Girls Cross Country

Claire Helmers takes Schmaltz title, No. 3 ranking after first competition

Posted September 5, 2023

Claire Helmers began the season with an impressive result. The junior cross country runner earned the gold medal at the 2023 Kirk Schmaltz Invitational, hosted by Ames High, at the Iowa State University Cross Country Course on Monday.

Helmers posted a blistering time of 17:44.8, taking the top individual spot in a field that included seven state qualifying teams from a year ago. The next-best runner, Anika Mohrhauser (Ankeny Centennial) clocked in at 18:23.2, nearly 40 seconds behind Helmers. Little Cyclone teammate Lauren Risdal finished fifth individually with a time of 19:16.9.

The result earned both Little Cyclones respect in the state individual rankings. Helmers moved up a spot to No. 3 while Risdal went from unranked to No. 11 in the rankings consisting of the state’s 30 best runners. Marley Turk is expected to be towards the top of the list once she has a race under her belt.

READ MORE: IATC Individual Cross Country Rankings – September 4, 2023

On the boys side, Charlie Bennett (15th, 16:13.3) and Erik Anderson (23rd, 16:28.5) earned spots among the top 25 placers at the Kirk Schmaltz Invitational.

RESULTS: 2023 Kirk Schmaltz Invitational