Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
FAIRFIELD – A runner-up finish at the WAMAC Conference meet last week left Clear Creek Amana with something to prove entering the postseason.
Mission accomplished for the Clippers.
After finishing one point behind third-ranked Marion at the WAMAC meet a week ago Clear Creek Amana won the team title by 23 points over the Indians at the Class 3A state qualifier at Water Works Park in Fairfield on Thursday.
“We had a really frustrating week last week and rebounded very well,” Clear Creek Amana coach Ben Robinson said. “We had some adversity and they overcame it like we have everything else and this was kind of a statement run for us and just what we needed going into next week.”
A runner-up finish by Jack Sexton highlight four top-10 finishes for fourth-ranked Clear Creek Amana as the Clippers finished with 37 points to return to the Class 3A state meet for the third consecutive season.
The Clippers will attempt to improve on a 10th place state finish next week at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge.
“There is no reason we aren’t a top three team next week I don’t think,” Robison said. “Every guy has to click on the same night but if we ran tonight it’s not going to be an issue at all.”
Sexton finished behind the Marion duo of Harrison Vanderlinden and Cole Hermann in a fourth-place WAMAC finish last week.
On Thursday Sexton was runner-up in a time of 16:39.51 finishing behind only individual champion Cody Mertens of Mount Pleasant who won in 16:10.09.
“I think I exceeded my expectations today,” Sexton said. “We were a little down after losing to Marion by one point last week and we came here today and we just killed it.”
Brandon Barker was seventh in a time of 16:57.72 followed by teammate Nick O’Connor who was eighth in 16:58.65 while senior Cole Liebe was ninth in 16:59.64.
All five Clear Creek Amana scorers placed in the top 11 as sophomore Caleb Alcorn was just two places behind Liebe in a time of 17:06.62.
“I think we run about as well as we have all year,” Sexton said. “I thought we ran great.”
Solon freshman Gabe Hinman earned a trip to the state meet with a 15th place individual finish in a time of 17:23.6.
Hinman finished nearly seven seconds in front of Central DeWitt senior Noah Mullins for the final individual state meet spot.
“Gabe came around the first lap and he was in 19th and about 20-30 yards behind,” Solon coach Emy Williams said. “I told him where he was going to have to be so for him to run him down the second lap was pretty awesome. As a freshman boy to do that is pretty exciting.”
Team scores – 1. Clear Creek Amana 37; 2. Marion 60; 3. Grinnell 85; 4. Fairfield 143; 5. Mount Pleasant 156; 6. Solon 174; 7. Davenport Assumption 208; 8. Central DeWitt 224; 9. Fort Madison 231; 10. Washington 241; 11. North Polk 269; 12. North Dame/West Burlington 354; 13. Keokuk 433
Individual State Qualifiers – 1. Cody Mertens (Mount Pleasant) 16:10.09; 2. Jack Sexton (Clear Creek Amana) 16:39.51; 3. Chris Guise (Davenport Assumption) 16:48.61; 4. Harrison Vanderlinden (Marion) 16:49.72; 5. Cole Hermann (Marion) 16:50.72; 6. Matthew Cunningham (Grinnell) 16:55.11; 7. Brandon Barker (Clear Creek Amana) 16:57.72; 8. Nick O’Connor (Clear Creek Amana) 16:58.65; 9. Cole Liebe (Clear Creek Amana) 16:59.64; 10. Gaven Hiler (Marion) 17:01.78; 11. Caleb Alcorn (Clear Creek Amana) 17:06.62; 12. Joe Simon (Grinnell) 17:10.88; 13. Evan Horak (Washington) 17:15.71; 14. Dalton Moyle (Mount Pleasant) 17:20.12; 15. Gabe Hinman (Solon) 17:23.6
Solon – 15. Gabe Hinman 17:23.6; 35. Jake Roskopf 18:32.31; 39. Tyler Bilskie 18:45.89; 41. Edward Richey 18:53.1; 44. Andrew Bransky 18:57.42; 55. Brad Yeomans 19:15.98; 61. Ben DeValk 19:26.92;
Clear Creek Amana – 2. Jack Sexton 16:39.51; 7. Brandon Barker 16:57.72; 8. Nick O’Connor 16:58.65; 9. Cole Liebe 16:59.64; 11. Caleb Alcorn 17:06.62; 18. Gavin Zillyette 18:32.63; 23. Kaden McAreavy 17:56.2