Easton Valley cross country runner

Easton Valley cross country runner Aidan Gruver was stuck in the pack early on at the Iowa state cross country meet Nov. 2 in Fort Dodge. Gruver placed 97th with a time of 18:20.

(At Fort Dodge) 

• Boys

The Easton Valley River Hawks first-ever state cross country qualifier, sophomore Aidan Gruver, finished 97th place with a time of 18:20 Saturday at the state cross country meet in Fort Dodge.

Gruver said that finish wasn’t what he had in mind, “since my season-best was a 17.28.

The runner said he ran into some difficulties early on into the race. One mile into the jaunt, he got boxed in the middle of a pack and could not get out, he explained.

When Gruver escaped the scrum, he developed a side ache that bothered him the rest of the race.

Gruver said he was not nervous at the state meet. (like he was last week at the state-qualifying meet). Gruver said before the gun, he was “loose and ready to have a good race.”

But, he couldn’t overcome all those unexpected adversities. Gruver already set his goal to get back to the state meet in Fort Dodge the next two years and have better finishes.

 Easton Valley head coach Mike Kelly predicted Gruver would make it to the state meet this year after the first week of practice back in August, and he was right. 

Kelly said that Gruver is the hardest-working kid on his squad and has no worries he can return to Fort Dodge next year. 

With all his hard work in the off-season lifting weights and conditioning he will have that chance. 

Team scores — 1. Madrid 74; Nodaway Valley 107; Calamus-Wheatland 118.

Top 5 Individuals — 1. Joshua Baudler (Nodaway Valley) 16:11; 2. Noah Jorgenson (Sidney) 16:25; 3. Jason Renze (Madrid) 16:28; 4. Bennett Heisterkamp (St. Albert, Council Bluffs) 16:33; 5. Randy Jimenze (Southeast Warren) 16:37 

Easton Valley Individual — 97. Aidan Gruver 18:20