Iowa State Class 2A cross-country races report repeat winners

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Aaron Fynaardt has been Mr. Consistency for the past two years at the state high school cross-country meet at Fort Dodge.

The Des Moines Senior Christian followed up last year’s Class 2A Men’s State Championship with another Friday. After winning last year’s competition in 15 minutes, 56.58 seconds, he clocked 15:50.62 on Friday to claim another title.

“It’s really, really cool,” Fynaardt said. “It’s something I never thought would happen. I didn’t even race here my first year – I was coming out of surgery. To be able to come back the next three years and build and build and build was amazing.”

Fynaardt placed fifth in the state as a sophomore.

This year, he had a teammate right behind him. Caleb Ten Pasa, a freshman at Des Moines Christian, took second place in 16:06.33.

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Des Moines Christian's Aaron Fynaardt wins the Class 2A Boys Cross Country Championships at Fort Dodge, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.

“It’s unbelievable that a guy who’s a freshman comes in here and pushes me,” Fynaardt said. “He has big things ahead of him.”

Ten Pasa stayed composed throughout the race.

“I knew what I was capable of,” Ten Pasa said. “I came here and I was like I was going to do it for a one-person audience. I didn’t care what people here think of me. I just want to give God all the glory.”

The dominating one-two punch led Des Moines Christian to the 2A Boys Tag Team Championship with 75 points. Okoboji finished second with 99 points.

Caleb Ten Pasa of Des Moines Christian places second in the Class 2A Boys Cross Country Championships at Fort Dodge, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.

“I have Collin Houg as a great leader in front of me, just like Aaron,” Ten Pas said. “I’m so proud of my teammates.”

Houge was 19th in 17:03.67, Jack McPartland 26th in 17:15.57 and Curren Johnson 47th in 17:30.48 as other runners to score for the Lions.

Danielle Hostetler tripled in the women’s 2A race

Danielle Hostetler ran as if she had been there before.

The Mid-Prairie junior looked completely unfazed during the Class 2A girls race at the state cross country meet on Friday.

Hostetler started calmly behind the leading pack, but she gradually worked her way up to the front midway through the race. By the time she crossed the finish line, she was 20 seconds ahead of the rest of the field, winning her third consecutive individual state championship with a 5 kilometer time of 18:41.64.

Mid Prairie's Danielle Hostetler wins the Class 2A Women's Cross Country Championship at Fort Dodge, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.

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“All the glory to God,” Hostettler said. “It’s such a privilege to have run this course three times. Every season is another year of hard work with my teammates and I’m so proud of them. It’s easy to get nervous and upset , but just take a deep breath and know it’s really up to God and just rely on your hard work.”

Hostetler became only the eighth rider to win a third individual state championship.

“It’s pretty special because one of them is my sister,” Hostetler said. “To be able to follow in his footsteps is just amazing.”

Hostetler’s sister Marie won three state titles from 2017 to 2019. Her older sister Anna was champion in 2016, giving the Hostetler sisters seven consecutive individual titles.

Despite his comfortable win, Hostetler never felt his lead was secure.

“I was told 11 seconds and 15 seconds,” Hostetler said. “I just wanted to stretch that out because at no time are you safe until you cross the finish line.”

While Hostetler gave Mid-Prairie another individual champion, the Golden Hawks’ five-year run as tag team champion came to an end. Van Meter won a thrilling battle with Williamsburg for the 2A Girls Tag Team Championship, scoring 111 points to the Raiders’ 113.

“It’s really exciting, especially since it’s my last year,” said Clare Kelly, Van Meter’s lead runner. “We just wanted to go out there, give it our all and finish strong. I’m really proud of everyone.”

Van Meter's Clare Kelly, left, places 3rd in the Class 2A Women's Cross Country Championship at Fort Dodge, Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.

Kelly placed third individually with a PR time of 19:05.90. Emma McCoy was 18th in 20:03.23, Mary Kelly 19th in 20:12.59, Brooklyn Fryar 39th in 20:45.47 and Olivia Halfpap 84th for the Bulldogs in 21:36.74.

Zada Buchholtz clocked 11th in 19:46.34 to lead Williamsburg. Maelyn Parsons finished 29th in 20:27.25, Analise DeWitt 35th in 20:42.50, Ashlyn Hoffman 60th in 21:06.65 and Tori Younggebauer 61st in 21:07.23.

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