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North boys win state cross country title; Bouwers takes first place overall

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Sioux City North won the Class 4A boys team title at the state cross country meet.
North's Jaysen Bouwers won the Class 4A state cross country title on Friday.
East's Kaia Downs finished third at the Class 4A state cross country meet.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (KTIV) -- The Sioux City North boys were ranked fourth as a team coming in. The Stars with two runners ranked in the top five. Jaysen Bouwers ranked second and Will Lohr was fifth.

It was North pacing the pack early on in the race with Bouwers and Lohr running together. In the last half of the race, Bouwers started to pull away from the pack, finishing in first place with a time of 15-minutes, 31 seconds. He's the first Sioux City North Individual champion and the first champ from Sioux City in over 30 years.

Lohr finished in fourth place. Three other North runners finish in the top 30 and the Stars take home their first-ever state cross country title. It's the first Sioux City team cross country title since Central High in the 1960's.

"When I made that move, I thought it was going to be a tighter race because of how much I didn't gap on him," said senior Jaysen Bouwers. "But then as the race went on it started gapping more and more and I was like, ok I got this."

"This is insane. Just thinking of how much these guys have gone through and how much work they've put together and how much they love eachother," said head coach Abdier Marrero. "It's just exciting to be a part of something like this. I can't even feel myself right now."

In the Class 4A girls race, Sioux City East's Kaia Downs, ranked 7th in the state, and Sioux City North's Jordan Elizabeth, made the field. Downs stays in the lead pack the entire race and crosses the finish line in third place with a time of 18 minutes, 20 seconds. Elizabeth finished 23rd.

"I just knew I had to stay with that top pack and I guess I just listened to my coach," said Downs. "He said I could run with anyone here so I just believed in what he said."

Brad Pautsch

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