• Keith Hjelle

Nelson Finishes Fourth, Crawford Ninth at State Cross County Meets

Charger cross country aces Noah Nelson and Kate Crawford turned in top ten performances at the boys' and girls' state cross meets held near Fort Dodge on Saturday. Nelson ran the 5K course in 16:37 to place fourth, only five seconds out of third place. This was Nelson's third appearance in the state meet. Crawford finished ninth in the girls' division with a time of 20:11.3. This was the third consecutive top ten finish for Crawford, despite battling the injury bug.

The girls' team finished fifteenth overall, with injuries taking a toll on the members of the team. Lauryn Embleton ended a sold career for the Chargers, despite battling injury throughout the season. She finished in 48th place with a time of 22:28.0. She was followed by sophomore Rylee Sloss (56th, 22:39.2), junior Keely Vasey (89th, 24:18.1), sophomore Alyson Embleton (91st, 24:29.7), senior Aubrey Chmelar (24:32.9). and junior Kendra Campbell (100th, 26:48.2). In addition to Embleton, Chmelar ended her career at the state meet. It was the first year of competition for Chmelar.

Charger senior boys' runner Clay Billheimer also ran in his third state meet finishing in fifty ninth place on Saturday with a time of 17:49.8.

Charger mentor Colin Shawgo summed up the season with these words: "This year was kind of bittersweet. Coming into the season we had extremely high expectations, and even though we did not meet them all, we did have a good year.

"At state I thought the girls' team would do much better, but didn't due to injury. Kate Crawford finished ninth, capping off another all-state meet. Lauryn Embleton completed her career by qualifiying four out of four years.

"Noah Nelson was a pretty big highlight, getting fourth overall. Clay, once again battling injury was unable to cap off his senior season the way he wanted, getting fifty ninth. However, both boys were at the state meet three times which is a tremendous feat.

"We lose some amazing senior leaders and athletes, but have a ton of returning talent that makes me excited for next year."

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