(Photo Courtesy of Rob Howe)
IOWA CITY, Iowa - North Scott grabbed three of the top five spots Thursday at the University of Iowa Ashton Cross Country Course to claim the victory at the Iowa City West Earlybird Invitational.
Davenport Assumption sophomore Chris Guise won the race in 16:48.0. He was looking to up his game after finishing 59th in his first state cross country meet last year (17:23.0).
"The goal today was trying to pick up where I left off last year," he said. "I just ran my hardest to see where I was at. I hadn't raced in a couple of months. I just wanted to go out there and do my best."
North Scott junior Jackson Schrock finished second (16:55.9) with teammates Colin Wiersema (17:44.3) and Gabe Jensen (17:46.4) coming fourth and fifth, respectively. Iowa City Liberty sophomore Peter Woodward took third (17:14.1).
"I've been trying to break 17 (minutes) and that was really my goal today," Schrock said. "I knew I could have, if I tried my hardest, probably gotten first but I'm happy with what I did."
Schrock said he thought he could win the race early.
"Coming around mile two I thought [Guise] started to die and I started to creep up towards him but I think one of the hills overtook me so I couldn't pass him," Schrock said.
Schrock took pride in his team coming out on top with a group of Lancer runners closely bunched.
"I really want to help my team because our top six were like 40 or 50 seconds off. I think they help me out because some workouts they even beat me out. If we work together, I'll have that chance (to make it to state) and they'll have that chance also," he said.
Guise said he didn't know what to expect Thursday but he was pleased with the results.
"It's kind of tough because you never know where you're at fitness wise but today I just felt good right out of the gate," he said. "I felt really good that first mile and just kept on pushing and ran a PR (personal record)."
Assumption's Will Rolfstad (17:50.7) finished sixth.
It was the first race for Liberty High, which opened its doors this month.
Check out more coverage from the race, including photos, videos, and interviews here!