Led by Nathan Goranson and Blake Smith, the West Delaware boys cross country team placed ninth in their opening meet of the season at Mount Vernon-Lisbon Aug. 27.

Goranson ran 19:03 and finished 34th, two spots ahead of Smith, who finished in 19:05.

Andrew Salas was the next Hawk to cross the finish line, placing 44th in 19:29. Jesse Thurn finished 60th (20:49) and Jacob Wenger, 61st (20:50), closed out the scoring. Additionally, Matthew Mensen placed 62nd (20:51) and Tyger Vaske 63rd (20:53).

Hempstead won the meet with 32 points, outdistancing Marion with 88. Next came Ames (98), Center Point–Urbana (114), Mount Vernon–Lisbon (127), North Scott (133), Calamus–Wheatland (198), Benton Community (235), West Delaware (236), Davenport North (287), Vinton–Shellsburg (304), Springville–Central City (374), North Cedar (382) and Louisa Muscatine (402).

Head coach Dale Meyer said the meet is a starting point for his team. “This meet has been a great measuring stick for us at the beginning of each season. This year was no exception. We had some guys run quite a bit more this summer and it showed with our mile splits. I’m proud of their effort. We still have some real work to do to be able to stay with the best guys in the state from Hempstead, Marion, and Ames for the entire race though. I’m confident that my guys will continue to improve each week. The goal is to be running in the post-season. This was just a start.”

Other Hawks competing were: Nolan Mensen (21:59), Nicholas Stocks (22:05), Bentley Fletcher (22:29), Blake Cook (22:58), Ethan Hoefer (22:58), Landon Powers (23:25), Evan Woods (23:30), Brady Moulds (23:41), Reily Dolan (23:41), Cruz Timmerman (23:48), Kasey Fisher (24:25), PJ Recker (25:45) and Carson Less (25:59).