Golden Hawks dominate league meet

Hostetler leads 1-2-3 girls sweep

By Paul D. Bowker
Posted 10/20/20

The finish was indeed familiar.

Danielle Hostetler cruised into the finish line area with another win in the River Valley Conference championships on Oct. 13 at Monticello High …

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Golden Hawks dominate league meet

Hostetler leads 1-2-3 girls sweep

Posted

The finish was indeed familiar.

Danielle Hostetler cruised into the finish line area with another win in the River Valley Conference championships on Oct. 13 at Monticello High School.

Considering her unbeaten record, there was no surprise there. Even with an injured hip causing a bit of a limp, Hostetler completed the course in 18 minutes, 44 seconds.

But what happened behind Hostetler is really what turned the girls varsity race into a memorable and historic day for the Golden Hawks.

Twin sisters Sydney and Jaden Yoder captured second and third places, respectively, to lock down another one-two-three Mid-Prairie sweep.

“They are awesome teammates,” Hostetler said. “They’re really tough runners and they definitely know how to pace.”

Behind them, Mitzi Evans finished fifth in a personal-best time of 19:40 and five more Golden Hawk runners finished among the top 25. All of them earned all-conference honors, a record for Mid-Prairie, said longtime head coach Mark Hostetler.

“We had four of the top five in a tough conference,” Mark Hostetler said. “We really ran well here, time-wise and place-wise.”

Finishing behind Evans were No. 14 Abby Fleming, No. 16 Ana Fleming and No. 19 Phoebe Shetler.

So dominant were the Golden Hawks that two of Mid-Prairie’s girls, freshman Annika Poll and sophomore Amara Jones, who finished 21st and 22nd, respectively, won’t compete again this season because only the top seven on any team are allowed to compete in state qualifying and the state championships. Poll and Jones, who both had personal-best times, will be alternates.

But the Mid-Prairie girls weren’t alone in their successes. Jamie Stutzman defeated defending state champion Dylan Darsidan of Comanche in finishing third with a time of 16:34.

“Jamie Stutzman just had a phenomenal race. By far, his best race,” Mark Hostetler said.

Three other Mid-Prairie boys also qualified for all-conference status on a day when the Golden Hawks posted a boatload of personal records. Nathan Wallington was 14th, Lucas Bontrager was 15th and Chandler Hershberger was 22nd.

Both the girls and boys teams will attempt to clinch team spots for the state championships in their Class 2A state qualifier on Oct. 22 in Williamsburg. A top-three team finish would qualify seven runners in the team competition. The Golden Hawks are looking to qualify 14: seven girls and seven boys.

The Mid-Prairie girls scored a near-perfect 24 points to win the conference team championship by 50 points over Tipton. The boys finished third behind host Monticello and Tipton.

But the talk of the meet again was Danielle Hostetler, a 14-year-old who broke a school record in her first race this season, quickly became the No. 1-ranked runner in Class 2A, has not lost a race as a high schooler and has spent most of her time running behind the golf cart pace vehicle all fall.

“Danielle ran a decent time for her, coming back from an injury,” said Mark Hostetler, her dad and coach. “She’s still limping quite a bit. She did what she needed to.”

“It was OK,” Danielle said. “It hurt, but it wasn’t something I can’t run through.”

At the state championships on Oct. 31 in Fort Dodge, Danielle will try to extend a Hostetler streak. Her sister, Marie, who is now a freshman at Liberty University, won the last three state championships.

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