DCG cross country crowned state champs for the third time, Ramsey earns solo title

Sean Cordy, Correspondent
Special to Dallas County News
Dallas Center-Grimes senior Aidan Ramsey smiles as he crosses the finish line to win a Class 3A state cross country title during the Iowa high school state cross country meet on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Fort Dodge.

Once, twice, three times a champion.

For the third year in a row, the Dallas Center-Grimes boys cross country team took a bow at Fort Dodge as state champions in Class 3A, capping off another incredible season. That makes the Mustangs just the 17th team in Iowa history to win back-to-back-to-back team titles, and just the sixth after 1980 to do so.

While a team effort, the Mustangs were guided by Aidan Ramsey, who took gold after placing third last year. Not only did he cross the tape first, he was virtually untouchable. As a junior in 2020, Ramsey finished in 16 minutes 5.50 seconds. This year, he cruised to a finish of 15:36.08 which would have placed fifth among all classes, and second place behind last season's champ.

Dallas Center-Grimes senior Aidan Ramsey (No. 417) leads the pack along the route during the Class 3A Iowa high school state cross country meet on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Fort Dodge.

"I was just trying to stay as relaxed as possible for the beginning stages of the race," Ramsey said. "I waited until I had a lot of momentum, then I went for it."

Ramsey was held in a virtual tie for second place through a mile, running a 4:54 split while Epworth Western's Eli Naumann held a six second lead. He'd eventually lose steam and fall back while Ramsey gained on him, running in-stride with Center Point-Urbana's Eli Larson at the front of the pack over the next mile. And that's where Ramsey would stay for the next 2.2 miles as he finished eight seconds ahead of second place.

Dallas Center-Grimes senior Jacob Ewers makes his way along the route during the Class 3A Iowa high school state cross country meet on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Fort Dodge.

Tate McDermott also climbed the ladder for DCG as he worked from 13th place after one mile, to 10th overall with a 16:28.11 time. Contributing to the overall team score as well, the rest of the team finished in order: Jacob Ewers (16:49.67, 19th); Owen Pries (16:59.66, 22nd); Ben Every (16:59.82, 24th); AJ Angus (17:05.02, 28th); and Jack Every (17:42.44, 63rd).

As a team, the Mustangs were in a virtual tie with Marion through one mile as DCG trailed by two points through one mile, only to take over the rest of the way, narrowly winning with the lowest tally of 60 points for a two point advantage over Marion.

The DCG boys were not alone, though, as the girls team finished third overall led by Maddy Stevens in 23rd place with a time of 20:02.09, closely followed by Hannah Little (20:09.65, 32nd); Meredith McDermott (20:22.39, 38th); and Abbey Angus (20:23.62, 39th). Dakota Newcomb (20:40.34, 53rd); Vanessa Bickford (20:50.20, 59th); and Skyler Blessman (21:34.22, 100th) rounded out the roster.

Joe Randleman, with the Ames Tribune, contributed to this report.

Dallas Center-Grimes sophomore Abbey Angus makes her way along the route during the Class 3A Iowa high school state cross country meet on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, in Fort Dodge.