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Friday, October 8, 2004
Women of Troy Super again
West sophomore earns first win of season
By Jon Klinkowitz
Iowa City Press-Citizen
West High sophomore Sarah Wickman kicks into the lead at the Mississippi Valley Conference Super Meet on Thursday at the University of Iowa cross country course in Iowa City. Wickman won the girls race with a time of 14 minutes, 14 seconds. Press-Citizen / Matthew Holst
Sarah Wickman won every race she ran last year -- except one. The West High sophomore cross country runner got back into her winning form for the first time this season and conquered a demon from last year by taking first place at the Mississippi Valley Confer-ence Super Meet on Thursday at the University of Iowa cross country course.
The top-ranked Women of Troy also won, taking their fifth straight Super Meet title with 31 points. No. 2 Cedar Falls was second with 79 and No. 4 City High was third with 87.
The Super Meet was Wickman's only individual loss last year. "I didn't win it last year," she said. "It was very exciting to win it this year because it's my first win."
After winning state as a freshman, expectations were high for Wickman. But she never let the pressure get to her. "Not really all that much," she said. "Our team was doing great, so I was excited for that."
Wickman finished the 4-kilometer course in 14 minutes, 44 seconds -- 11 seconds faster than her performance a little over a week ago on the same course.
Wickman and her West teammates formed a pack for the first mile along with Samantha Nygren of Cedar Falls, who finished second in 14:52.
"She surged ahead of us for quite some time, and I knew I had to go," Wickman said. "So I made a little sprint in the middle to get ahead."
The Women of Troy took four of the top eight spots. Claire Hall was third, Julia Frudden was fourth and Janet Dobyns was eighth.
Freshman Elise Walz was 15th and continued to impress West coach Mike Parker. "This is a freshman that just showed up as something to do after school, and now has made us an extremely good team because of her improvement," he said. "Elise is the one that has made the big move to mix in with those girls. That's going to make us strong."
The defending state champion Little Hawks were happy with their performance. Samantha Sidwell led City with sixth place in 15:10 -- 10 seconds better than a week ago on the same course. "I feel like we're really stepping up," Sidwell said. "At the beginning, a lot of us were kind of hesitant about how we'd do. But now we're all working really hard in practice." The Little Hawks' current varsity lineup includes five runners with no state meet experience, and coach Tom Mittman said they need to be more aggressive early in races. "We've been a little timid, but we're getting over that," Mittman said. "A year ago we finished third at this meet and things worked out pretty good later on. I'm not saying that that'll happen again, but I think our best races are ahead of us." Annie McKay was 17th for City, Sarah Ziegenhorn was 18th, Ruhee Arora was 20th and Clair Anciaux was 26th.
VARSITY GIRLS
Team scores -- 1. West High 31; 2. Cedar Falls 79; 3. City High 87; 4. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 107; 5. Cedar Rapids Washington 130; 6. Cedar Rapids Xavier 145; 7. Dubuque Wahlert 172; 8. Dubuque Hempstead 217; 9. Linn-Mar 234; 10. Dubuque Senior 266; 11. Waterloo West 311; 12. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 357.
Individual leaders -- 1. Sarah Wickman (W) 14:44; 2. Samantha Nygren (CF) 14:52; 3. Claire Hall (W) 15:00; 4. Julia Frudden (W) 15:01; 5. Chelsie Hochstedler (LM) 15:09.
WEST HIGH -- 1. Wickman 14:44; 3. Hall 15:00; 4. Frudden 15:01; 8. Janet Dobyns 15:19; 15. Elise Walz 15:32; 24. Christine Skopec 15:52; 37. Maggee Mitchell 16:17.