Trinity Borland was not concerned about time or place. The Bettendorf senior was just focused on the girls in front of her at Thursday's Class 4A state-qualifying meet.

After 5,000 meters at Crow Creek Park, there was only one runner Borland couldn't chase down.

Borland earned her third consecutive trip to the state meet with a runner-up finish in 20 minutes, 4 seconds — 34 seconds behind champion Mia Rampton of Dubuque Senior.

"I'm really excited," Borland said. "I feel like I've put together some really good races here in the last month or so."

Borland was 17th at the state meet two years ago and cracked the top 10 last fall. She goes to Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge next weekend with hopes of something bigger.

"I definitely want to get in the top five at state, and it'd be really cool to beat my time from state last year (18:55)," she said.

With four girls in the top seven, fourth-ranked Dubuque Senior won the meet with 31 points. Fifth-ranked Dubuque Hempstead was second with 48 points, and ninth-ranked Pleasant Valley secured the third and final state berth with 65.

Maddy Minard, Mallory Lafever and Abby Riley led the Spartans with eighth-, ninth- and 11th-place finishes. The three were separated by just seven seconds.

"Obviously, we wanted to do a little better," Lafever said, "but at the end of the day, it is about getting there, and we did that. We want to peak at the right time."

Lafever said the second mile was where the Spartans lost ground on Senior and Hempstead.

"The second mile is the hardest for the majority of our team," Riley said. "We need to race to that second mile. The first mile is brains, the second mile is training and the third mile is heart."

Laura Brown (17th) and Lauren Buechel (20th) rounded out PV's low five.

The Spartans hope their pack can tighten next week at the state meet to improve upon last year's 10th-place state finish.

"We're definitely hungry to get back to state and show what we've got," Riley said. "Last year isn't what we wanted. We know we can do better.

"Maddy, Mallory and I have been running varsity since our freshman year. We've been through those experiences, and we've learned from those. We're a year older, a year better and a year smarter."

Borland won't be going to state alone. Her teammate, Madison Temple, finished 14th in 20:59 to qualify.

"It is definitely a different environment at state," Borland said. "You've got moms running back and forth on the course. It is a cool experience, one I look forward to every year."


Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.