The Albia boys cross country team has won about as many as it has lost against a fine Davis County team in an incredible back-and-forth season. Last Thursday it was Davis County’s turn to have a lower ranked underclassman step up to give the Mustangs a seven-point victory over Albia in the South Central Conference championship held in Osceola.
On the other side, the Lady Dees, who weren’t even considered in the mix of conference challengers when the season began, but were considered favorites on Thursday because of head-to-head competition against other SCC schools, finished a disappointing third, just three points out of first place. Albia’s top runner, Sherryl Mae Rowe battled some illness, walked twice on the course and finished 14th overall.
“Across the board I thought we really dug down today,” said Coach Todd Ratliff. “Becca in the top five is incredible with Allison going top 13, and Brooke 16th. Sometimes illnesses and injuries sneak into the lineup and we unfortunately saw that today with Sherryl Mae. She was able to still maintain a top 15 finish, which is not easy feat.”
“We really closed the gap back up on Davis County who was able to beat us handily at Chariton, so a very positive for this team going into districts,” he said.
The big story on the boys side was the second straight SCC title won by sophomore Landon Noe. “I think only Colton Dorpinghaus has ever won two straight conference individual titles for Albia,” said Coach Ratliff. Noe finished first in a time of 17:30. Brock Ratliff was also named to the All-Conference team with a fourth place 18:23 finish and freshman Dawson Bonnett earned his first All-SCC medal with a sixth place finish in 19:01.
“Landon ran outstanding again and appears to be at the top of his racing right now,” said Coach Ratliff. “Cody Dalman also came into his own today breaking into the top four for the team, which is where I think we will have to have him on Thursday if the boys team is serious about punching a ticket to the state meet in Fort Dodge.”
Cody Dalman finished 11th in 19:43, CJ Ratliff finished a solid 12th in 19:49, Max Teno was 15th in 20:11 and Bradley Yenger was 17th in 20:24. Other top runners included Carson Stocker, 25th, 20:46, Cole Folkerts, 33rd in 21:06, Logan Carter, 34th, 21:07, Jackson DeMoss, 47th in 21:40, Travis Sheffield, 49th, 21:51, Eli Zanoni, 36th, 21:14, and Travis Sheffield, 49th, 21:51.
“You give credit to the Davis County kids and their coach,” said Coach Ratliff. “It was a great season going head to head against them in so many meets. They were just the better team at conference.
Following Davis County, 27, and Albia, 34, were Knoville, 76, Chariton, 109, EBF, 152 and Centerville, 165.
Chariton won the girls title with 64 points, followed by Davis County, 66, Albia, 67, Centerville, 93 and Knoxville, 94.
Albia’s top finish came from Becca Pistek, who finished as an All-SCC performer in fourth place in a time of 22:53. “The course was soggy from all the rain, not fast at all, but Becca had an incredible run,” said Coach Ratliff. Allison Major also stepped up, finishing 13th in 24:12. Rowe was third on the Albia team, finishing 14th in 24:14. Brooke Smith finished 16th in 24:38, Sara Pistek was 25th in 25:02, Ellie Martin was 29th in 25:33 and Tahylor Terrell was 33rd in 25:45.
“It was just an overall amazing regular season,” said Coach Ratliff. “These two teams have shown growth like to other group I have worked with. I’m very happy with how they ran and improved all season long.”
Team heads to Panora
Coach Ratliff got what he was hoping for in terms of Regional placement. Albia will head to Panora on Thursday where he looks for both the boys and girls teams to be in contention for a top three finish.
To qualify as an individual to state, you have to finish in the top 15 and to finish as a team, you have to place in the top three.