WEBSTER CITY - Tiffany Christensen started the 2013 cross country season just how she hopes to finish it Tuesday night.
The Eagle Grove senior star easily earned her third straight Lynx Invitational individual title, clocking a winning mark of 15:57.92. Algona's Tangy Wiseman (16:10.70) settled for a runner-up effort, while Sam Larson (16:11.78) of Humboldt claimed bronze.
"I was shooting for the course record of 15.33, but I got a side cramp," said the two-time defending North Central Conference and district gold medalist Christensen, who placed third at state a year ago. "I did track workouts all summer long with (Griswold's reigning 1A state champion) Rebekah Topham in AAU, so I feel like I'm a lot stronger now.
Photo by Troy Banning, for The Messenger
Eagle Grove’s Tiffany Christensen runs ahead of the field during the Webster City Invitational on Tuesday. For more photos, please visit CU.freemanjournal.net
"(Last night) was still a good time, but it was not what I wanted."
Christensen's previous crowns at the Webster City Links came in times of 15:48 and 15:54, respectively.
Algona, which won the 2012 NCC championship, also repeated in the team race, posting 45 points. Humboldt (56) and Boone (80) were next in line. Host Webster City (120) checked in fifth, while St. Edmond (197) was eighth and Fort Dodge Senior High (201) was ninth.
"I was really happy with how our girls performed," AHS head coach Chad Ahlers said. "Our depth is definitely going to be our strength this year. Tangy had just an amazing finish and blew past a bunch of girls at the end. I didn't even realize she got second until about 10 minutes after the race was over."
Rounding out the rest of the Bulldog counters were Carissa Pityer (7th, 17:34.12), Morgan Van Zante (10th, 17:49.31), Megann Schmidt (14th, 18:14.63) and Anna Zeller (17th, 18:18.19).
In addition to Larson, the Wildcats were represented by Maddie Kampen (5th, 16:44.38), Kate Curran (16th, 18:17.24), Avery Terwilliger (18th, 18:18.50) and Kessa Kuyper (20th, 18:24.85).
Madi Reel (34th, 19:26.13), Kara Salinas (37th, 19:38.15), Leah Cosgrove (38th, 19:38.83), Joeli Koenig (46th, 20:14.71) and Jaci Brungardt (58th, 20:47.62) filled out the Gael lineup.
"Our girls have been dealing with some injuries and still have to get in better shape, but I thought we packed up pretty well, too," said SEHS head coach Mike Szalat. "The important thing is that we make sure we're peaking come October."
Madi Bodholdt (25th, 18:46.65), Sydney Crotts (42nd, 20:01.26), Megan Nebel (48th, 20:16.68), Katarina Olson (49th, 20:19.06) and Bailey Wade (51st, 20:32.16) all competed for Fort Dodge.
"Most of our girls are new to the program outside of Madi, so we didn't really know what to expect the first time out," FDSH head coach Tim Hanson said. "We can use this (Lynx Invitational) as a good learning experience and try to keep getting better every single meet."
Webster City's Ashley Flaws (23rd, 18:37.60), Southeast Webster-Grand's Emma Luhmann (8th, 17:39.60), Prairie Valley's Erica Rittgers (9th, 17:42.05), Clarion-Goldfield's Claire Davis (13th, 18:14.16) and Manson Northwest Webster's Katlyn Thompson (53rd, 20:34.66) highlighted the action for each of their programs.
"I'm very thankful for the community support we had (Tuesday) at The Links," said WCHS head coach Tony Bussan. "For a lover of cross country, there were some outstanding individual races."