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Great finish for fab frosh - Albia Newspapers: Sports

Great finish for fab frosh

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Posted: Wednesday, November 1, 2017 9:50 am

Ever the math teacher, Albia Cross Country Coach Todd Ratliff had measured freshmen state qualifiers Landon Noe and Brock Ratliff against where they finished in district against other state qualifiers.

“Landon and Brock finished very close to where I thought they would,” he said. “I’m really pleased with their effort.”

Noe finished 47th in a personal best time of 17:40. Ratliff finished 71st in a time of 17:59, not a personal best, but a sub-18 minute run at state, which is a major accomplishment, particularly for a freshman.

The Class 2A race was spectacular to watch. Gable Sieperda of George Little Rock set an all-time 2A record with his 15:18.6 finish. His was the fastest time this year among all classes.

What’s more, out of the 135 runners, 114 athletes ran sub 19-minute 5-Ks. “It was fast,” said Coach Ratliff. When we saw our two at the 400-meter mark they were in 132nd and 133rd place. No runners in the field passed more guys than our two.”

Coach Ratliff said his two athletes were prepared fore the pressure of the state meet. “They’ve both run in regional and national events and went up against more guys in the junior high state meet, so they knew what to expect,” he said. “They were really disciplined and ran within themselves. When they crossed the finish line, there was no wondering if they could have done any better. They were both spent.”

The weather was actually nearly perfect for the 2A boys race. The temperature was around 39 degrees with a seven-mile per hour wind for the long, sloping course. If there was any challenge (other than running against 135 of Iowa’s best) it was the fact that the Fort Dodge course is full of long, low hills. “We don’t run on this type of course very often,” said Coach Ratliff. “Most of our competition has steeper, shorter inclines.”

For Noe it was just his fifth race of the year after recovering from mono. “I think you could see that he had fresh legs,” said Coach Ratliff.

It was a special moment for Coach Ratliff, who ran at state in 1990, finishing 17th, and now coaching his son. “When we got home, Brock asked me how he could run under 16 minutes at state,” said Coach Ratliff. “I took a little time, wrote down some things and showed it to him. His eyes got kind of wide. But it’s possible for both Landon and Brock. They’ve seen the great Iowa runners and now it’s up to them to get in the weight room and put in the miles. Our goals going in were to enjoy the weekend and have fun running. We met those goals. I’m pretty sure they want more.”

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