MASON CITY, Iowa – With the postseason now in full-swing, the Top of Iowa Conference held its 2018 cross country meet at the North Iowa Area Community College on Monday.
“Coach and I decided, you know, that we would save myself today and then really go forward on Thursday,” said Reece Smith of Garner-Hayfield-Ventura.
That was the mindset shared among many coaches and athletes at this particular meet.
“Today, I thought it was going to be really brutal running in the cold,” said McKenna Weaver of West Fork. “It ended up being almost a perfect day; the sun was shining, you get a little bit of a breeze, and it came down to a battle at the end.”
A battle it was. Weaver ran second and third throughout much of the race until –
“About the last 200-meters,” said Weaver.
The boys winner, Reece Smith, told KIMT he was saving himself today for the postseason and admits there are some things he looks to improve.
“I’m trying to work on my tail-end of the race for the postseason races,” said Smith. “I was just really trying to key-in on the last mile-and-a-half.
Newman Catholic won both varsity races as a team.
Both runners say that winning conference as individuals means a lot to them.
“(It) feels great, you know? I’ve been running here since my freshman year and this is actually my first conference win and as a senior, that feels great,” said Weaver.
“My brother was a conference champion and I won this my sophomore year so it’s good to get it back in my hands,” added Smith.
Weaver says this win came at just the right time for her.
“It was definitely a needed race for me befause I hadn’t ran since - it was probably about a month because the weather and so many ,eets had been cancelled and I was sick the last week,” said Weaver.
As for Thursday’s state qualifier, Smith says his team is excited.
“We’re pretty excited. We’re not ranked, but I think we’re a team that could upset everybody and I think we should definitely be making it to Fort Dodge,” said Smith.
State qualifications begin on Thursday.