It was a happy day for Waukee fans as both girls and boys cross country squads took on the 2019 state meet held at the Lakeside Golf Course in Fort Dodge Saturday, Nov. 2.


The Warrior girls captured a fourth-place team finish and a time of 1:37:04.1 while the Warrior boys took on a tough 4A field and finished 12th with a team time of 1:24:07.8. On the girl’s side, Waukee four top-30 individual finishes helped the team place fourth out of the 15 teams in attendance. Leading the way was Peyton Kelderman who placed 16th overall with a time of 18:56.6. It was not only a strong way to end the season, but a great comeback campaign for the junior as head coach Abby Schmitz talked about.


“After last year didn’t quite go her way, it takes a lot for someone to battle back like that and prove what she’s capable of,” began Schmitz. “She was off to a good start and just ran her race, didn’t let anything stand in the way of that.”


Following Kelderman was the ever consistent Sydney Schaffer who wrapped up her high school cross country career with a 20th place finish. Schaffer fell just over a minute off of last years’ state meet time but managed a strong finish with a time of 19:06.5. She was followed up by the pair of Molly Bannister and Isabelle Schaffer who crossed the finish line in 26th and 27th place. Bannister continued a strong sophomore campaign that ended even stronger, a feat that was highlighted by coach Schmitz.


“She has grown very comfortable at the varsity level and although she was a little nervous, really crushed it today,” said Schmitz. “There’s a lot of room for her to grow but she sure has a great start.”


Bannister clocked in a time of 19:15.7 followed by Schaffers time of 19:16.7. Emma Shepard continued the Warrior runners with a 91st place finish and a time of 20:28.6 followed by senior Jessica Caraway and sophomore Maddie Judas who finished 100th and 101st respectively with times of 20:42.7 and 20:42.8. It turned out to be one of the best overall finishes by a Waukee girls team at state in program history.


On the boys’ side of things, the Warriors placed two inside the top 50 individual runners. Leading the way individually was sophomore Kyle Ruby who placed 29th overall with a time of 16:21.9. He was followed by fellow sophomore David Parks who posted one of hist better times of the season at 16:36.0 to place 43rd overall out of 124 runners. Juniors Jacob Christensen and Vincent Hodges continued things for the Warrior boys with finishes of 80th place 82nd place respectively thanks to times of 17:00.2 and 17:01.7.


Multi-year starter and current senior Jackson Smith followed suit with a 90th place finish and a time of 17:08.0 followed by junior Nathan Holstrom in 97th (17:11.1) and Tyler Stallman who rounded out the Warrior line up in 122nd place (18:01.1).