SIOUX CITY | Phoenix Larned spent his entire summer gearing up for this cross country season.
The West junior made all that summer hard work pay off in the first high school meet of the 2015 season by claiming the first individual title of his career.
Larned, who spent a week in Colorado training at high altitude during the summer, posted a winning time of 16:39.0 over 5,000 meters to claim the boys race at the Heelan Invite run at wet and sloppy SYA Complex on Friday.
“We had some spots with two inches of water, little bit of mud, it was fun,” said Larned. “I’ve run all summer. I went to Colorado to do some altitude training and that really helps. I came back here and we have done longer runs, more tempo runs.”
Larned broke away from the pack after the first mile and posted a 14 second win over runner-up Camden Beller of North.
Larned has big goals for this his third season of high school cross country.
“My focus this summer was to focus not on the Sioux City schools, but to focus on the schools on the other side of the state and try and go to state,” said Larned. “That’s the goal.”
Beller led a strong North contingent to the team title as the Stars placed all five of their counting runners in the top 11.
North, scoring 30 points, had six runners in the top 14 while runner-up Bishop Heelan scored 53 points.
The Heelan girls, ranked seventh in Class 3A by the Iowa Association of Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches, won a close race with East for the team title, 51-57.
The Crusaders, led by individual runner-up Kali Ryan (19:48.18) had six runners in the top 20. Meanwhile, East, led by sixth-place finisher Sami McCulley (20:32.79) had six runners in the top 18.
Woodbury Central/Kingsley-Pierson sophomore Suzanne Putze made the jump up from 4,000 meters to 5,000 meters look easy, claiming her fifth individual title of her career in 19:28.41.
Putze is coming off a freshman season in which she won four times and just missed a state meet medal with an 11th place finish in Class 2A.
“I definitely would say it was more of a mental block for me,” said Putze of the increase in distance. “I just really had to push towards the end and in the middle I just had to tell myself, 'you have to go for it, you’ve got to go for first, you got to push' and I didn’t want that to interfere.
“When you think of it, it’s actually not that much further.”
North junior Lillyana Yebra finished third followed by Woodbury Central/Kingsley-Pierson teammates KayLynne Bechen and Rylee Wright.
Team standings: North 30, Bishop Heelan 53, East 69, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 106, West 125, Woodbury Central/Kingsley-Pierson 198, West Monona 202, Westwood 217, Whiting 217.
Top 15 finishers: 1, Phoenix Larned, West, 16:39.0; 2, Camden Beller, North, 16:53.93; 3, Daniel Folchert, North, 17:19.66; 4, Conner Ritz, Bishop Heelan, 17:20.01; 5, Will Zeman, North, 17:32.04; 6, Miles Scott, Sergeant Bluff-Luton, 17:32.69; 7, William Hlas, East, 17:35.92; 8, Adam Friessen, Bishop Heelan, 17:44.90; 9, Kaleb Maynard, North, 17:59.18; 10, Jeremy Hill, East, 18:10.46; 11, Jacobus Noble, North, 18:23.52; 12, Sean Callaghan, Bishop Heelan, 18:26.59; 13, Nathan Barber, Bishop Heelan, 18:27.58; 14, Jackson Baker, North, 18:28.25; 15, Cole Taylor, East, 18:31.18.
Team standings: Bishop Heelan 51, East 57, North 75, Woodbury Central/Kingsley-Pierson 76, West 106, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 161, West Monona 198, Westwood 211
Top 15 finishers: 1, Suzanne Putze, WC/KP, 19:28.41; 2, Kali Ryan, Bishop Heelan, 19:48.18; 3, Lillyana Yebra, North, 19:49.16; 4, KayLynne Bechen, WC/KP, 20:10.23; 5, Rylee Wright, WC/KP, 20:32.49; 6, Sami McCulley, East, 20:32.79; 7, Annie Jensen, Bishop Heelan, 20:33.02; 8, Lauren Luft, Bishop Heelan, 20:49.39; 9, Mercy Oyadare, North, 20:59.52; 10, Hailey Pullman, West Sioux, 21:17.87; 11, Kierra McKernan, West, 21:25.49; 12, Lauren VanDyke, East, 21:35.33; 13, Joslyn Hill, East, 21:36.37; 14, Alee Lewis, East, 21:36.79; 15, Kathleen Meis, West, 21:45.67.
Team standings: North 15, Bishop Heelan 58, West 79, East 87
Top 10 finishers: 1, Parker Burrack, North, 18:29.67; 2, Caleb Miller, North, 18:39.41; 3, Aaron Eybers, North, 18:46.52; 4, Chris Okine, North, 18:55.75; 5, Dakota South, North, 18:59.68; 6, Daniel Alvarado, Bishop Heelan, 19:05.33; 7, Ryan Goose Noble, North, 19:21.17; 8, Ethan Sorenson, North, 19:29.85; 9, Boden Christensen, North, 19:30.49; 10, Ethan Emerick, North, 19:34.49.
Team standings: Bishop Heelan 15, North 55, East 92, West 98, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 122
Top 10 finishers: 1, Ashlyn Peck, Bishop Heelan, 20:56.68; 2, Hanna Hutchinson, Bishop Heelan, 21:24.59; 3, Ashley Aesoph, Bishop Heelan, 22:00.04; 4, Nicole Kratz, Bishop Heeelan, 22:19.10; 5, Kiley Boeshart, Bishop Heelan, 22:26.63; 6, Madison Jochum, Bishop Heelan, 22:35.63; 7, Nicole Prescott, North, 23:20.74; 8, Jessica Kratz, Bishop Heelan, 23:22.18; 9, Gabby Kukuk, Bishop Heelan, 23:23.63; 10, Jenna Courey, North, 23:26.15.