Meinecke, Freeman place in top 10 for Nevada at NP Invite: Cub boys, girls both finish fourth

Joe Randleman
Nevada Journal
Tori Meinecke came in third in the girls' race for Nevada at the North Polk Invitational Monday in Alleman. Both the Cub girls and boys finished fourth as a team at the meet.

ALLEMAN - Tori Meinecke and Owen Freeman both turned in a top-10 performance for Nevada at the North Polk Invitational cross country meet Monday at North Polk High School.

Meincke placed third in the girls’ race and Freeman came in 10th in the boys’ competition. Both runners helped their respective teams finish fourth.

Meincke completed the 5-kilometer course in 21 minutes, one second. She came in six seconds out of second place and 19 seconds behind winner Aleah McBee of North Polk.

Running on the flat course on North Polk’s school grounds was a breath of fresh air for the talented Cub freshman.

“They’re easier on my legs,” Meinecke said of flat courses. “My legs get pretty tired on hills.”

She said she ran well in keeping up with McBee for most of the race. But Meinecke said she still has work to do after losing momentum late, allowing Lynnville-Sully’s Greenlee Smock to pass her and take second.

“In practice we’ve been working on pacing ourselves,” Meinecke said. “I got a little tired at the end. But I know we’re going to be working a lot on that in practice.”

Nevada scored 108 points as a team. The Cub girls came in behind North Polk (33 points), Gilbert (51) and Des Moines Christian (53) in the team standings.

“We had a pretty good showing the week before our conference meet,” Nevada head girls’ cross country coach Shawn Crain said. “Last week at our home meet out at Hickory Grove we had 14 girls set a PR for the season and tonight seven girls did it again. It was windy, but the girls handled it well against another week of strong competition.”

Eleanor Elliott-Rude placed in the top 25 for Nevada with a 23rd-place time of 23:09. Allison Kruzich came in 30th at 23:52, Bridget Cahill 31st in 23:52 and Grace Cahill 42nd in 24:18 to complete the girls’ scoring.

Natalie Barber ran a 50th-place time of 25:02 and Hannah Fritz was 54th in 25:19.

The Nevada boys scored 88 points to finish in a tight group with Des Moines Christian and Gilbert behind winner North Polk. North Polk, ranked fourth in 3A, won with 32 points, Des Moines Christian, ranked eighth in 2A, was second with 61 and Gilbert scored 66 points.

Nevada beat Boone by 83 points for fourth out of 11 scored teams in the boys’ race.

“We’re having all of our runners meet their goal pace that they want,” Nevada senior Luis Lopez said. “Everybody finishing at their times is great.”

Freeman was the top runner for the Cub boys. He tried to keep up with Gilbert’s William Wadsley, who finished seventh, and ended up breaking 18 minutes with a 17:57 showing.

“I really just had a goal in mind - I really wanted to beat one person,” Freeman said. “I was trying my hardest to beat him and that gave me the extra energy.”

 Freeman cut nearly 13 seconds off last week’s time at the Nevada Invitational when he ran in cold rain on a hiller course at Hickory Grove Park near Colo.

“I think I fared pretty well,” Freeman said. “I did a lot better than I thought I would.”

Lopez took 12th on Monday with a time of 18:09.

“It didn’t go the way I wanted,” Lopez said. “I still feel like I ran pretty well.”

Rhett Harter placed in the top 20 with an 18th-place time of 18:50 for the Cub boys. Elliot Frideres was 24th in 19:09 and Carter Holland 26th in 19:11 to complete the scoring for the boys.

Nick Frideres took 37th in 19:37 and Rowan Steele 62nd in 20:38 for the Cubs.

Des Moines Christian’s Carson Houge, ranked seventh individually in Class 2A, won the boys’ race in 16:40. North Polk’s Zach Sporaa, ranked 16th in 3A, was second in 16:58.

Final team scores

Girls: 1. North Polk 33 points, 2. Gilbert 51, 3. Des Moines Christian 53, 4. Nevada 108, 5. Collins-Maxwell 120, 6. Boone 187.

Boys: 1. North Polk 32, 2. Des Moines Christian 61, 3. Gilbert 66, 4. Nevada 88, 5. Boone 171, 6. Collins-Maxwell 173, 7. A-D-M 185, 8. Colfax-Mingo 243, 9. Ankeny Christian 274, 10. Woodward Academy 282, 11. Saydel 307.

Individual results (5-kilometer) - Nevada

Girls: 3. Tori Meinecke, 21:01; 23. Eleanor Elliott-Rude, 23:09; 30. Allison Kruzich, 23:52; 31. Bridget Cahill, 23:52; 42. Grace Cahill, 24:18; 50. Natalie Barber, 25:02; 54. Hannah Fritz, 25:19.

Boys: 10. Owen Freeman, 17:57; 12. Luis Lopez, 18:09, 18. Rhett Harter, 18:50; 24. Elliot Frideres, 19:09; 26. Carter Holland, 19:11; 37. Nick Frideres, 19:37; 62. Rowan Steele, 20:38.