Battling windy conditions and injuries, the West Delaware girls cross country team finished fifth in the eight-team Vinton–Shellsburg meet Sept. 24.

Grace Millenkamp finished 16th to lead the Hawks, crossing the finish line in 24:41. Next came Brooke Lewin, finishing 20th in 25:20. Faith Rich was next, running 25:26 to finish 25th, followed by Hannah Axline 34th (26:38), Faith Litterer 35th (26:42), Karsyn Welcher 37th (26:52) and Katie McGrane 40th (27:16).

Hudson won the meet with 35 points, ahead of Benton Community (69) and Independence (74). Next came Union (122), West Delaware (130), South Tama (149), Vinton–Shellsburg (169) and Beckman (189).

Coach Ben Moser said his team continues to battle injuries. “This was another up and down meet for us. It’s always a nice meet, as it’s a little smaller and it allows our runners to get out and race near the front. But we just can’t seem to avoid the injury bug. Two of our top runners reinjured old injuries during the race and we have another runner who is still not back.”

According to Moser, his team is growing. “We have had a lot of girls gaining valuable experience. I’m hoping we can get healed up and reenergized heading into the back half of our season. I think our best races are on the horizon.”

Other West Delaware runners and their times were: Jasmine Tran (27:34), Gabby Schuman (29:15), Isabelle Willey (29:33), Katelin Ante (29:50), Becca Farmer (29:50), Alexis McTaggart (29:58), Kaleah Carter (30:26), Sylvie Mersch (30:26), Keara Emerson (31:24), Macie Putz (33:00) and Allison Mullen (34:18).