Ryann Portch

(Waterloo) -- Former AHSTW standout runner Ryann Portch is off to a fine start in her sophomore season at Hawkeye Community College.

Portch was recently picked as the NJCAA Division II Women’s Runner of the Week, posting a personal best 5K time of 18:58.80 at the Corridor Clash.

“Just been training a lot and getting the mileage up to get these 5Ks going,” Portch said. “Last weekend, we had a 6K, which was a ton of fun. It was good to mix things up.”

The 6K race for Portch came at Grinnell this past weekend, where she finished in seventh place with a time of 23:35.7. She was the second-highest finisher among junior college runners at the meet.

“The first race was at Iowa Western and three-fourths of the way through it got canceled,” Portch said. “It was nice to go back to Council Bluffs and see some of my former teammates. The second race at Mount Mercy was a great day to PR, and it’s always nice to be pushed.”

While Portch has continued to show well in cross country, she still sees herself as a track runner with the cross country season meant to tune her up for the indoor and outdoor seasons.

“I like cross, and it helps me with mileage,” she said. “Honestly, my heart is still with the 800.”

Still, Portch will keep her goals high for cross country and for the track seasons in the winter and spring.

“For cross country, I just want to beat my PR,” she said. “Something simple. We’re ranked No. 1 right now, so we’re hoping to keep that spot through nationals. For track, I really want to improve my 800 time by a lot. I would really like to get into the sub 2:10s.”

Portch and Hawkeye Community College will be off the rest of the month before returning to competition on Friday, October 8th in Mason City. Listen to the full interview with Portch from Wednesday’s UFR below.

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