Area Athletes Wrap Up Cross Country Season at State Meet

by Tyler Lance
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Runners from across the state of Iowa battled upper 30s temperatures and windy conditions at Kennedy Park in Fort Dodge for Friday’s day one action at the state cross country meet.

West Bend-Mallard sophomore Tyra Schupbach was the top area finisher in the girls class 1A race, placing 15th to earn the final all-state spot, clocking in at 19 minutes and 44 seconds. Schupbach used an aggressive start to get into a good spot early, positioning herself near the top five right off the bat in the opening strides of the race. Schupbach stayed in the top ten for the first two miles of the 5k race, crossing the one mile mark in seventh place in 5:55, and the two mile mark in tenth in 12:23. Schupbach would finish 15th, five seconds ahead of Earlham’s Olivia Spurling for the final all-state spot in class 1A. Schupbach’s 15th place finish marked a three place improvement from her 18th place finish last year as a freshman.

The North Union duo of junior Jacey Welbig and freshman Alexis Cummins finished back to back in the race, with Welbig taking 26th in 20:16.6 and Cummings placing 27th in 20:16.8. Cummins held her position inside of the top 30 throughout the race, as she was 26th at the one mile mark in 6:12, 25th at the two mile in 12:58, and 27th at the finish line. Welbig used a strong last mile to improve by 9 places, as the junior sat in 35th place at both the mile and two mile mark, seven and six seconds behind Cummins splits respectively. The 26th place finish marked the third top 30 placing in the career of the North Union junior, as she took 29th last year and 21st in 2021. Welbig’s time was also a season best by two seconds, and just eight seconds off of her career best time in spite of the cold and windy conditions.

In the boys class 1A race, North Union senior Gavyn Morphew made his state debut in the final race of his career, finishing 83rd in 18:08. Morphew was 57th place at the mile with a split of 5:26, and 78th at the two mile in 11:30. Moprhew’s long awaited state debut came after his 11th place finish at the district meet last year, which had Morphew missing a state qualification by just eight-tenths of a second.

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