Girls Cross Country

Claire Helmers runs to third top-10 state finish: a new program-best

Posted October 30, 2023

The Ames girls cross country team qualified for its third-consecutive state tournament appearance – the program’s first run of three-in-a-row since 2015-17. Junior Claire Helmers, the lead runner for the Little Cyclones, has made good on all three trips in her career – becoming the first-ever runner in program history to place in the IGHSAU top-10 individually three times. Helmers placed 10th as a freshman in 2021 before a seventh-place effort a year ago. Friday’s state championship race yielded an eighth-place finish in a time of 18:17.8 to earn Helmers the special accolade.

Teammates Lauren Risdal (21st, 18:50.4) and Marley Turk (25th, 18:52.9) rounded out top-25 finishes for the Little Cyclones, en route to a team 11th place finish.


On the boys side, Brennen Bhave led the effort of the three individual qualifiers: finishing 51st in a time of 16:29.5.