In the first competitive action of the season, the Waukee girls’ cross country team showcased their talents in a big way, besting the ten team field at the Cedar Rapids Prairie Invite Saturday, August 31.


The Warriors ended the day with 45 team points and a total time of 1:43:58.3 while also averaging nearly six full seconds ahead of second place Linn-Mar. The Warriors won the invite on the heels of not just five top 20 finishes or seven top 25 finishes, but also on three top five finishes. Those top three finishes were highlighted by junior Peyton Kelderman who placed third out of 82 total runners with a time of 20:07.8 which just so happened to mark the ninth fastest time by a junior in Waukee history.


Following Kelderman was the always potent Schaffer sisters Sydney and Isabelle who not only placed fourth and fifth respectively, but their times of 20:14 and 20:26 marked the fastest times by seniors in Waukee girls cross country history.


One of the hallmarks of Waukee girls cross country has been the ability for the team to remain as intact as possible from start to finish.


“We have a lot of talented girls here and a big part of that talent comes from the fact that they can mentally picture the race and focus on staying together as much as possible,” began head coach Abby Schmitz. “The mental side of the game can be extremely helpful and these girls utilize that to the best of their abilities.”


Waukee sure did that as not a single top seven runner placed beyond the top 25. Sophomore Madison Judas was next up for the Warriors, placing 14th overall with a time of 21:19.6 followed by senior Emma Shepard in 19th with a time of 21:50.2. Junior Margaux Basart mad a big stride through practice and it showcased by placing 22nd Saturday thanks to a time of 21:58.6. That was closely followed by fellow junior Ellie Huisman who clocked in a 24th place time of 22:01.2 to round out the top seven runners for the Warriors.


Other notable times for Waukee included Mallory Drake with a time of 22:16.1 along with Kariin Roush clocking in a time of 22:31.1. Rounding out the notable times for Waukee included Abby Kinney with a time of 22:41.2.


Next up on the docket for the Warrior girls includes a trip to Ames where they will battle a nine team field at the Iowa State University Cross Country course on Thursday, September 5. The nine team field includes Ankeny Centennial, Cedar Falls, Ankeny, Des Moines Hoover, Marshalltown, Grinnell, West Des Moines Valley, and Waterloo West. The initiation for the meet will be at 4 p.m.