Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
FORT DODGE – The final straightaway that leads to finish line at the state cross country meet is a gradual descent.
It seems only fitting that Kolby Greiner had to experience one final decline in order to end his career on a high note.
Greiner capped an up and down cross country career filled with peaks and valleys with a career-best third-place finish on Saturday at the Class 4A state meet at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge.
“It’s just been crazy,” Greiner said. “I’ve had just the most roller coaster of a cross country career you can imagine.”
There have been plenty of highs for Greiner during a stellar cross country career.
He was 11th at the 4A state meet as a sophomore and spent time as the top ranked runner as a junior when he clocked a 15:23.
Perhaps the lowest moment came at the state meet last season when Greiner finished a disappointing 27th while competing with a spinal fracture.
Greiner made sure he ended on a high Saturday as he placed third in a season-best time of 15:44.1.
“Form last year being 27th to being third here this year I am very happy,” Greiner said. “I had a lot of faith in these last weeks in my training and just felt really good.”
Ankeny senior Tim Sindt pulled away from the pack over the final mile and won his second consecutive individual 4A title in a time of 15:36.
Cedar Rapids Prairie junior Jack Pendergast was second in 15:41.7 while Greiner was third, finishing four seconds in front of West Des Moines Dowling junior Sam Hall.
“Kolby’s effort today was one that he can look back and be extremely proud of,” West High coach Josh Kidman said. “Four years of hard work put into one day and being in the top three in today’s field is something he can be really proud of and look back on his career and see that as a shining moment.”
Greiner got healthy following the disappointing finish to his junior season.
The unquestioned leader of the West High program Greiner also got back to the basics for his final prep season.
That meant having more fun and spending less time stressing about external things like rankings or outside expectations.
“I just kind of went to the basics of having fun and not getting worried and getting caught up in the moment,” Greiner said. “I just started going out and having fun doing what we’ve been doing since day one.”
The results were a strong final ride on the cross country roller coaster for Greiner.
His time of 15:44.1 was 21 seconds faster than his time as a sophomore and more than 36 seconds faster than last year’s performance.
“This is my fifth year at West High so I got to see Kolby as a freshman and it’s been fun to watch him these past four years,” Kidman said. “That is a season’s best for Kolby and I think for him that’s just a sign of his fitness.”
The third-place finish by Greiner helped West High place seventh as a team with 178 points.
West Des Moines Dowling edged Dubuque Hempstead by one point to win its third 4A team title in the past four seasons, finishing with 72 points.
Cedar Rapids Washington was third with 95 points while Pleasant Valley was fourth with 112 and Ankeny was fifth with 163.
Junior Ken Wilbur was 28th in 16:37.3 for West High while senior Yousif Salama was 41st and Will Conrad placed 50th.
“It’s so loud, you get uncomfortable early,” Greiner said of running at state. It’s a grinder of a race but it was very fun and I’m very pleased with how it went.”
Team scores – 1. West Des Moines Dowling 72; 2. Dubuque Hempstead 73; 3. Cedar Rapids Washington 95; 4. Pleasant Valley 112; 5. Ankeny 163; 6. Cedar Rapids Prairie 177; 7. West High 178; 8. Waukee 211; 9. Johnston 225; 10. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 249; 11. Cedar Falls 256; 12. Southeast Polk 256; 13. Ames 258; 14. West Des Moines Valley 308; 15. Sioux City North 415.
Individual medalists – 1. Tim Sindt (Ankeny) 15:36; 2. Jack Pendergast (Cedar Rapids Prairie) 15:41.7; 3. Kolby Greiner (West High) 15:44.1; 4. Sam Hall (West Des Moines Dowling) 15:48.1; 5. David Holesinger (Dubuque Hempstead) 15:52.6; 6. Jacob Green (Cedar Rapids Kennedy) 15:54.5; 7. Dylan Dolezal (Linn-Mar) 15:59.7; 8. Zach Fry (West Des Moines Dowling) 16:02.5; 9. Aniey Akok (Ames) 16:06.1; 10. Ben Hermiston (Dubuque Hempstead) 16:08; 11. Lewis Kleman (Cedar Rapids Washington) 16:08.7; 12. Paul Schneidermann (Cedar Rapids Washington) 16:09; 13. Ryan Winger (Dubuque Hempstead) 16:09.5; 14. Kent Nichols (Pleasant Valley) 16:09.7; 15. Aiden McCombs (Ankeny) 16:10.1
West High – 3. Kolby Greiner 15:44.1; 28. Ken Wilbur 16:37.3; 41. Yousif Salama 16:52.8; 50. Will Conrad 16:59.1; 56. Nicholo Schianchi 17:03.4; 58. Alex McKane 17:07.5; 86. Raymond Yang 17:37.4
City High – 91. Yasar Hassan 17:28.8