ELDORA - South Tama's cross country teams have been busy during the past two weeks, competing here on Saturday and at Nevada five days earlier.
On Saturday, the STC varsity teams finished seventh and eighth, while the middle school girls placed fourth as a team. The Trojans also had three top-10 runners, including one race winner.
Sophomore Naomi Hoskey won the junior varsity girls race with ease. Hoskey, who missed the Nevada meet because of an injury, ran in the JV race to see how she felt after recovering from her injury. She came out and ran away with the race, winning it by 16 seconds. Hoskey finished the 4-kilometer course in a time of 17:22.
South Tama sophomore Naomi Hoskey sprints toward the finish line of the junior varsity girls race Saturday at the Pine Lake Country Club in Eldora. Hoskey won the race by 16 seconds.
Another top-10 finish came in the varsity boys race. Sophomore Robert Tyynismaa once again led the Trojans. He placed fourth out of 70 runners as he finished the 5-kilometer course in a time of 18:28.
Following Tyynismaa was freshman Blake Keller, who finished 12th in the race. Keller's time was 18:41. Also competing in the varsity boys race was senior Brady Ellenbecker, senior James Norton and junior Taylen Anderson. The STC boys finished seventh with 137 points. Webster City won the boys race with 55 points.
In the junior varsity boys race, sophomore Jake Theissen led the Trojans. He placed 21st in a time of 21:35. Sophomores Cade Steuhm and Andrew Kajer placed 35th and 36th in the JV race.
"On the boys side, we were once again led by Robert Tyynismaa and Jake Theissen in their respective races, but we also saw a good race by Blake Keller," coach George Kuhter said. "If Blake continues to improve and stays healthy, we should be a good dual threat by the conference meet."
South Tama's varsity girls placed eighth out of 10 teams in a closely-contested meet. STC scored 171 points, just six behind Eagle Grove, who placed seventh. Nevada won the meet with 88 team points.
Leading the way for the Trojans was senior Kelsey Kupka. She placed 12th in the field of 80 runners and finished the ran 16:08, which was 15 seconds from third place.
Sophomore Diahana Puentes was the next Trojan to finish. She placed 32nd, with junior Regina Balderas two seconds behind her in 33rd. Junior Taylor Ellenbecker (48th), junior Erin Filloon (52nd) and senior Natasha Musgrave (67th) rounded out the varsity lineup.
Also running in the JV girls race, was senior Grace Kavalier, who placed 19th, and junior Brittany Bear, who finished 23rd.
"Finally getting Naomi back in the varsity lineup will be a bonus," Kuhter said. "I think that last week's injury and post homecoming sickness are behind us. Naomi looked good in winning the JV girls race and Kelsey gets stronger and more confident with each race."
South Tama's middle school runners also competed in Saturday's race. The girls squad finished fourth out of six teams with 91 points. Competing for STC was Jensen Vodochodsky (16), Lauren Yuska (20), Allison Yuska (30), Shae Slaven (47), Kaitlin Berger (48) and Mahala Doyle (56).
The Trojans middle school boys didn't field a full team, but five runners competed. Leading the way was Hunter Filloon, who placed fifth, running the two-mile course in 13:50. Other STC runners were Jake Wilkerson (36), Ian McFate (52), Thayne Lamb (55) and Wyatt Hintermeister (57).
"I don't think this was our finest race of the season," Kuhter said. "We ran better time wise, but we did not show how good we really are. At this point in the season, we should be running on all cylinders and we are just not doing that. I see that on both sides of the team, we are getting good performances from individuals, but that does not bode well for the team, because we are too inconsistent in our running."
South Tama also recently competed at Nevada on Sept. 24. The Trojans competed in the Class A division, which was the harder of the two classes at the meet.
The STC boys finished seventh out of 11 teams in Class A. STC scored 149 points, less than 20 behind fourth-place North Polk. Tyynismaa and B. Ellenbecker led the way, placing 10th and 13th and running 17:01 and 17:11, respectively.
South Tama's girls squad finished 10th in the meet. Kupka and T. Ellenbecker led the way, finishing 20th and 29th.
"Being a Monday meet, our first focus was to run and run fast," Kuhter said. "Most of our girls and our top seven boys ran faster than they had all year with some pretty impressive improvements on time. This was the last meet of our racing phase of the season and I wanted to get everyone a PR before we get into championship mode."
South Tama will next compete at Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Oct. 13 for its conference meet.