sioux Central team."
Meanwhile, based on it's recent performances, Alta has cracked the state rankings, making the top 15 in the Des Moines Register poll for the first time in school history.
"With all that being said," Larson said, "we still have room for improvement."
Meanwhile, Aurelia's Curtis Parker continued his strong 2004 performances by taking top honors in the varsity boys race in 16 minutes, 1 second.
Alta, meanwhile, finished five runners in the top 16 and four runners medalled.
The Cyclones were led with a ninth-place finish from Tyler Sliefert in 17:18. Thomas Hansen was tenth in 17:20, Paul Allerdings 13th in 17:26 and Jordan Letzring 14th in 17:28. All four of those runners medalled.
Also for Alta, Tom Hinkeldey was 16th in 17:49, Kyle Sauter 23rd in 18:07 and Charles Ryherd 30th in 18:18.
Meanwhile, Sioux Central coach Nathan Leidahl was pleased with his team's second-place finish.
"We are just starting into our peak times and this is the right time of the season to peak," he said.
The Rebels were led by a second-place finish by Eric Patten in a new school record time of 16:44. Also medalling for Sioux Central were Marshall Wernimont, eighth in 17:17 and Connor Lindquist, 11th in 17:22. Zeb Donnell was 20th in 17:55, Jesse Steece 24th in 18:13, Mark Saunders 25th in 18:16 and Nathan Lichter 31st in 18:22.
The Aurelia boys were led by Parker, who was 40 seconds faster than Patten, finishing in 16:01. Garrett Hill also medalled, taking fifth in 16:59.
Also for the Bulldogs, Tanner Winterhof was 34th in 18:32, Bryan Lemke 48th in 19:47, Gaylen Miller 54th in 20:34 and Brian Skou 55th in 20:56.
"Garrett ran his best race of the season," Aurelia coach Jolene Hultgren said. "We have several people still not healthy and not running the best, but hopefully, everyone is on the mend now."
Meanwhile, in the girls varsity race, Alta took fifth place with 143 points. Galva-Holstein won with 77 points.
Sophomore Dee Hinkeldey led the Lady Cyclones with a seventh place finish in 17:48, gaining a medal.
Brianna Aube was 17th in 18:52, Katie Connolly 25th in 19:25, Lakin Stevicks 43rd in 22:52 and Kayla Schmitz 51st in 26:50.
For the Aurelia girls Wendy Nelson medalled, taking eighth place in 17:48. Christa Ballantyne was 41st in 21:25, Kay Ann Kruckenberg 45th in 23:29 and Tina Wagenaar 47th in 24:08.
For the Sioux Central girls, Robyn Daly medalled with a 12th place in 18:21. Nicole Lindquist was 24th in 19:21, Lani Powers 52nd in 29:37 and Leah Whittenberg 53rd in 29:38.
For the Alta junior varsity boys, Alan Hinkeldey took individual honors in 18:25, while Adam Holton was eighth in 20:25 and Brett Hahn 14th in 22:24.
For the Sioux Central JV boys, Tyler Herrig was 13th in 21:46 and Patrick Smith 21st in 26:54.