Jalyssa Blazek nabs third place at State Cross Country Meet

FORT DODGE - Turkey Valley sophomore Jalyssa Blazek posted a school record time of 18 minutes, 54.6 seconds to grab third place at the Class 1A State Cross Country Meet in Fort Dodge on Saturday, Nov. 2. Teammate Jaycie Byrne placed 74th at State in 21:32.6.
Blazek’s third place finish ties the highest finish by a Turkey Valley cross country runner at State in school history. Shelby Reicks also placed third at State during the 2014 meet. Peyton Pogge of Tri-Center took first in the Class 1A Girls’ race in a time of 18:45.4.
TV Coach Sarah Bakula had high praise for both Blazek and Byrne and the way both runners competed against the best runners in Iowa.
“I thought they both competed well,” Bakula said. “Both ran season-best times. Jalyssa ran a personal best time. The goal all season was always to run our best race at State and we accomplished that.
“Jalyssa ran a fairly even race and was able to hold off a girl at the finish line, which meant she wasn’t going to settle and she gave it her all. Jaycie competed well, too. Great competition to run with the whole race is what I believe pulled Jaycie along to finish as well as she did.
“Their success at State is really a true indication of their dedication and drive throughout the season to the regular runs, long runs and the workouts. All of those aspects together helped to prepare for the State Meet. During the last 10 days, we had what we call a taper, which included shorter workouts and less miles to allow their legs to have more recovery and be at their best.
“I’m proud of both girls. It’s always nice to finish the season at the big stage. Running the best you’ve ran all year was just icing on the top of a great season,” Bakula said.

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