Royal girls take 14th in 1A at state; Cobbs finishes 24th in 1A boys' race

Joe Randleman, Sports Writer
Senior Angela Brinkman helped the Colo-Nesco girls' cross country team move up from at 15th-place finish last year to taking 14th in Class 1A Saturday at the state cross country meet in Fort Dodge.

FORT DODGE - It was a successful day for the Colo-Nesco girls as well as the Royals’ Caleb Cobbs and Nevada’s Malachi Hornbuckle at the state cross country meet Saturday at the Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge.

The Colo-Nesco girls topped last year’s 15th-place showing at state after scoring 286 points. That point total was a marked improvement from last year when the Royal girls scored 418 points.

“I think we just wanted to come out and give it our best,” Colo-Nesco senior Angela Brinkman said. “For three of us this is our last cross country meet, so we wanted to give it our all.”

Junior Alexis Britten was the lead runner for Colo-Nesco with a 65th-place 5-kilometer time of 21 minutes, 54.0 seconds. Brinkman came in 81st at 22:21.3 and sophomore Faith Vincent took 89th in 22:37.2.

Grace Stalzer ran a 111th-place time of 23:39.7 in her final meet and junior Shelby Smith clocked in at 24:27.8 to place 128th as the other Royal runners to score points. Senior Stephanie Norris and injured freshman Lauryn Hill also competed for Colo-Nesco — taking 134th and 138th with respective times of 24:59.4 and 25:29.4.

Brinkman said it was nice to see how far the Royal girls’ program has come in her four years.

“It’s intense to think we’ve been here twice,” Brinkman said. “We grew the program insanely huge from what it was my freshman year.”

Central Elkader won the 1A girls’ team crown with 69 points and Hudson took second with a score of 116. Adair-Casey/Guthrie Center’s Kate Crawford ran a 19:38.7 to edge the 19:41.0 run by Rockford’s Sheridan LaCoste for the 1A girls’ individual crown.

In the boys’ competition, Cobbs placed in the top 25 in 1A and Hornbuckle took 29th in 3A.

Cobbs was the sole runner for the Colo-Nesco boys at this year’s state meet. He placed 24th with a 5-kilometer time 17:27.4 to easily top last year’s 52nd-place time of 17:57.0 at state.

“I was just going for a better race this time,” Cobbs said. “It felt really good and perfect conditions. It just got a little hot.”

Cobbs excelled at this year’s meet despite not having any teammates. Last year, Jordan Combes and Steven Cutler competed at state for Colo-Nesco.

“I had to take a different tack,” Cobbs said. “I got to talk to different people from different teams and psych myself up in ways I didn’t have to last year.”

North Union’s Riley Bauer was the 1A boys’ individual champion with a time of 16:09.7. Nodaway Valley scored 36 points to blow away the rest of the 1A field in the boys’ team race as Pekin was a distant second with 92 points.

Hornbuckle was running at state for the first time. He completed the course in 17:02.9.

“I ran as about as hard as I felt I could,” Hornbuckle said. “It definitely hurt. Sixteen (minutes), 51 (seconds) was my best (time), but I’ll take the 17.”

Hornbuckle said running at state for the first time was a learning experience.

“It’s a different atmosphere,” Hornbuckle said. “Everybody around you is just as fast, if not faster than you. You can run a PR and fade into the background. I wish I could do it more and get used to it because these are the ones that matter.”

Marion’s tandem of Jeremy Fopma and Myles Bach were the first two runners to cross the finish line in the 3A boys race. Fopma won in 16:02.6 and Bach was second in 16:14.5.

Mount Vernon-Lisbon won the 3A boys’ team championship with 86 points. Grinnell was a close second with 88 points.

Final 1A girls team scores: 1. Central Elkader 69 points, 2. Hudson 116, 3. Pekin 124, 4. Marquette Catholic 138, 5. Denver 144, 6. Fort Dodge St. Edmond 184, 7. Newman Catholic 216, 8. Griswold 222, 9. North Linn 238, 10. Panorama 242, 11. ACGC 245, 12. Maple Valley-Anthon-Oto 246, 13. West Fork 268, 14. Colo-Nesco 286, 15. Alta-Aurelia 299.

Individual 1A results (5-kilometer) - Colo-Nesco

Girls: 65. Alexis Britten, 21:54.0; 81. Angela Brinkman, 22:21.3; 89. Faith Vincent, 22:37.2; 111. Grace Stalzer, 23:39.7; 128. Shelby Smith, 24:27.8; 134. Stephanie Norris, 24:59.4; 138. Lauryn Hill, 25:29.4.

Boys: 24. Caleb Cobbs, 17:27.4.

Individual 3A boys results (5-kilometer) - Nevada: 29. Malachi Hornbuckle, 17:02.9.