FORT DODGE — Colfax-Mingo senior Abbey McConeghey and Baxter senior Logan Berg both came into the state cross country meet with hopes of bringing back a state medal.
Unfortunately, McConeghey couldn’t keep up with the fast pace of Class 2A runners in her girls’ 5K race and the cold weather affected Berg’s performance in the 1A boys’ 5K race.
McConeghey finished 45th in her second Iowa State High School Cross Country Championships at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course and Berg was 50th in his fourth state meet.
Berg, who came into the race ranked 26th, finished the 1A boys’ race in 17 minutes, 43 seconds. The final all-state spot came in at 16:49.
The boys’ 1A winner was Nodaway Valley senior and top-ranked Joshua Baudler, who finished in 16:11.
“I felt really good coming in. We tried to prepare for the weather,” Berg said. “Then I get here and feel cold. I start losing distance and then it’s all mental from there.”
Like every other runner who marches through the state course, the end results won’t define Berg’s career. He’s a four-time state qualifier who plans to run in college. His best finish at state was 17th last season.
“I am frustrated right now, but I am definitely happy I am even here,” Berg said. “Some don’t even get that opportunity. I got to do it four times. I plan on running in college so I will redeem myself there.”
McConeghey was upset at her finish, too. No. 19, McConeghey finished 45th in 20:55.6.
The 2A girls’ race had an extremely fast start. McConeghey said she did her best to stay with the lead group but fell back before the first mile. She made a move with about 800 meters to go and passed a handful of runners but had to slow down after feeling a sharp pain in her side.
“I am a little upset that I didn’t run my best time,” McConeghey said, “I got out fast. I tried to stay up there, but it was tough. The side ache hit me bad with about 800 meters to go. I should have just sucked it up and went for it but didn’t. I slowed down a lot.”
Colfax-Mingo co-head coaches Jacob Crouse and Zach Tomas are happy with how McConeghey ran in her final race. Just getting back to the state’s biggest stage after battling back from an injury was a huge accomplishment.
“She ran really well. We told her to borderline sprint at the start. And then see what you can do after that,” Crouse said. “We are still proud of her. This is where she wanted to end her career. This is a very positive outcome.”
Top-ranked senior Marie Hostetler of second-ranked Mid-Prairie won her third straight 2A state title. She finished her final prep race in 17:58.2.
The final all-state position in the girls’ 2A race finished in 19:46.1.