MEDALIST -- AHSTW’s Heidi Hall (left) placed 15th in Class 1A at the state cross country meet on Saturday. Also pictured is Riverside's Alexis Post (14th).Heidi Hall, AHSTW, sr. AHSTW senior Dalton Fischer (1034) placed 60th with a time of 17:45 in the Class 1A boys state meet.AHSTW freshman Chloe Falkena placed 35th at state.

Hall earns medal in state debut

AHSTW senior places 15th, Lady Vikes 13th as a team; Fischer finishes 60th

 FORT DODGE -- Most kids throw a party and open gifts on their birthday.
 AHSTW senior Heidi Hall ran a five-kilometer race in 40-degree weather and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
 Hall celebrated her 18th birthday by accomplishing a season-long goal Saturday afternoon, earning a 15th-place medal in the Class 1A girls division of this year’s State Cross Country Championships near Fort Dodge.
 Hall’s time of 19:59.1 clinched her a spot on the clubhouse balcony at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course, where the top 15 runners in each state meet race are recognized and presented with their medals.
 Joining forces with five freshmen, Hall was also part of AHSTW’s 13th-place team finish in 1A - two spots above its qualifying rank. The Lady Vikes were making their first state meet team appearance since AHST placed 11th in 1998.
 Hall, meanwhile, secured the program’s highest individual placing since Ashley Adams finished fifth as a senior in 2002. Prior to state, Hall was ranked 29th in 1A by the Iowa Association of Track Coaches.
 “My birthday is usually not so great, but today is seriously an awesome birthday - just an amazing day - and the fact that (state) landed on my birthday makes it even better,” Hall said. “I’m going to eat a lot of cake.”
 Among the Lady Vikes’ freshmen five, Chloe Falkena stepped up to place 35th Saturday with a time of 20:59. Additional runners included Julia Kock in 96th, Jade Draman 124th, Claire Denning 133rd and Martha Pace 134th.
 The Lady Vikes placed 13th out of 15 teams, scoring a 258. Their point total was 44 better than 15th-place Baxter, which finished ahead of AHSTW at the state qualifying meet nine days earlier.
Fischer places 60th
 Competing in his first state cross country meet, AHSTW senior Dalton Fischer placed 60th out of 149 runners in the Class 1A boys field Saturday. Fischer clocked a five-kilometer time of 17:45.5, capping an outstanding senior year which included numerous top-five finishes.
 Coach Hamilton noted that Fischer has been battling a hamstring issue lately and wasn’t able to practice full-time leading up to the state meet.

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