GARNER — Garner-Hayfield/Ventura/West Hancock cross country coach Jeff Short liked what he saw out of his two squads on Monday.
Joel Toppin won the boys race in a time of 16 minutes, 40 seconds as Garner-Hayfield/Ventura/West Hancock won the team title with 47 points at Garner Country Club.
“I feel pretty good,” Toppin said. “I keep improving which is what you want to do around this time (of the year). Things are looking good.”
Toppin finished 25 seconds ahead of Lake Mills’ Zach Marpe and was 29 seconds clear of North Iowa’s Brian Becker and Connor Smith.
“I liked to see him come out and control the race,” Short said. “In the past, he’s been challenged throughout races but this shows he’s feeling good.”
Toppin said he wasn’t positive how far in front he was, but the course’s design helped ease his concerns.
“With the curves toward the end I could check to see how close they were to me,” Toppin said. “It’s nice running against them. They’re really good competition.”
Toppin wasn’t the G-H/V/WH to have a good day as he was joined in the top 10 by Chase Smith (17:19) and Brad Nedved (17:45) while AJ Arnold finished 13th (18:04) and Aaron Boehnke 19th (18:48) rounded out the team scoring.
North Iowa took second with 67 points, led by Becker and Smith, who placed third and fourth, respectively, while Osage was third with 70 points as the Green Devils received top-10 finishes from Jonah Roggensack (seventh), Tyler Randall (eighth) and Lucas Maakestad (10th).
“North Iowa is running very well, Osage is running well, even Central Springs,” Short said. “They’re all very respectable programs with great groups of boys so I was pleased with the way it turned out.”
Meanwhile, G-H/V/WH dominated the girls race.
The G-H/V/WH girls took the top four places, paced by Kamille Kronemann’s winning time of 15:51, en route to 21 points and the team title.
“It was fun and just knowing that we had that many people come in order, that’s nice,” Kronemann said. “It’s nice to be at a home meet because we always seem to do better.”
Osage placed second as a team with 69 points, paced by Alex Byrnes’ seventh-place finish in 16:54 while North Iowa was third with 76 points, led by Madison Blodgett’s fifth-place finish in 16:48.
Individually, Tiara VanGerpen placed second in 16:36, Maribel Zamago was third in 16:41, Maddie Tusha was fourth in 16:44 and Kelly Anderson finished 11th in 17:19 for G-H/V/WH.
“This is a good, fast course,” Short said. “There’s not a lot of hills and it’s pretty flat. I thought we ran very well for this time of the season. That’s what I was looking for.”
GARNER-HAYFIELD/VENTURA/WEST HANCOCK INVITATIONAL
AT GARNER COUNTRY CLUB
GIRLS TEAM STANDINGS
Garner-Hayfield/Ventura/West Hancock 21, Osage 69, North Iowa 76, Central Springs 98, West Fork 112, Belmond-Klemme 157.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS — Kamille Kronemann (G-H/V/WH) 15:51, Tiara VanGerpen (G-H/V/WH) 16:36, Maribel Zamago (G-H/V/WH) 16:41, Maddie Tusha (G-H/V/WH) 16:44, Madison Blodgett (NI) 16;48, Maya Rowe (WF) 16:53, Alex Byrnes (O) 16:54, Lauren Franke (CS) 17:01, Brooke Hovland (NI) 17:01, Jayme Blaser (O) 17:07.
BOYS TEAM STANDINGS
Garner-Hayfield/Ventura/West Hancock 47, North Iowa 67, Osage 70, Central Springs 89, West Fork 118, Belmond-Klemme 187, Lake Mills N/A.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS — Joel Toppin (G-H/V/WH) 16:40, Zach Marpe (LM) 17:05, Brian Becker (North Iowa) 17:09, Connor Smith (NI) 17:09, Chase Smith (G-H/V/WH) 17:19, Peyton Twedt (WF) 17:22, Jonah Roggensack (O) 17:30, Tyler Randall (O) 17:39, Brad Nedved (G-H/V/WH) 17:45, Lucas Maakestad (O) 17:47.