For the sixth time in the last nine seasons under Coach Todd Ratliff and his coaching staff, the Albia Blue Demon Boys cross country team will finish their season at the state cross country meet in Fort Dodge. Junior Landon Noe along with sophomore Dawson Bonnett, also qualified as individuals. This is Noe’s third straight year with the accomplishment and Bonnett’s second.
“A balanced team effort,” is how Coach Ratliff described the racing for the Blue Demons as they took to the hills and woods of Lake Panorama on Thursday. “Our team spread from our number one finisher to our last point scorer was only 48 seconds,” he said. “Just an incredible push up and down the line-up tonight.”
Noe started the scoring with an eighth place finish in a time of 17:49 with Bonnett breaking the 18 minute mark in 17:58 in 13th place. “Landon becomes just the second runner in Albia history to qualify for three state contests. That’s a great feat,” said Coach Ratliff. “Dawson has put in the commitment and work again this season and deserves the recognition as the seventh runner in the boys program’s history to go to state as an individual multiple years.”
Coming up just one place short in his bid for a third straight season as an individual qualifier was Brock Ratliff who finished in 16th place in a time of 18:05. “Brock left it all on the course tonight,” said Coach Ratliff. “There was little doubt in that. He was pretty sick when he finished, but grinded out a hard fought race.”
Seniors Cody Dalman and Barrett Bonnett sealed the runner-up team position with finishes of 18th and 21st places in times of 18:26 and 18:37. “When I saw these two guys rounding the corner for the final push, I knew that they were going to thrust our team score to a qualifying score,” said the coach.
Rounding out the running for the Blue Demons were Max Teno and CJ Ratliff. Teno completed the course in 19:04 for 33rd place with Ratliff finishing 38th in 19:21. “It is good to have these two continuing to grind it out,” said the coach.
“This course is a tough one for me,” he added. “I get to see the athletes early in the race but can’t see them from the half mile mark until about .6 miles to go. They have to drive themselves and that is just what they did tonight. They are a tough minded group, and worked extremely hard tonight.”
The #2, 2A team of Des Moines Christian won the district title with Albia (2A, #6) finishing runner-up in the 15-team field. DSM Christian would finish with 30 points, Albia 76, Treynor 105, Red Oak 127, Adair Casey-Guthrie Center 149, Clarinda 151, Central Decatur 161, Shenandoah 236, Chariton 267, Emmetsburg 306, Missouri Valley 312, West Central Valley 315, Panorama 331, Underwood 369, and Greene County with no team score.