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Solon boys 8th at Anamosa, North Linn next up

Solon runner Tyler Bilskie stretches out to the finish line at the Anamosa Invite. Bilskie was Solon’s third runner, covering the five-kilometer course in 18:47. (photos by Joe Wilkinson)

ANAMOSA– With their top five packed within about a minute of each other– and just 19 places apart– Solon’s varsity boys are leaning into the Big Push.
The Spartans kept their top runners closer together, taking eighth at the 14-school Anamosa Invitational cross country meet Sept. 28.
Tipton won the meet with 36 points. The Class 2A top-ranked Tigers crowded four runners into the top 10. Calamus-Wheatland (89 points) was second, with Cedar Rapids Jefferson (94) third. Class 2A’s No. 2 and No. 14 teams– Monticello (104) and Camanche (128)– were fourth and fifth. With South Winneshiek (141), No. 6 in 1A, Fort Madison (175) just ahead, Solon (195) took the eighth spot. Cascade (201), Anamosa (230), North Linn (298), Springville (323) and two incomplete teams followed.
Camanche’s Dylan Darsidan was the meet medalist, winning the five-kilometer course in 16:41. Ben DeValk was Solon’s first runner across. The junior ran 18:19, good for 28th. From there, teammates Tyler Bilskie (18:47, 34th), Nate Ferguson (19:18, 42nd), Brad Yeomans (19:23, 44th) and Noelan Garbes (19:30, 47th) packed it in just a little more, alongside 83 varsity kids on the sometime slippery course.
“Our boys’ team continues to improve and run stronger than they did last year,” noted head coach Emy Williams. “Every meet it has been a different seven running varsity. We continue working to find that meet to meet consistency and for them finding a teammate to run with and push forward.”
Anamosa’s course stretches across the school campus… with several turns around athletic fields and up and down short, steep hills. Rain runoff kept paths a little sloshy, but not treacherous. “The hills were all right. Kind of hard to get up them, but I did try to power up them,” relayed junior Noelan Garbes. “We knew the (Anamosa) course at this point. We usually work in packs of two, for someone to push us. We try to move a little bit closer; catching up with our other runners.” Ty Becicka (61st, 20:17) and Gabe Yetley (69th, 21:03) wrapped up the varsity finish.
Solon was third in the six-team junior varsity (JV) finish. Five additional teams did not field five-runner scoring teams. ‘Lewis Sutton was a medalist with 20:12 over the five-kilometer course; ninth in our JV pack,” pointed out Williams. Nate Shafer was 17th, at 20:42 in the field of 79, topping the Solon JV contingent
This past week, the Spartans were slated to run in the Williamsburg Invite. The schedule sends them to North Linn on Saturday.