Liberty High Freshman Keeney Closes Impressive Debut Season at State Meet

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Photo by Jeff Yoder

Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

FORT DODGE – Liberty High freshman standout Ashlyn Keeney had a debut season to remember.

On Saturday Keeney had a state meet she would probably like to forget.

Keeney led for much of the first two miles but struggled down the stretch and finished 72nd in the Class 4A state meet at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge.

“What a heartbreaker,” Liberty High coach Tonya McDonough said. “She lost a lot of fluids unfortunately before the race, I think that is probably what had the biggest impact that she got to about 2 and a half miles and was just bone dry dehydrated.

The disappointing state meet finish should not detract from what was an impressive debut season for Keeney.

Keeney went unbeaten during the regular season while setting six meet records.

She won Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet and Divisional titles and added a state qualifying meet championship last Thursday.

Keeney entered the state meet top-ranked in Class 4A and finished in 20:22.8.  

“We certainly focus on all the positives that happened all season and the fact that she is a freshman,” Liberty High coach Tonya McDonough said. “She will be back.”  

Linn-Mar sophomore Micah Poellet ran a few strides behind Keeney for the first two miles before taking the lead in the final mile.

Poellet cruised to the individual title in 18:03.4, more than 25 seconds faster than runner-up Mattison Plummer of Southeast Polk.

Southeast Polk won the team title by one point over two-time defending champion Johnston while West Des Moines Valley was third with 97.

West High finished 14th with 173 points.

Senior Deniz Ince placed 26th in a time of 19:46 to lead West High while sophomore Kiara Malloy-Salgado was 33rd in 19:54.1.

City High freshman Rowan Boulter placed 36th as an individual in her first trip to the state meet, finishing in a time of 19:53.9.

State Cross Country Meet

Class 4A

Team scores – 1. Southeast Polk 79; 2. Johnston 80; 3. West Des Moines Valley 97; 4. Dubuque Senior 136; 5. Waukee 161; 6. Pleasant Valley 214; 7. Dubuque Hempstead 219; 8. Cedar Rapids Prairie 220; 9. Urbandale 227; 10. West Des Moines Dowling 232; 11. Linn-Mar 248; 12. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 257; 13. Des Moines Roosevelt 263; 14. West High 273; 15. Ankeny Centennial 361

Individual medalists – 1. Micah Poellet (LM) 18:03.4; 2. Mattison Plummer (SEP) 18:28.7; 3. Brooke McKee (JON) 18:43.3; 4. Grace Larkins (SEP) 18:50.4; 5. Claire Edmondson (DS) 18:51.8; 6. Lillian Schmidt (DS) 18:52.1; 7. Sydney Schaffer (WAU) 18:56; 8. Chloe Skidmore (LM) 18:57.7; 9. Camille Jackson (Ames) 19:00; 10. Reagan Gorman (CR Washington) 19:00.7; 11. Aleah Tenpas (JON) 19:06.2; 12. Kaia Downs (Sioux City East) 19:08.9; 13. Helen Gould (WDV) 19:10.1; 14. Paige Horner (JON) 19:14; 15. Lauren Schulze (WDV) 19:15.8

West High – 26. Deniz Ince 19:46; 33. Kiara Malloy-Salgado 19:54.1; 51. Maddy Negley 20:18.5; 67. Camden Zirker 20:30.4; 96. Natalie Katz 21:44.7; 99. Lucy Westemeyer 21:59.9; 100. Katie Hoefer 22:09

Liberty High – 72. Ashlyn Keeney 20:22.8

City High – 36. Rowan Boulter 19:53.9

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