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Emma Ostwinkle runs her way to a ninth-place finish in the Tri-Rivers Conference Meet.

Cascade’s girls’ cross country team made great progress in 2019 as the Cougars reloaded their squad.

“It was almost a complete rebuilding of the girls’ team as we had only one returnee from last year’s top-five counters at the state meet,” veteran coach Bob Davidshofer said. “It was also a small squad with only seven members on the team.”

Davidshofer was pleased with the amount of work that his runners put in this season. “They made great progress during the season and were only 31 points from qualifying for the state meet.”

Looking back on the season, Davidshofer cited a highlight of the season as having fifth-place finishes at both the River Valley Conference and the Class 1A State-Qualifying Meet.

“I think we can be a better team next year as we don’t have any seniors on the squad,” Davidshofer said.

Emma Ostwinkle led the Cougar runners throughout the season and became a three-time state meet qualifier. She was a member of the RVC’s Elite team and placed 27th at state.

“She is a very dedicated person and hopefully will be on the medal stand at the state meet next year,” Davidshofer said.

Ostwinkle ran 20:26 at the state meet, which was just a second off her personal best. She was one of the team’s co-captains.

Grace Rhomberg, a freshman, was second on the Cougar team at six meets this year. She recorded her fastest time of the season at North Linn where she ran 21:55.

“She made great progress during the season,” Davidshofer said.

Sophomore Harley Bradtke was Cascade’s second runner in two meets and was the third in seven. She also recorded her best time of the season at North Linn (22:38).meet.

Rachel Rhomberg, a junior, was the Cougars’ second counter in two meets, third in two and fourth in three. She ran her best time of the year at Monticello (23:00). She was a co-captain on the squad.

“She missed three meets during the season due to injuries,” Davidshofer explained. “Hopefully, she will be injury-free next fall and have a banner year.”

Lilly Topping had a solid freshman season for the Cougars and was the teams’ fourth or fifth counter. She tallied her season-best at North Linn (23:33).

Grace Bower, another freshman, was Cascade’s fourth counter once and fifth counter twice. She earned her best time of the season at Monticello (24:30).

Maddie Knapp, a junior, had an injury-ridden season and was only able to compete in four meets. She ran her best time of the season at the state-qualifying meet (27:28).