Muscatine boys cross country coach Chris Foxen knew it was going to be an uphill battle to get any runners through to state.
"We had three ranked teams in our district," Foxen said. "The teams were really good, credit to them."
Indeed, it proved to much for Muscatine to overcome.
The Muskies placed ninth out of 10 teams at the meet with 222 points. Logan Kirchner topped the Muskies with a 17:43 to finish 33rd. Seniors Dawson Sweat placed 44th and Eli Roeth 51st in their final race.
However, Foxen is excited about the return of Gordon, Trevor Dierderichs (57th), Aidan Armstrong (58th) and Aidan Daufeldt (61st).
"We have a lot of positives coming back," Foxen said. "They want to work well and work hard. The big thing is we need to find a number one guy to help lower out scores."
Cedar Falls, Ames and Cedar Rapids Kennedy made up the top three in that order, all qualifying for state. Kennedy's Jacob Green won the race in 16:15.
Girls cross country
Muskies place eighth: Senior Rylee Blake placed 28h in 21:30 to lead the Muscatine girls cross country team to an eighth-place finish Thursday at Cedar Falls. Both Blake and the Muskies fell short of a state berth.
"She was our number one all year this year and probably last year," coach Scott Roberts said of Blake. "She has a very strong work ethic, and I think all the girls really look up to her."
The next three runners were all underclassmen, led by sophomore Molly Guerra in 43rd in 22:25. Gwen Kuhl placed 46th and Karley Ricketts 53rd.
Dubuque Senior, Iowa City West and Western Dubuque made up the top three to qualify for the state meet. Ames' Camille Jackson won the meet in 17:59.