Ogden will be well represented at state

Boys team members, Gershom Levi, Landon Smith, Garrett Buxton, Blake Gregory, Jacob Hinman, Isaac Lewiston, Stephen Flynn.

Ogden will be sending nine runners to compete in next Saturday’s state cross country meet. Camryn Buxton, Hannah Booth and the boys’ team are advancing to race the best 1A runners from across Iowa.

The boys placed a strong 3rd out of 20 teams at Eagle Grove Thursday, Oct. 19 to earn the final qualifying spot in their district. It is the Ogden boys’ third consecutive trip to state, and sixth in school history (1990, 2004, 2005).  

“We came in expecting that Madrid and South Winneshiek would be tough to catch, but if we were prepared to race well we’d give ourselves a good chance for that last qualifying spot,” said Coach Ryan Kobliska. “The boys did a great job to pick up extra points in the second half of the race to give us a small margin over #6 Newman Catholic in 4th place. 

“Collectively, this stands as our best team performance of the season. The spread between our first and fifth runners was down to a season-best 49 seconds. That quality of depth has been our main strength this season.”

Garrett Buxton ran a solid 17:48 on a hilly course to become Ogden’s third sophomore individual qualifier, joining the select company of Trey Thompson and Andrew Stumbo. Seniors Gershom Levi, Blake Gregory and Jacob Hinman will be the first boys in school history to run on three state meet teams. Landon Smith had a great finishing kick to pass scoring runners from many other teams, including Newman’s #5 runner. On a day when we needed everyone at their best, these guys executed their race plan to near-perfection and gave an outstanding team-first effort.”

Freshman Stephen Flynn was among the top five runners to score for the Bulldogs.

Hannah Booth and Camryn Buxton finished 7th and 8th in a high-quality field to become the 4th and 5th girls in school history to qualify for three state meets.  Booth started with the top ten runners and showed a lot of grit to hold onto her position as she tired. Buxton was back around 60th place a half mile into the race, and had to methodically work her way up until the finish. 

Kobliska said Buxton was able to run a significant PR despite missing the last two races to illness. “Both girls really brought their best effort to the biggest race of the season. Watching the two of them finish together was one of the highlights of what has been a very memorable year.”

Read more in the Oct. 25 issue of The Ogden Reporter.