FORT DODGE — Josh Evans had a superb time. And unfortunate timing.
Evans blazed to the fifth-fastest time ever in a state cross country meet Saturday morning at Lakeside Golf Course. But he didn’t win his race.
Ben Anderson of West Des Moines Valley avenged an earlier defeat to Evans, setting a state-meet record in 15:02 and winning the Class 4A boys’ championship. Evans was next, in 15:10.
“(Anderson) improved a lot since the last time we ran,” said Evans, a sophomore at Linn-Mar. “He pulled away over the last hill. Every time I closed just a little, I started hurting and I had to back off.”
The old record was 15:05, set three times (most recently by Stephen Dak of Marshalltown in 2006). But the Lakeside course was unusually fast Saturday, and Anderson and Evans waged a speedy battle.
“I’m very happy,” Evans said. “This was a (personal record) for me by 20 seconds.”
Anderson and Evans broke to the front by the half-mile mark and ran through the first mile in 4:42. At 2 miles, Anderson was at 9:32, Evans a couple strides behind.
A junior, Anderson pulled away late. It was the first time Evans was beaten by an Iowa competitor all season.
West Des Moines Dowling swept the 4A team championships, including a fifth consecutive title for the girls.
Dowling scored 63 points. Linn-Mar edged Pleasant Valley, 91-95, for second.
“A lot of years, with the times we ran, we could have been state champions,” said Linn-Mar Coach Todd Goodell. “We put up a good number, and it was good enough for second place this year.”
Rachel Perry led the Lions with a 12th-place finish. Carolyn Newhouse was 14th, Morgan Uridil 19th.
“Our goal was to beat Dowling, but I’m proud of what we did,” Perry said.
The Lions sported purple streaks in their hair.
“We dyed it (Friday) night in the hotel,” Perry said. “The whole sink was purple. We had to bleach it.”
Dowling’s boys also won comfortably. The Maroons scored 70 points, followed by Cedar Falls (102) and Iowa City West (127). Cedar Rapids Washington (154), Linn-Mar (173) and Cedar Rapids Prairie (179) were fourth, sixth and seventh.
Prairie’s Jacob Aune was the fourth boy to the finish line, in 15:28.
“Amazing,” he said. “Unbelievable. Completely unbelievable. (Washington’s Robert) Hogg and I have been friends since we were freshmen, and we really pulled each other along for the first mile and a half.”
Iowa City High’s Brook Price was fifth; Iowa City West’s Isaac Jensen was ninth.
City High was eighth in the girls’ competition.
Dowling freshman Grace Gibbons won the girls’ race in 14:00.