DENISON - For all its cross country success over the last decade, the Glenwood boys have just one district title to show for its efforts.
After Thursday, make that two district titles.
The No. 2 ranked Rams placed three runners in the top four and bested the field for a relatively easy Class 3A District title at Denison High School on Thursday.
Johnny Fuller, the top ranked runner all season in Class 3A, was the district champion. Fuller’s time of 15:45 was five seconds better than second place Ryan McMahon of Algona. Ram teammates Mark Abrams placed third and Kyle Wheeler was fourth.
“We ran very well. We got three in the top four, can’t complain there,” said Peverill. “Johnny going against McMahan, who is highly ranked in the state, ran very hard and stuck with him, and Johnny got him at the end.
“We’re right where we want to be. We won the meet, we’re sitting real good. Now we just have to put it all together.”
Jordan Krug was slowed by ashtma-related symptoms before the race and placed 16th for Glenwood.
“He was way off his pace,” Peverill of Krug. “He runs his usual time, he’s probably top 10, maybe seventh.”
Jakob Rhodes added a 31st place finish, with Justin Sunderman placing 35th and Riley Townsend 56th.
The Rams’ 55 team points was 43 points better than team runner-up MOC-Floyd Valley. Sioux City Heelan was the third and final team state qualifier with 101 points. Hawkeye 10 conference rival Harlan just missed qualifying with a team score of 102.
The Glenwood girls also just narrowly missed qualifying for state but just three points to the third place Cyclones. Sioux City Heelan ran away with the team title with 49 points to runner-up Algona’s 79 points.
For Glenwood girls coach Brad Rasmussen, the three point loss was a bitter pill to swallow.
“Three points,” said Rasmussen shaking his head. “Three points.”
“I think I’d have rather we lost by 50 points,” said Glenwood assistant coach Eric Rasmussen.
Carlie Cooper was a bright spot for the Rams. The freshman placed third overall and became the Rams’ first state qualifier since 2005 after running a 15:40. Abby Wostoupal of Sioux City Heelan was the district champion with a time of 15:36 and Cierra Guerroa was third in 15:38.
“She was four seconds out of first, she ran really well but to be honest everybody ran well today,” said Brad Rasmussen. “Two places here or there or a couple spots around the course and we’re right where want to be.”
The Rams’ lone senior, Kayla Anderson, placed 18th for Glenwood.
“I guess I’m more disappointed for Kayla, she’s been a such a great leader this year,” Brad Rasmussen said. “She stepped up as a senior. Carlie comes in as our No. 1 runner and Kayla, who had been out No. 1, is No. 2 and she accepted that. And she got the girls just about where we needed to be.
“The girls have to realize, we need every single one of them back next year. And they need to work just a little bit harder to stay in contention.”
Fuller knew he’d have to run well to stay in contention with McMahon, a three-time state place winner and ranked No. 2 in the state currently, and stuck to his game plan to do it.
“He likes to start fast and he really pushes the pace,” said Fuller of McMahon. “Sometimes you just have to sit back and relax behind him. that’s what I did for the the whole race until the last half mile and it worked out pretty well.”
Fuller’s first mile was his fastest of the season by more than 14 seconds. Fuller started his kick at about 2.5 mile mark and it didn’t take him long to pass McMahon down the stretch.
“I knew he’d get out quick so I held on and waited until it was time and then held on,” he said. “I’m really glad it went the way it did because I want to go out that fast at state and I wanted to get used to that fatigue early in the race and battle through it. I think if I can have that same gameplan at state I think this was a good experience for that.”
The choppy Denison course, which Peverill made no bones about his dislike for, includes segments ff running on concrete, gravel, bare dirt and dodging several street signs. All of his team’s times, the coach predicted, would be better at state.
“I really think Johnny, Mark and Kyle can be in the top 10 if they run like this next week,” said Peverill.
The state cross country meet begins Saturday at 1a a.m. at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge with the Class 4A girls race. The Class 3A races begin at 12 p.m.