Panorama girls dominate conference cross country meet
The Panorama girls cross country team dominated the Panorama West course on Thursday to win the program’s fifth straight West Central Activities Conference championship.
Freshmen Ella Waddle, currently ranked sixth, led the way, out-distancing Class 1-A defending state champion Kate Crawford from ACGC, to win her first conference title. Waddle’s time of 19:41, is a personal best and bettered the previous conference course record time of 21:02 for a Panorama runner set by Brianna Hoffman in 2015. Devyn Kemble also broke the previous course record with a time of 20:54, which earned her third place. Crawford, who is ranked fourth, paced the Chargers with a second place finish in 20:09. Panorama and ACGC runners finished in the top seven spots in the girls race Thursday.
Panorama, ranked seventh in Class 1-A, placed eight runners in the top 15.
“That is amazing, especially in the West Central Conference which has been represented very well at the state meet the past several years,” said Panorama head coach Greg Thompson.
Thompson said his pre-race speech included expectations for his team to perform to the best of their abilities on their home course.
“I expected a good performance, but this was above my expectations,” he said. Nine Panorama girls finished in the top 20 in a race that drew 90 competitors.
Joining Waddle and Kemble in the top 10 were Panorama teammates Gwen Steffen and Brianna Hoffman, who placed fifth and seventh, respectively. Olivia Steffen crossed in 11th place, Brooklyn Behrends 13th and Chloe Webster 14th.
The Panorama girls scored 27 points to outlast runner-up No. 11 ranked ACGC with 46 tallies for the team championship. The 27 point total is a new Panorama school record for fewest team points scored at a conference meet, breaking the 2014 point total of 40.
“The girls were very impressive,” Thompson said.
The Panorama boys competed without Danny Nordquist, who consistently runs in the lead pack for the Panthers. Nordquist has been undergoing some tests on his heart.
Thompson said Nordquist’s ability to run would have lowered his team’s point total, but not enough to change the Panther’s team placing. Panorama finished seventh with 183 points.
Senior Josh Carstens ran very well and earned all-conference honors with a fifth place finish in a time of 17:54, which bettered the previous school record for the conference meet time of 18:09 set by Chance Webster in 2015.
Emry Colby, Sam Webster, Noah Kirtley, Kaleb Randel and Levi Richey were all credited for running strong races in a tight pack.
“They are working hard and should be in a good position next week to challenge for a top 5 spot,” Thompson said. “ With a great race, they could finish in the top 3 and qualify (for state). That will be the goal for the upcoming week.”
Panorama will compete for a trip to the state course on Thursday in Mount Ayr. It will be a new course for the Panorama program.
“We’ve never been there,” Thompson said.
The junior high girls didn’t have enough runners to score as a team at the conference meet due to some injuries, sickness and an honor band.
“With a full team, I think they would placed in the top 3,” Thompson said.
Payton Beckman and Laci Rishel had good races. Grace Webner fell early in the race, but still ran faster than last season. Kevin Cogil, Alec Mills and Avery Norma ran extremely well when compared to last year’s time for this meet, Thompson said.
“Kevin was about three minutes faster, Avery was about two minutes faster and Alec was about a minute faster,” the coach said.
Following are the results:
Girls team scoring - Panorama 27, ACGC 46, Madrid 90, Earlham 117, West Central Valley 147, Ogden 152, Woodward-Granger 162, Van Meter 181
Panorama girls - 1. Ella Waddle, 19:41, 3. Devyn Kemble, 20:54, 5. Gwen Steffen, 21:26, 7. Brianna Hoffman, 21:49, 11. Olivia Steffen, 22:52, 13. Brooklyn Behrends, 23:05, 14. Chloe Webster, 23:06, 15. Lydia Lindstrom, 23:20, 19. Bryn Steffen, 23:53, 33. Jaelyn Waddle, 25:06, 35. Shey Storesund, 25:15, 40. Abby Cobb, 25:26, 41. Taylor Rishel, 25:36, 57. Molly Simmons, 26:45, 58. Emily Smith, 26:46, 70. Maddie Knapp, 28:48, 72. Maisie Knapp, 29:23,
Boys team scoring - Woodward Academy 66, Madrid 69, ACGC 71, Des Moines Christian 83, Ogden 104, Earlham 120, Panorama 183, Woodward-Granger 223, West Central Valley 266, Van Meter 267
Panorama boys - 5. Josh Carstens, 17:54, 43. Emry Colby, 19:51, 44. Sam Webster, 19:53, 47. Noah Kirtley, 19:55, 48. Kaleb Randel, 19:58, 51. Levi Richey, 20:09, 61. Erik Olsen, 20:41, 89. Colton Stogdill, 21:55, 99. Lucas Wasson, 22:43, 116. Paul Hansen, 24:10, 118. Drew Hafner, 24:14, 134. Logan Christe, 25:39.
Middle school girls scoring - Earlham 30, Van Meter 54, Woodward-Granger 83, Madrid 94, ACGC 115, Ogden 126
Panorama girls - 6. Payton Beckman, 14:37, 9. Laci Rishel, 14:54, 16. Grace Webner, 16:13, 27. Carley Van Gundy, 17:21,
Middle school boys scoring - Van Meter 64, ACGC 75, West Central 77, Panorama 101, Ogden 104, Earlham 116, Woodward-Granger 129, Madrid 187
Panorama boys - 3. Kevin Cogil, 13:38, 19. Avery Norman, 15:32, 25. Alec Mills, 15:44, 26. Jordan Wehmeyer, 15:45, 28. Ethan Olsen, 16:25