Waukee girls cross country advances to state meet following a second place finish in Marshalltown

Andrew Brown
Dallas County News
Waukee girls cross country after capturing a state meet berth on Wednesday, Oct. 21 in Marshalltown.

Another strong outing in the books for the Waukee girls cross country team as they captured second in the state qualifying meet in Marshalltown on Wednesday, Oct. 21. 

Among the eight-team field, the Warriors captured a team time of 1:39:01.8 which was second only to West Des Moines Valley. Helping make that finish possible for Waukee were four top-15 finishers who earned All-Regional status. It marked yet another state meet appearance for the Warrior girls who will now grace the state meet for the 16th straight season.

"Our regional was really great because Ankeny was a team that has really come along," began Warrior head coach Abby Schmitz. "We knew we could compete and duel with Valley and Ankeny. We had been focused on our finish, so we improved on that and all the work really paid off for the girls."

The first individual crossing the finish line for the Warriors was senior Peyton Kelderman who set a new season-best with a time of 19:21.80. That placed Kelderman fifth overall and gave her her fourth-straight All-Regional honor and individual state qualifying outing.

"It's great to have a runner like a Peyton Kelderman leading our team," Schmitz said. "It's something a coach dreams about as she is hard-working, dedicated, kind and caring. Her sister Lindsey, even though injured, the girls look at her as a captain and it's a joy to watch those two lead this team." 

She was followed up by fellow senior Margaux Basart who placed seventh with a season-best time of 19:38.8. 

"Margaux and Miranda are relatively new to varsity running but you'd never be able to tell," said Schmitz. "This is Margaux's first consistent varsity season but you'd never know, she has such a great mental state. She never gets rattled. A bunch of these girls technically don't have much experience running in varsity meets but it's hard to tell because of how mentally strong they are." 

 Junior Molly Bannister rounded out the top-10 for the Warriors with an eighth-place finishing time of 19:40.6.

"Even from the conference meet, her placing was so much better," Schmitz said. "She's someone who has an amazing level of potential and we're excited that she's going in the direction of reaching them."

Bannister was followed by Madison Judas (15th, 20:04.7) and Mallory Drake (18th, season-best 20:15.9).

Rounding out the Warrior lineup included Miranda Basart (21st, 20:28.2) and Abby Kinney (22nd, 20:37.0). 

Next up for the Warrior girls will be  the state meet on Friday, Oct. 30 at the Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge. The 4A girls meet will start at 10:30 a.m.