Stutzman leads strong showing by M-P boys

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All eyes will clearly be on Mid-Prairie’s girls cross country squad on Saturday as it chases down  a fourth consecutive state team championship.

But just after the Golden Hawks hit the finishing area Saturday morning at the Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge, they’ll head back out to the course to cheer on the Mid-Prairie boys.

Led by Jamie Stutzman’s second-place finish, the Golden Hawks locked down their own team spot in the state championship meet at last week’s state qualifier in Williamsburg.

Four Mid-Prairie runners finished among the top 10, helping to secure a second-place finish behind Danville-New London (the top three teams from each of five qualifiers won spots in the state meet). Williamsburg was third.

“We had a really good day as far as times and places and improvements,” said head coach Mark Hostetler. “It was unexpected, really, that we could beat Williamsburg.”

Stutzman, who finished third in the River Valley Conference championship meet, came in second to Danville’s Ty Carr with a time of 16:46. He finished just six seconds behind Carr and pushed hard in the final stretch to defeat Danville’s Alexander Julian by 11 seconds.

Also finishing in the top 10 for Mid-Prairie were No. 8 Nathan Wallington, No. 9 Lucas Bontrager and No. 10 Chandler Hershberger.

Mose Yoder was 32nd, Daniel Rodgers was 45th and Sam Yoder was 69th.

“The boys ended a two-year drought,” said assistant coach Aaron Fleming, “and after two years of heartaches it was a total joy to see them come through with a convincing second-place finish.”

Thaddeus Shetler, who is likely the fastest Golden Hawk when he is healthy, could not race in Williamsburg, but is still planning to run at the state championship.

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