FORT DODGE — Ryan Tunink finished ninth in the Class 4A boys’ race, and became the first Waukee boys’ runner to medal at state since Tyler Rich in 2007.
Tunink, who won the state-qualifying meet, crossed the finish line in Fort Dodge in 15:43, crushing his 2012 pace by 26 seconds.
"Ryan had a terrific finish to a fine senior year," coach Josh Maxwell said. "Placing in the top 10 is special, and a very tough task. I’m excited to see what he can do on the track this spring."
Waukee, which featured six seniors in its starting lineup, finished seventh, matching its finish from a year ago and edging Ames by just one points, 179-178, for the spot.
Brennan Borgestad finished 26th in 16:04, Noah Larrison was 41st in 16:17, Austin Krohnke was 61st in 16:42 and Mohad Awan was 64th in 16:44. Freshman Kevin Kato was 100th in 17:17, and Michael Fellers was 107th in 17:30.
Maxwell is hoping the preparations made by a big senior group have rubbed off on their younger teammates.
"We have a fine group of ninth and 10th graders that know how to compete," he said. "Our seniors have shown them how to train at a high level so they know what to expect down the road. I’m very excited for their future here."
The Waukee girls jumped four places from last season’s finish to place sixth, matching their best finish from 2011. In terms of points, it was their best finish with a team score of 154. They scored 181 two years ago.
"We were very excited about how the girls finished," coach Heather Every said.
Sophomores Rachel Brush and Jordan Allen led the way for Waukee. Brush was 17th in 14:54, while Allen was 20th in 14:57. Senior Kayla Sabotin was 38rd in 15:18 and Maddie Anderson finished 44th in 15:21. A pair of freshmen, Maggie Laird (54th in 15:33) and Taylor Tornberg (91st in 16:15), rounded out the lineup.
Waukee’s 39-second spread among the five scorers was the best in the race.
"Our season theme this year was ‘Better together’ so it was very fitting, and exciting, to have a split of 39 seconds," Every said. "We talked about needing to be aware of how many people were in front of us so as not to have to battle through a huge pack if we were too deep in the race."
The Waukee girls made their ninth consecutive team appearance at state dating back to 2005.
"We focus on getting everyone to the starting line healthy and excited to compete with the best teams in the state," Every said. "We have a lot of fun together and stay loose, but focused as the championship meets approach at the end of the season."