Hawks cross country races through West Central Activities Conference meet

Sean Cordy

Against a packed field of potential state qualifiers, Woodward-Granger cross country finished its penultimate race of the season with 10th place finishes from both the Hawks' boys and girls group of runners at Thursday's West Central Activities Conference run in Panora.

With a spread of 97 runners in total from nine other schools, Woodward-Granger very nearly replicated last year's results to the letter. The Hawks took eighth of nine teams last year with an average time of 26 minutes 55 seconds, with the 46th placed runner at the top of the list.

Libby Grell runs behind Sydney Grell during the 2020 conference cross country meet on Thursday, Oct.15 in Panora.

This year's slate of girls finished with an average time of 26:59 — four seconds behind 2019's rate — with freshman Libby Grell (24:40) placing 44th overall. The rest of the Grell bloodline followed in her footsteps in stride as Sydney Grell (66th, 26:28) and Katie Grell (68th, 26:35) were next through the tape.

Makenzie Dresback (76th, 27:29); Kaitlyn Smith (87th, 29:43); Madisyn Mann (89th, 30:30); and Marissa Trees (93rd, 31:59) also competed for the Hawks.

Woodward-Granger's Katie Grell during the first leg of the WCAC meet on Thursday, Oct. 15 in Panora.

Panorama won the evening with an average time of 21:46 followed by Van Meter in second place and Des Moines Christian in third. Those three combined for 10 of the top 15 individual finishes.

The W-G boys experienced nearly the same fate against the field of 11 teams. With an average time of 22:05, the Hawks saw a dip compared to last year's seventh place team that finished with an average time of sub-20 minutes. 

Healey Hill competes for Woodward-Granger boys cross country in the conference meet on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Carsten Wright (42nd, 19:42) was the first Hawks across the finish line against the field of 127. Xavier Ibarra (66th, 21:12); Healey Hill (95th, 22:50); Dillon Limoges (98th, 23:00); Kurt Crouse (101st, 23:39); Sterling Parkinson (105th, 24:03); and Lucas Hansen (106th, 24:04) completed the rest of the Hawks roster.

The field of conference competition only continued to show signs of improvement. Of the top five boys teams from 2019 with sub-19 minute average, this year's top placed teams — Madrid, Des Moines Christian, Earlham, and ACGC — actually improved their overall team times. 

W-G has one more run in the bag this year as the Hawks travel back Thursday, Oct. 22 to Panora for the state qualifying trials.

Woodward-Granger cross country taking part in the 2020 West Central Activities Conference meet on Thursday, Oct. 15 in Panora.