GC/G-R's Lynch wins NICL cross country meet

Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck's Kaden Lynch won the NICL boys race on Thursday. (Jake Ryder photo)
Jake Ryder
The Grundy Register

LA PORTE CITY – Kaden Lynch always wants to get out ahead early on the cross country course.

“Some people like to build up, but me, I can’t do that,” Lynch said. “I want to go out strong and hold it that second and third mile.”

The La Porte City Golf Course, host of this year’s North Iowa Cedar League meet, was perfectly tailored to Lynch’s desired running plan with a huge downhill to start and more modest hills the rest of the way.

“It’s just really perfect for me,” Lynch said.

Everything came together for the Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck junior on Thursday, staying well ahead of the field for most of the race and emerging as NICL individual champion with a winning time of 16:27.

Lynch was 11 seconds faster than runner-up Conall Sauser of Oelwein.

“This was the goal from the start of the summer,” Lynch said. “And to finally get it was a big accomplishment for me.”

Lynch has been on a tear lately, with Thursday’s win his fourth individual win since Sept. 22 at the Sam Iverson Invite in Grundy Center.

“What really made an impact is being a leader for this team after our seniors graduated last year,” Lynch said. “And this summer, I realized I needed to step it up a little bit more, so putting in those miles really helped me propel in the season.”

Oelwein came out on top of a team battle between the Huskies, Denver and GC/G-R to earn the NICL team title with a 43 team score. Denver was second with 54 points, GC/G-R third with 57 points. The three teams have been floating around each other in the top 10 of the Class 2A rankings all season and will very likely meet up again to battle it out in Fort Dodge at the end of the month.

GC/G-R placed four runners in the individual top 30 for All-NICL recognition – Emerson Vokes was fourth to earn first-team placing as a freshman, Brennen Sager took seventh for a first-team spot and Tyler Venenga came in 12th to take second-team honors. But Oelwein and Denver took advantage of smaller spreads between their top five runners to sneak past GC/G-R

“We needed Tyler and Brayden [Wallis] today because we’re top-heavy as a team right now, unfortunately,” Lynch said. “But those two have been working their butts off. And I’m proud of how far we’ve all come. We should all be very proud of how we did today.”

Vokes has also hit another level since that Sam Iverson Invite, finding another level to lift the team and run with veterans Lynch and Sager.

“I couldn’t have done this without my teammates pushing me and even the graduates from last year and the coaches that have pushed me to do this,” Vokes said. “... High miles, high placement.”

D-NH’s Tyler Nystel was the other all-NICL runner from the area, earning honorable mention with a 27th-place finish. D-NH was eighth as a team with 251 points.


2022 NICL Cross Country Championships

Oct. 13

At La Porte City




Boys team scores (top 3 and area)–1. Oelwein 43; 2. Denver 54; 3. GC/G-R 57; 8. D-NH 251.


Individual winner–Kaden Lynch (GC/G-R) 16:27.


Area All-NICL runners

(top 30 individuals)

1. Kaden Lynch (GC/G-R) 16:27; 4. Emerson Vokes (GC/G-R) 16:56; 7. Brennen Sager (GC/G-R) 17:10; 12. Tyler Venenga (GC/G-R) 17:34; 27. Tyler Nystel (D-NH) 18:34.


GC/G-R (3rd, 57)–1. Lynch 16:27; 4. Vokes 16:56; 7. Sager 17:10; 12. Venenga 17:34; 33. Brayden Wallis 18:56; 42. Jeryn Spear 19:16; 46. Chris Utterback 19:29.

D-NH (8th, 251)–27. Nystel 18:34; 38. Bryce Petersen 19:13; 48. Caleb Paulsen 19:33; 66. Rasmus Brandt 20:44; 72. Shayden Loger 20:57; 79. Finn O’Neill 22:22; 80. Rush L’Heureux 22:49.



GC/G-R (4th, 101)–12. Daniel Hommel 21:13; 16. Wesley Latchman 21:44; 21. Cameron Sieh 22:38; 24. Preston Martens 22:57; 28. Alex Rogers 23:46; 32. Keelan VanHeiden 24:59; 33. Jake May 25:47.

D-NH (no score)–52. Jacob White 23:48; 56. Trey Druvenga 24:36.


Junior High



D-NH (2nd, 84)–8. Brady Hartsock 13:23; 9. Gus L’Heureux 13:29; 13. Cooper Dall 13:59; 22. Isaiah Olson 14:34; 32. Xavier Stanbrough 16:02; 39. Karter Petersen 16:38; 44. Joey Gronowski 17:05; 57. Julian Adolphs 17:11; 61. Xander Stanbrough 17:23; 63. Ethan DeGeeter 17:31; 65. Kale Lincoln 18:00; 80. Jac Cullen 22:20.

GC/G-R (7th, 155)–2. Jayce Fryslie 12:17; 12. Dalton Oltman 13:58; 43. Carsten Walton 17:03; 48. Weston Martens 17:23; 50. Juan Ersland 18:13; 57. Jaxson Kiewiet 20:00.



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