Storylines upon storylines surrounded the fall sports teams in Keokuk County entering the 2013-14 school year.
With high expectations for some and a clean slate with renewed hope for others; teams around the area prepared all summer for what they hoped would be a special fall.
They say you’re supposed to save the best for last, but when a state champion is involved, traditional protocol can be ignored.
The Pekin girls’ cross country team was the best Class 1A team in Iowa this year; running away with the State title in Fort Dodge by a comfortable margin. The Panthers did it with one senior, five sophomores and a freshman, and also without one of its top runners, freshman Bonnie Becker. Pekin placed three girls in the top 21 in the Class 1A field and was led by Gwynne Wright, who placed seventh with a time of 15:17. The Pekin boys also made a splash by qualifying as a team for the State Meet. Sophomore Austin Fariss placed 17th overall in Class 1A by running a 17:11, marking his second State appearance in as many years.
Staying on the topic of cross country State Meet, the area had one more runner whose name needs mentioned. English Valleys’ Allison Hewett reached Fort Dodge in her senior season after coming up one spot short as a junior. Hewett placed 71st out of 126 runners in Class 1A, giving her great momentum for track and field this spring. As a team, the Bears came through with a third-place finish at SICLs in Lynnville and had impressive seasons from Hannah Green, Amelia Koehn and Abby Westhoff.
After winning the South Iowa Cedar League in 2012, the Sigourney boys fielded an almost entirely new squad this fall, yet still managed to maintain a high level of performance. The Savages finished fourth as a team in the SICL this fall and were led by freshman Tyler Crawford, who placed fifth in the conference and 20th at District. Another freshman, Will Flanegin, proved more than capable of making an impact by finishing 14th at SICLs, while Nathan Fritz continued to perform by finishing 16th.
The whole review is available in this week's SNR.