With a sixth-place finish in the West Delaware Cross Country Invitational, the West Delaware boys are running their best times of the season as they near the state-qualifying meet.

At Hart Ridge Oct. 8, the Hawks had three runners break the 18-minute barrier. Isaiah Rich ran 17:43 and finished 22nd, while Nathan Goranson took 27th (17:51) and Blake Smith 28th (17:52).

In all, 15 Hawk runners turned in personal records.

Andrew Salas ran 18:14, finishing 37th. Staveley Maury finished 53 (18:30), while Robinson Martinez was 54th (18:31). Tyger Vaske took 73rd (19:07).

Tipton claimed team honors with 49 points, placing three runners in the top eight. Next came Western Dubuque (56), Center Point-Urbana (82), Mount Vernon/Lisbon (156), Waverly-Shell Rock (165), West Delaware (167), Grinnell (173), Maquoketa Valley (201), Clinton (206), Cedar Rapids Xavier (252), Cascade (303), Anamosa (318), Vinton-Shellsburg (391), North Fayette Valley (395), Independence (485), Oelwein (487), Edgewood-Colesburg (487), Beckman Catholic (549), North Cedar (559) and Maquoketa (625).

Coach Dale Meyer was excited about his team’s performance, especially since the WaMaC Conference meet returns to Hart Ridge on Thursday, Oct. 17. Also, it was the first time West Delaware has had three boys break 18 minutes in Meyer’s seven years as head coach.

“It was a great night. I’m really proud of them for such a great performance on our home course. The times continue to drop. Our goal is to be running our best times at the state-qualifying meet (Oct. 24).”

In the JV race, Matthew Mensen led the Hawks with his 10th place finish, running 18:55. Jacob Wenger took 20th (19:38), while Nicholas Stocks finished 23rd (19:44). Jesse Thurn’s time of 20:00 was good for 30th. Landon Powers placed 45th (20:53), Bentley Fletcher 47th (20:56) and Grant Menard 48th (20:57).

In the team race, Mount Vernon-Lisbon won the JV title with 39 points, ahead of runner-up Tipton (52) and Western Dubuque (63). Next came Clinton (108), West Delaware (128), Cascade (170), Center Point-Urbana (206), Waverly-Shell Rock (230), Cedar Rapids Xavier (235), North Fayette Valley (306), Vinton-Shellsburg (321) and Independence (375).

Other Hawks and their times: Ethan Hoefer (21:00), Nolan Mensen (21:13), Blake Cook (21:16), Connor Turnis (21:48), Kasey Fisher (22:02), Cruz Timmerman (22:25), Evan Woods (22:27), Carson Less (22:34), PJ Recker (22:46) and Brady Moulds (22:58).