Primed to run: Weinheimer, Breheny, boys finish first for Nodaway Valley

Steve Thompson
Shane Breheny, Nodaway Valley

Nate Venteicher cheers on Nodaway Valley's Shane Breheny as he runs to a first place finish at West Central Valley.


If last Thursday’s cross-country meet is any indication of what to expect this year, it’s going to be some fun times for Nodaway Valley faithful. Wolverine runners captured first place in both the girls’ and boys’ races. The top-rated NV boys started defending their state title with a first place finish in the team standings.

Freshman Reagan Weinheimer showed why she could be on everyone’s radar with a first place finish for the girls. Weinheimer led from start to finish, winning by nearly two hundred yards, in a Class 1A state-best time of 20:02.94. Brianna Hoffman of Panorama was second in 20:47.87.

“I started off fast, but then I slowed down at the end,” Weinheimer said. “This was a flat course, and I felt comfortable on it.”

Weinheimer missed the latter portion of last year’s track season with an injury, which kept her on the shelf from running most of the summer. The lack of training didn’t seem to bother her.

Just like Weinheimer, the three other Nodaway Valley girls were running their first high school meet. 

Freshman Mallory Kuhns finished 21st in the field of 61 girls with a time of 24:30.07.

“I went out for track, so I thought it would be good to try cross-country,” Kuhns said. “It felt good out there.”

Madison VanOtterloo is another freshman on NV’s team. VanOtterloo finished 47th in 27:52.64.

“I like to run,” she said. “Running makes me relax.”

Junior Jaida Claussen finished her first cross-country meet in 55th place with a time of 30:46.84.

“I’ve been a cheerleader before, but I wanted to work out and get in shape and I thought cross-country could help me,” Claussen said.

The NV girls are one runner short of fielding a team that can score points in a meet.


Boys win title

The top-ranked and defending state champion Nodaway Valley boys ran away with the team title, scoring 24 points. Panorama was second with 78 points, followed by West Central Valley with 87 points. The Wolverines placed eight runners in the top 12 finishers. All eight of those runners earned medalist honors for finishing in the top 15.

“We can’t get big heads out there, but we still have to be confident we can win,” said senior leader Shane Breheny.

Breheny showed no ill effects of an injury sustained in track last year, flashing the qualities that have earned him two all-state performances in Fort Dodge. Breheny, No. 2 state ranked runner in 1A, led from start to finish, distancing state-ranked Rylan Heffernan of West Central Valley by the length of a football field. Breheny crossed in 16:29.41, followed by Heffernan in 16:42.95.

“I really felt good out there,” Breheny said. “This is such a flat and smooth course. It just felt good to be running again.”

The Wolverines also entered the season with three other runners ranked in the top 17. 

Brycen Wallace, No. 14 ranked runner, came in fourth place in a time of 17:13.07.

“I’m happy with the way I ran,” Wallace said.

There could be another Breheny on the horizon as well. Freshman Tyler Breheny finished fifth overall in 17:26.88.

“I just wanted to finish in the top 15 today,” Tyler said.

This was good for Tyler,” said his brother Shane. “I ran my first race in 21-minutes and he is already in the 17s.”

Brayten Funke, No. 13 state-ranked, finished sixth overall with a time of 17:29.71.

Senior Matthew Dickinson ran one of the best races of his career, finishing eighth overall in 17:36.39. Dickinson went into a sprint near the end of the race and just missed edging Tyler McKibban of West Central Valley for seventh place.

Skyler Rawlings, No. 17 state-ranked, was just seconds behind Dickinson, finishing ninth in 17:40.12.

Another surprise for NV was freshman Joshua Baudler, who came in 10th in a time of 17:48.31.

Senior Dallas Kreager finished 12th and became the eighth NV runner to break the 18:00 mark, crossing in 17:58.63.

The Wolverines’ second through eighth runners ran within 45-seconds of each other, once again signaling the values of pack running.

‘Coach B says pack running is like being a family,” said NV runner Jesse Johnson. “I love running with these guys.”

Johnson finished 26th in 19:17.18.

Sophomore Joel Blazek finished ahead of Johnson in 22nd place in 18:44.51.

The line of purple crossing the line didn’t stop after Johnson.

Dustin Finck turned in a time of 20:04.13 to finish 38th in the field of 87 runners. Austin Lundy was 41st in 20:24.13. Daniel Jorgensen crossed in 68th place in 23:12.17.


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