Keeney Caps Challenging Season With State Runner-up Finish Finishes Runner-up

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Ryan Murken

Your Prep Sports

FORT DODGE – Ashlyn Keeney has overcome a lot of challenges this season.

In her final race of the season Keeney finally faced a challenger she couldn’t quite conquer.

Ames senior Camille Jackson pulled away from Keeney over the final mile and a half to win the Class 4A individual title on a cool and sunny Saturday at Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge.

“It was probably a mile and a half when she pulled away,” Keeney said. “She ran great, she is a great runner and I am happy for her that she won.”

Jackson needed a course record time of 17:23.9 to outduel Keeney who has overcome obstacle after obstacle to go unbeaten in in-state races as a sophomore.

A challenging sophomore season for Keeney started with an eye infection in the summer that threatened to sideline her for the season.

After that it was illnesses, the most recent a batch of whooping cough that made the rounds among the Liberty High team, that plagued Keeney.

Through it all she posted the top performance in program history on Saturday finishing runner-up in 17:44.1.

“I’m a little disappointed but with the circumstances I would say that I am pretty happy with it,” Keeney said. “It’s been a pretty challenging season.”

The runner-up finish on Saturday gave Keeney her first state medal after a disappointing performance in her state meet debut.

Keeney battled dehydration while finishing 72nd at the state meet last season, the only loss in an otherwise perfect freshman season.

“I feel a lot better about this race than last year,” Keeney said. “That makes me happy.”

Even with her illness Keeney finished more than 23 seconds in front of third-place Lillian Schmidt of Dubuque Senior.

Defending state champion Micah Poellett of Linn-Mar was fourth in 18:18.9.

Liberty High had a pair of medalists as junior McKenzie Logan placed 15th in 18:53.5.

“These girls are incredibly resilient, they have been through so much this season, the entire team had whooping cough, Ashlyn had that amoeba and they have just persevered and fought through everything,” Liberty High coach Tonya McDonough said. “They didn’t miss a beat, they never complained they show up every day and they do the absolute best they can give the situation and I’m just really, really proud of them.”

Logan gave Liberty High multiple medalists for the first time with her 15th place finish.

The junior finished three seconds in front of Peyton Kelderman of Waukee to earn the first medal of her career.

“I was planning on getting top 15 so I was just trying to push myself the entire time,” Logan said. “I have a really bad cough and whenever I cough it makes my stomach hurt and my legs felt really tire. My IT band is kind of tight so my knee started hurting. It was hard but it felt good to place.”

Junior Cami Mac added a 60th place finish for Liberty High in 19:59.9.

“Whooping cough has been going around the team and I’ve been training through that for seven weeks now,” Logan said. “I feel like even with that and all of our injuries we’ve really pushed ourselves and done really well for all that.”

Johnston won the team title with 56 points, finishing 32 points in front of runner-up Dubuque Senior while Linn-Mar was third with 119.

City High placed ninth with 223 points in its return to the state meet and was led by sophomore Rowan Boulter who placed 21st overall in a time of 19:08.3.

West High had three individual qualifiers and was led by junior Maddy Negley who placed 40th in 19:41.7.

West Des Moines Dowling won the Class 4A boys title for the second consecutive season edging Pleasant Valley by nine points.

West High was eighth with 206 points and Liberty High was 10th with 254 points in its state meet debut as the Mississippi Valley Conference had five teams in the top 10.

West High sophomore Nicolo Schianchi was 23rd in 16:13 to pace the Trojans while Alex McKane was 32nd in 16:26.5.

Jack Kinzer placed 42nd in a time of 16:35.1 to lead Liberty High while Peter Woodward was 50th in 16:39.2.

City High freshman was the top area finisher placing 20th in 16:10.4.

Class 4A Girls

At Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge

Team scores – 1. Johnston 56; 2. Dubuque Senior 88; 3. Linn-Mar 119; 4. Waukee 138; 5. Southeast Polk 144; 6. West Des Moines Valley 200; 7. Dubuque Hempstead 202; 8. Cedar Rapids Prairie 218; 9. City High 223; 10. West Des Moines Dowling 247; 11. Urbandale 248; 12. Western Dubuque 252; 13. Sioux City East 279; 14. Bettendorf 304; 15. Indianola 357

Individual Medalists – 1. Camille Jackson (Ames) 17:23.9; 2. Ashlyn Keeney (Liberty High) 17:44.1; 3. Lillian Schmidt (DS) 18:07.6; 4. Micah Poellet (L-M) 18:18.9; 5. Bella Heikes (JON) 18:31.4; 6. Kaia Downs (SCE) 18:38.8; 7. Claire Edmondson (DS) 18:39.7; 8. Aleah Tenpas (JON) 18:41; 9. Alli Bookin-Nosbisch (Ottumwa) 18:46.2; 10. Samantha Strauss (JON) 18:48.1; 11. Hannah Brown (DH) 18:48.5; 12. Jordyn Beck (L-M) 18:48.6; 13. Choe Skidmore (L-M) 18:48.7; 14. Phoebe Hermanson (Marshalltown) 18:50.2; 15. McKenzie Logan (Liberty High) 18:53.5

Area Qualifying teams (Team placements)

City High – 16. Rowan Boulter 19:08.3; 32. Iris Wedemeyer 19:43.7; 39. Lilly Reynolds 19:49.5; 62. Erin Anderson 20:22.1; 74. Mary Bounds 20:32.3; 86. Lucy Corbin 20:57.9; 90. Esti Brady 21:22.9

Area Individual qualifiers (Overall placement)

Liberty High – 2. Ashlyn Keeney 17:44.1; 15. McKenzie Logan 18:53.5; 60. Cami Mac 19:59.9

West High – 40. Maddy Negley 19:41.7; 45. Camden Zirker 19:46.5; 47. Annie Schwartz 19:47.1

Class 4A Girls

At Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge

Team scores – 1. West Des Moines Dowling 87; 2. Pleasant Valley 96; 3. Dubuque Hempstead 100; 4. Johnston 135; 5. Sioux City North 160; 6. Cedar Rapids Prairie 188; 7. Cedar Falls 194; 8. West High 206; 9. Southeast Polk 220; 10. Liberty High 254; 11. Ames 262; 12. Waukee 281; 13. Urbandale 286; 14. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 290; 15. Linn-Mar 302

Individual medalists – 1. Max Murphy (PV) 15:29.3; 2. Sam Hall (WDD) 15:29.5; 3. Jacob Green (CRK) 15:35; 4. Kent Nichols (PV) 15:46.1; 5. Drake Hanson (SEP) 15:46.1; 6. Ryan Winger (DH) 15:48.6; 7. Jack Pendergast (CRP) 15:53; 8. Owen Maloney (DH) 15:48.6; 9. Jaysen Bouwers (SCN) 15:54.3; 10. Max Locher (CRW) 15:57.1; 11. Mason Suarez (DH) 16:00.9; 12. Dylan Dolezal (L-M) 16:01.7; 13. Payton Marrs (URB) 16:01.8; 14. Sam Schmitz (JON) 16:01.9; 15. Zach Fry (WDD) 16:01.9.

Area Qualifying teams (Team placements)

West High – 20. Nicolo Schianchi 16:13; 29. Alex McKane 16:26.5; 32. Ken Wilbur 16:31.8; 58. Caden Noeller 16:48.4; 67. Mohan Kumar 16:57.6; 79. Raymond Yang 17:08.7

Liberty High – 36. Jack Kinzer 16:35.1; 43. Peter Woodward 16:39.2; 45. Caleb Schillinger 16:39.7; 53. Christian Montover 16:44.1; 77. Brown Gryp 17:08.1; 90. Ethan Keeney 17:30; 98. Logan Nelson 17:48.1

Area Individual qualifiers (Overall placement)

City High – 20. Ford Washburn 16:10.4

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