Another close battle unfolded on Thursday between the Ankeny and Ankeny Centennial girls’ cross country teams.
Competing in the Fort Dodge Invitational at Lakeside Golf Course, the sixth-ranked Jaguars placed fourth among 25 teams with 126 points. No. 7 Ankeny finished fifth with 132 points.
It marked the first meeting between the crosstown rivals since the Tom Karpan Invitational on Sept. 12 at Valley Southwoods Freshman High School, where Centennial edged the Hawkettes by four points to capture the crown.
Top-ranked Johnston claimed the title on Thursday with 74 points. No. 5 Dallas Center-Grimes was the runner-up with 86 points, followed by No. 10 Valley with 111.
Olivia Verde of Johnston won the 5k race with a time of 17:50. She finished 9 seconds ahead of Ames’ Claire Helmers.
Centennial’s Anika Mohrhauser and Ankeny’s Drew Beason ran together for much of the race. Mohrhauser placed third in a time of 18:17, while Beason finished fifth in 18:20.
The two standouts are both ranked among the top 10 runners in Class 4A. Mohrhauser is ranked sixth, three spots ahead of Beason.
Bella Hodges placed 22nd for the Jaguars in 19:23. Julia Flick took 30th in 19:31, Cora DenHartog was 34th in 19:35, Haley Hveem placed 37th in 19:40, Kyra Zinn was 40th in 19:42, and Ellie Blevins finished 47th in 19:50–breaking 20 minutes for the first time.
Sophia Graber earned a top-20 finish for the Hawkettes. She placed 19th in a field of nearly 200 runners with a time of 19:21.
Ankeny’s Ainsley Kiene took 23rd in 19:24. Makenna Madetzke placed 33rd in 19:31, Gwen Briggs was 55th in 19:58, Lauren Jackson took 60th in 20:02, and Raegan Prendergast finished 65th in 20:10.
Both teams will compete in the CIML Conference meet on Wednesday at DMACC.