SOLON, Iowa - Ashlyn Keeney admitted she was "really nervous" going up against one of the state's most established runners in Mid-Prairie's Marie Hostettler Monday afternoon here at the Solon Invitational. When it was over, she proved she belonged to be in the conversation among the best.
The Iowa City Liberty High freshman raced to victory in 17:56. Hostettler took second in 18:42.
"I tried to get out fast and keep my pace but then she got ahead of me," Keeney said. "So, I was trying to just stick with her. Then at about a mile and a half my coach said, 'Ok, Ashlyn, it's time to go' because we were focusing on that part of the race. I always feel like I don't go fast enough on mile two."
Clear Creek Amana's Jack Sexton finished first in the boys race, crossing the line in 16:57. Tipton's Caleb Shumaker took second in 17:11.
"Going into that second lap back into the woods, I definitely felt like the North Scott kid (Jackson Schrock) and Brandon (Barker) and Caleb were pushing me and it just felt good," Sexton said.
CCA took the boys team title with 32. Barker finished third 17:21, just ahead of teammate Cole Liebe (17:22). Tipton (61) took second.
Bettendorf won on the girls side with 90, just edging out Wiliamsburg (93), Liberty (97) and North Scott (98). Liberty teammates Camille Mac (19:34) and McKenzie Logan (20:10) took third and fourth, respectively, as individuals.
You can watch the girls race HERE.
You can watch the boys race HERE.
See photos from both races HERE.