Madison Tollefson (center) and Taryn Sanderman (right) race to the finish line for 12th and 13th places, respectively to help Decorah its 17th consecutive title Tuesday at Crestwood. (Photo by Becky Walz)
Madison Tollefson (center) and Taryn Sanderman (right) race to the finish line for 12th and 13th places, respectively to help Decorah its 17th consecutive title Tuesday at Crestwood. (Photo by Becky Walz)

All things were golden for the Decorah cross country teams Tuesday night as the Vikings swept all four titles at the Northeast Iowa Conference Meet at Cresco.

It marks the sixth straight season the boys’ and girls’ varsity squads have both won the conference crowns. In addition, the girls’ team extends the longest string of championships of any sport in the history of the NEIC to 17 titles.

The varsity girls, ranked No. 9 in Class 3A, posted 45 points on the way to the victory. Waverly-Shell Rock was the runner-up with 60 points, followed by Class 3A No. 15 Charles City with 61.

The Viking boys, ranked No. 8 in Class 3A, were the clear winner with 25 points over Waverly-Shell Rock’s 52.

The JV boys’ and girls’ squads each posted perfect scores of 15 to win the NEIC races as well.


17 titles in a row

The varsity girls had five harriers place in the top 15 to garner all-NEIC honors. As a team, they had an average time of 21:36.

Charles City’s Class 3A No. 5 Kiki Connell was the overall champion in 19:11.2.

Decorah sophomore Rebecca Anderson was the bronze medalist for the second year in a row, crossing the finish line in 19:35.6. Sam See earned her second all-conference honor for her eighth-place finish in 21:59.5 with Leila Johnson beside her finishing in 21:59.6, good for ninth place. Touring the course in 22:10.6 was Madison Tollefson, coming in 12th for her first all-NEIC honor. Rounding out the team score in 13th place and a time of 22:11.7 was Taryn Sanderman.

Also, on the course for Decorah were Abby Halverson (18th, 22:34.6) and Annalise Skrade (21st, 22:45.9).


Hogan takes second gold

Putting six runners in the top 15 for all-NEIC honors, the Decorah boys produced an average time of 17:48.

For the second year in a row, Brady Hogan broke the tape in the boys’ race, finishing in 17:08.5 for the title which marks his third all-NEIC nod. The senior is currently ranked fourth in Class 3A.

Noah Lovelace, ranked No. 22 in Class 3A, edged New Hampton’s Dylan Usher, ranked No. 16 in Class 2A, out at the line for the silver medal in 17:47.4 Rounding out the top five was Arlo Hayes touring the course in 17:51.8, good for fifth. Hogan Smith blazed the trail in 18:00.5 to finish seventh for his first NEIC honor, while Larrson Shockey claimed 10th place in 18:07.7 to complete the team score.

In 11th place, Izaak Eichinger claimed his second all-NEIC honor in 18:10.5 while Cade Olson narrowly missed earning a medal in 18:41.1, finishing 17th overall.

“I’m very proud of our efforts as a team, as championships do not come easy,” said Coach Brad Johansen. “Our seniors led us to a title again and we have had great leadership by the seniors all season.”


Both perfect

Both junior varsity squads posted perfect scores on the way to standing atop the podium.

The girls had an average time of 23:30, while the boys’ average time was 19:14.

Rachel Bower was the overall JV girls’ champion. She topped the field in 23:03.1, a win by 17 seconds. Also, in the top five were Brielle Buresh, second, 23:20.1; Brynn Storhoff, third, 23:38.0; Kathryn Kelly, fourth, 23:39.0 and Abby Bolson, fifth, 23:47.6.

Individual champion in the boys’ race was Bennett Schutte, who blazed to victory in 18:24.2. Helping complete the perfect score were August Witt, second, 18:37.9; Adrian Huang, third, 19:30.1; Jake Magner, fourth, 19:45.7 and Tate Schissel, fifth, 19:50.0.


State-qualifying

The Vikings will compete in the state-qualifying meet Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 4 p.m., at a location yet to be announced.

The state meet has been split into two days this year. Class 3A will compete Friday, Oct. 30, with girls racing at 3:30 p.m., followed by the boys’ race at 4 p.m.