FORT DODGE - Josh Evans ran the fastest race of his life Saturday and one of the fastest in state history.
Unfortunately for Evans, somebody else ran faster.
Ben Anderson of West Des Moines Valley broke the state meet record and captured the Class 4A cross country title in 15 minutes, 2 seconds at the Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge.
Evans finished in second place in 15:10, the fifth-fastest time in state meet history.
"It was a fun race," said Evans, a 5-foot-7, 112-pound sophomore from Linn-Mar. "I PR'd (set a personal record) by a ton, so it was a great race.
"He was just stronger than I was. I tried to hold on to him, but I was out out of gas."
Anderson is just a junior, so they could meet again next year.
The old state record of 15:05 for 5 kilometers was shared by Stephen Dak of Marshalltown (2006), Grant Shadden of Marshalltown (1999) and Chris Francois of Davenport North (1997).
The original results Saturday listed Anderson at 14:53 and Evans at 15:01, but the IHSAA corrected those times and added roughly nine seconds to everyone's performance.
Evans defeated Anderson at the Heartland Classic in Ames last month, but he couldn't budge ahead Saturday. Both runners were clocked in 4:38 for the first mile.
"My first goal was to try and pass him after the two-mile mark, but after that I was just focused on trying to stay with him as much as I could," Evans said.
"It was just a surprise. I didn't think he'd be able to run away from me like that. But obviously he did."
Evans congratulated Anderson on his victory.
"That was my best," Evans said. "I was happy with it. I know I couldn't have done any faster. He was faster this day.
"The fact that I PR'd by about 20 seconds, that makes my day. It was a fun race, and it will be fun again next year."
Evans was proud of running the fifth-fastest time in state meet history. "That's pretty cool," he remarked.
Back in August, nobody was talking about Evans challenging for the state title as a sophomore. "I would have said they're crazy. I didn't see that coming."
Cedar Rapids Prairie senior Jacob Aune captured fourth place in the 4A race in 15:28, just nine days after having severe breathing problems and running with a broken toe at the district meet in Marshalltown. Aune was delighted with his performance.
"It's unbelieveable," he said. "I really can't describe it. It hasn't sunk in yet."
Aune had a cold when he ran in cold weather at the district meet, but he felt much better Saturday. "I felt good. It was definitely a lot more comfortable than it was last week," he said.
Cedar Rapids Washington led the Metro teams by taking fourth place in the team standings, but the Warriors missed their goal. "We wanted top-3," Coach Will Harte remarked.
Etienne Nzoyisaba finished in 11th place for Washington in 15:35 and Robert Hogg was 14th in 15:39.
"With two guys in the 15:30's, you think you might be in the top-3 or top-2 material, but not on a day like today," Harte said. "A great day to run and a fast field."
It was a calm, sunny day with temperatures in the mid-50s, ideal for the runners on a firm course.
Linn-Mar finished in sixth place in the 15-team field and Prairie was seventh.
Dowling Catholic won the team title with 70 points, followed by Cedar Falls (102) and Iowa City West (127). Six teams from the Mississippi Valley Conference finished in the top 10.
Ben Schueler of Xavier finished 20th in the Class 3A race in 16:27.
1. WDM Dowling 70, 2. Cedar Falls 102, 3. Iowa City West 127, 4. CR Washington 154, 5. Pleasant Valley 163, 6. Linn-Mar 173, 7. CR Prairie 179, 8. WDM Valley 188, 9. Ames 202, 10. Iowa City High 203, 11. Waukee 210, 12. Indianola 257, 13. Burlington 306, 14. Dubuque Senior 351, 15. Ankeny 401
Top 10 Individuals
1. Ben Anderson (WDM Valley) 15:02
2. Josh Evans (Linn-Mar) 15:10
3. Cole Decker (WDM Dowling) 15:21
4. Jacob Aune (CR Prairie) 15:28
5. Brook Price (IC High) 15:28
6. Jason Thomas (WDM Dowling) 15:28
7. Caleb Drake (Pleasant Valley) 15:30
8. Adam Streicher (Cedar Falls) 15:32
9. Isaac Jensen (IC West) 15:33
10. Jordan Schulze (Indianola) 15:33
CR Washington: 11. Etienne Nzoyisaba 15:35, 14. Robert Hogg 15:39, 30. Laurent Hakizimana 16:01, 41. Joe Berry 16:14, 58. Jon Rockwell 16:24, (68) Trevor Luebe 16:35, (91) Matt Wittman 17:09
Linn-Mar: 2. Josh Evans 15:10, 23. Chase Grabau 15:52, 33. Daniel Murphy 16:03, 52. Bryce Poellet 16:22, 63. Tanner Rathje 16:28, (67) Keegan Cook 16:34, (71) Matt Simon 16:37
CR Prairie: 4. Jacob Aune 15:28, 22. Mitch Pritts 15:49, 29. Isaiah Vlasek 16:00, 54. Zach Waite 16:23, 70. Christian Counts-Choplick 16:36, (83) Ross Adams 16:54, (92) Walker Thompson 17:13
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