CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Ashlyn Keeney and Jack Pendergast raced to victory Thursday in the stacked MVC Super Meet here at Noelridge Park. The Dubuque Senior girls and the Dubuque Hempstead boys claimed the team titles.
Keeney, a freshman from Iowa City Liberty, remained unbeaten in her varsity career. She finished this course in 17:36, comfortably ahead of Linn-Mar's Micah Poelett (18:14). Dubuque Senior's Claire Edmondson (18:45) and Lillian Schmidt (18:54) finished third and fourth, respectively. Wahlert's Gabby Moran (19:00) was fifth.
Keeney ran here when she was junior high but this was her first time on the varsity course. She glided over the hills and answered a mid-race push from Poellet.
"That gave me something to make me go faster, motivation," Keeney said. "It kind of makes me a little more tired because I have something I'm thinking about mentally. But it definitely helped me.
The boys race was wild. The first start was called back when a runner fell. Then, Pendergast fell down shortly after the restart. Finally, one of the race favorites, Kolby Greiner from Iowa City West, pulled up late in the race with what appeared to be an injury after running in the lead pack for much of the way.
Pendergast recovered from his spill and ran in the front pack. The Cedar Rapids Prairie junior pulled away to win it in 15:57. Cedar Rapids Kennedy's Jacob Green (16:03) was next across the finish line. Linn-Mar's Dylan Dolezal (16:17), Cedar Falls' Brandon Conrad (16:21) and Hempstead's Ben Hermiston (16:22) rounded out the Top 5.
Pendergast was gunning for his good friend, Greiner, in this race. Even though their competition didn't carry all the way to the finish line, he felt good about how he ran.
"This kind of relieved some pressure because I know I can beat him," Pendergast said. "Just knowing that I can just helps my mental game going into the next races."
You can see photos from both races HERE.
You can watch the girls race HERE.
You can watch the boys race HERE.