Yokom wins regional, leads West girls to state

Yokom wins regional, leads West girls to state


Yokom wins regional, leads West girls to state



Ashlynn Yokom’s mission is almost complete.

The West High senior breezed to a Class 4A regional cross country title on a chilly, breezy Thursday afternoon.

Yokom broke from the pack early and finished the 4-kilomoeter race at the Tuma Soccer Complex in 14 minutes, 24.39 seconds.

She also was a regional champion last season, but then finished second at the state meet behind Linn-Mar freshman Stephanie Jenks, who isn’t running cross country this fall.

Jenks’ absence has paved the way for a new state champion and Yokom is determined to wear the title. Her opportunity will come next Saturday at the state meet in Fort Dodge.

“I like to think about my strategy for a race, ” Yokom said when asked if she feels any pressure knowing that anything short of a state title would be a disappointment. “I don’t like to think about the pressure of my race because I know that I’ve got a lot of pressure on me already.”

Yokom also has a lot of support from her teammates, and together they helped West win the regional team title, finishing 23 points ahead of Cedar Rapids Kennedy, while Muscatine finished third.

The top three teams, along with the top 10 individual finishers, qualified for the state meet.

The West boys also qualified for the state meet by finishing third in the district team race behind Cedar Rapids Prairie and Dubuque Hempstead.

Five of the top 15 finishers in the girls race were from West, including three freshmen. Junior Emmie Skopec finished in sixth place, while her freshmen twin sisters Jessie and Gabby Skopec finished in eighth and 11th place, respectively, and freshman Olivia Moore finished in 15th place.

“We’re running three freshmen in our top five on a team that’s pretty good,” West coach Mike Parker said. “That’s pretty rare when you can have one of the better teams in the state and three of them being freshmen.”

Senior Daniel Gardarsson and junior Akash Borde finished in sixth and seventh place, respectively, for the West boys. Linn-Mar sophomore Jake Moore won the 5K race in 15:36.20, while three of his teammates finished in third, fourth and fifth place.

Yokom didn’t let the cold weather — it was about 40 degrees when the race started — affect her performance.

“The weather doesn’t bother me,” Yokom said. “When you’re so focused in the race, you don’t think about how cold you are or how windy it is. You’re more focused on how your team is doing and how you want to push yourself to the finish.”


Team scores – 1. Cedar Rapids Prairie 26; 2. Dubuque Hempstead 53; 3. West High 77; 4. Waterloo West 107; 5. Muscatine 158; 6. Cedar Rapids Washington 161; 7. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 189; 7. Ottumwa 218; 8. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 226.

Individual qualifiers – 1. Jake Moore (CRP) 15:37; 2. Jon Specht (DH) 15:39; 3. Mitch Pritts (CRP) 15:45; 4. Isaiah Vlasek (CRP) 16:02; 5. Tysen Vandraska (CRP) 16:05; 6. Daniel Gardarsson (W) 16:06; 7. Akash Borde (W) 16:18; 8. Joe Meehan (DH) 16:18; 9. Cody McConnell (O) 16:25; 10. Sam Eck (CRP) 16:27.

West High – 6. Gardarsson 16:05.82; 7. Borde 16:17.43; 14. Wynton Karanja 16:37.78; 23. Abdallah Ali 16:57.49; 27. Matthew Schneider 17:01.35; 29. Nick Feeley 17:04.68; 35. Ian McGillicuddy 17:23.94.


Team scores – 1. West High 41; 2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy 64; 3. Muscatine 80; 4. Cedar Rapids Prairie 119; 5. Cedar Rapids Washington 125; 6. Dubuque Hempstead 148; 7. Waterloo West 172; 8. Cedar Rapids Jefferson 186.

Individual qualifiers – 1. Ashlynn Yokom (W) 14:24; 2. Shannon Gorman (CRW) 15:01; 3. Alyssa Averhoff (CRK) 15:05; 4. Brina Kraft (M) 15:08; 5. Sammie Sproul (WW) 15:10; 6. Emmie Skopec (W) 15:10; 7. Abby Harbin (DH) 15:14; 8. Jessie Skopec (W) 15:21; 9. Allison Culver (CRK) 15:30; 10. Lauren Meyer (CRK) 15:36.

West High – 1. Yokom 14:24; 6. E.Skopec 15:10.72; 8. J.Skopec, 15:21.17; 11. Gabby Skopec, 15:45.96; 15. Olivia Moore, 16:02.45; 21. Maria Burtch, 16:14.85; 27. Emily Starman, 16:21.06.


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Yokom wins regional, leads West girls to state

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