By Joel Kraushaar

Elaina Bravo raced past Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s Kristin Sheyko in the final steps of the class 4A cross country meet at Noelridge Park in Cedar Rapids. That aggressive finish turned out to make the difference between the Muskie girls traveling as a team to Fort Dodge next week for the state meet or as a small group of individuals.

The Muscatine senior finished just over three-hundreths of a second faster than Sheyko in 20 minutes, 28.63. The Muskies tied with Kennedy and those three-hundreths of a second were the tie breaker to send the Muskies to state. Iowa City High won the meet title with 37 points, with runner-up Linn-Mar finishing with 78.

Brina Kraft paced the Muskies with a personal-best time of 18:37 and a fourth place finish overall. Moriah Morter crossed in ninth position in 19:06, with Danielle Roos finishing 20th in 19:42, Nicole Garrido 23rd in 19:47, and Emmie Smith 25th in 19:55.

Muscatine’s Alex Bautista, Kyle Hoffman, and Tyler Olson punched their individual tickets to Fort Dodge. The Muskies fell just short of qualifying as a team.

Bautista finished fourth overall with a time of 16:03, Hoffman finished in ninth just ten seconds behind with a time of 16:13, and Olson crossed the finish line in 11th place. Olson’s time of 16:17 was a personal best. Muscatine finished fourth as a team.

Wilton’s Buddy Darting and Noah Brown qualified for the state meet in class 1A.

The state meet will be held at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge on Saturday, October 29.