COUNCIL BLUFFS — East High School sophomore Kaia Downs ran away from a quartet of Waukee runners to win the medalist honors at the Class 4A state qualifying cross country meet held at Gail Wickersham Athletic Complex Thursday.
North was the team champion in the boys race with four runners in the top 11 finishers, and none of them were named Jaysen Bouwers.
The boys race was won by Payton Marrs of Urbandale, who crossed the line in 16:27, just over 10 seconds ahead of runner-up Will Lohr of North. The Stars' Beshanena Gutema was seventh in 17:02 while Ahmed Dido took 10th in 17:04, just ahead of teammate Colin Greenwell who was a second back in 11th.
Downs won the girls race in 19:19.34, just under seven seconds ahead of runner up Sydney Schaffer of Waukee. East was second in the team standings and will advance to state. Sydney Helt was the second Black Raider runner to cross the finish line in 20:24.33 and teammate Karlee Philips was eighth in 20:33. Katie Lammers was fourth East finisher taking 15th in 20:49.
Lillian Garay of North was ninth in 20:34 and the Stars' Elizabeth Jordan also earned a state meet berth with a 13th place finished in 20:42.
East was seventh in the boys race with 182 points and West ninth with 267.
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