IOWA CITY, Iowa - On a beautiful afternoon for running Thursday here at the Bob Brown Invitational, Iowa City Liberty's Ashlyn Keeney and Marion's Harrison Vanderlind raced to victory. Solon captured the girls team title, while Marion won on the girls side.
Keeney, a freshman, has now won both of her varsity races. She captured last week's Iowa City West's Early Bird Invitational. She won that competition in 18:12.
With less of a push from the other runners Thursday, Keeney completed the course in 19:10, easily outdistancing her teammates McKenzie Logan (20:23) and (20:43), who finished second and third, respectively. Mount Vernon-Lisbon's Aubrey Frey (20:58) finished fourth, one spot ahead of Marion's Corrina Dittmer (21:13).
Keeney may have snuck up on folks in her first race, but she showed Thursday she could be a force to be reckoned with this fall.
"I think I kind of knew how I would do (from training), but maybe not this well. It feels pretty great," she said.
Vanderlind was motivated by disappointed. He came up short of gold during races at Mount Vernon and Cedar Rapids Prairie. He wasn't about to let it happen again.
"Now I know what I have to do to win the races," he said. "I have to get out smart and then get out in front of the other kids. It's just all mental."
Vanderlind finished the course in 17:21, comfortably ahead second-place Jack Sexton (17:46.10) of Clear Creek Amana. Tipton's Caleb Shumaker (17:46.65) came in third with CCA teammates Nick O'Connor (17:53) and Brandon Barker (17:55) next across the line.
The Marion boys won with 38 points while Clear Creek Amana was second with 50.
On the girls side, Solon won with 66. Liberty took second with 70.
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