SAYLORVILLE — On a day when temperatures finally climbed down to a level that promises the approach of more mild weather, several of the area’s cross country teams traveled to Saylorville Lake to test their endurances at the Johnston Invitational.
Newton competed in the Class AA portion of the event, while Colfax-Mingo, Pella Christian and Prairie City-Monroe’s boys and girls took each other on in the Class A section.
Breaking up a dominant run by host Johnston in the AA varsity girls’ division was Newton sophomore Grace Coen. Coen ran the 4K race in 15 minutes, 14 seconds to capture the second-place medal. Johnston filled the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, ninth and 10th spots of the top 10 finishers.
Johnston won the team title with 19 points. With Coen leading the way, the Cardinal girls were second with 58 points. Indianola took third with 63 points, followed by Hoover with 116 and Lincoln with 127.
“Our goal for the meet was to move up in placing and it took a great team effort for us to get second place,” said Rachelle Tipton, Newton girls’ head coach. “I saw a lot of great things come out of our meet tonight. When it is homecoming week and there are lots of activities going on, the runners always have to dig a little deeper.”
Newton’s Hailey Coy, a junior, was 11th in 17:03. Juniors Autumn Hunt and Anna Barr, and freshman Ellie Horn finished 14th, 15th, 16th, respectively. Hunt’s time was 18:12 while Barr and Horn each came across at 18:18.
Amber Knight, a junior, placed 23rd in 19:02 for Newton. Freshman Jordyn Soule was 26th in 19:52.
“Grace ran a smart race and had a good meet back after her injury,” Tipton said. “Hailey pushed herself with the front runners tonight and came out of the race with a personal-best. Autumn, Anna, and Ellie had a solid pack for us, which was exciting to see.”
In the AA girls’ junior varsity race, Newton’s Sara Cook was 31st in 20:34 and Marisa Modlin was 38th in 21:39.
Newton’s varsity boys finished third in the AA division with 95 points. Johnston placed 14 runners in the top 23 to win the team title with 15 points. Indianola was second with 95 points. Lincoln took third with 105, followed by Hoover with 144 and East with 147.
Junior Christian Laube broke a string of Johnston finishers by placing ninth indivudally for Newton. Laube ran the 5K race in 16:53. Sophomore Jwan Roush was 16th in 17:59. Justin Simms, a junior, placed 22nd in 19:14, followed by sophomore Chase Dykstra in 23rd at 19:46 and junior Grant Osborn in 19:52.
“The boys ran well at Johnston. We set some high individual goals this week and talked a lot about how to mentally attack a race,” said Tom Bartello, Newton boys’ head coach.”
Freshmen Justin Fischer and Josh Ventling came across in 30th and 31st, respectively, in 20:36 and 20:39.
In the AA boy’s junior varsity race, Newton’s Jacob Arrowood placed 60th in 21:42 and Zach Theis was 62nd in 21.44.
“Everyone on the team did a great job working on what we talked about and their results showed it. The boys have really been learning what it takes to move from someone who can run well, to racers,” Bartello said. “I am excited to see continued progress in all of the boys this year as they continue to work hard towards our team and individual goals.”
North Polk’s boys finished atop the team standings in Class AA with 53 points. They were followed by Gilbert in second with 55 and Saydel in third with 81. Pella Christian finished in fourth place with 134 points, and Bondurant-Farrar’s 137 points rounded out the top five.
Prairie City-Monroe’s boys finished in eighth place with 217 points. The male Tigerhawks finished 10th out of the 10 teams at the event with 254 points and an average time of 22 minutes, 29 seconds.
As for the girls, Gilbert took the top spot followed by North Polk, South Hardin, B-F and Saydel. Pella Christian, C-M and PCM finished 6-7-8.
Leading the charge for the Colfax-Mingo boys was junior Jimmy Abell. Abell finished 26th overall with a time of 19:07. He was followed by junior Cameron Lantry in 51st (22:32). Ahn Hyeonhyeop was not far behind in 54th (22:45). Ryan McLain was 60th (23:32). Will Dunsbergen was 63rd (24:31) followed by Adam Teed in 64th (25:14), and KC Huffman finished 67th (26:06).
C-M coach Zach Tomas pointed out a couple of the boys who finished with some career-best times.
“The boys were once again led by Jimmy Abell who finished 26th and Cameron Lantry. Ahn Hyeongyeop and freshmen Adam Teed had career best times, too,“ he said.
Junior Iva Moore led the seventh-place C-M girls. Moore finished 13th with a time of 18:11. She was followed by fellow top-15 finished Kennedi Hostetter (18:19) in 15th. Donita Fatland finished 38th (21:02). McKenzie Cogley was 40th (21:05). Cassie Craig (21:41) finished 43rd right in front of Breawns Schroder (22:25) in 44th. Carley Hodgson (24:01) was 48th.
Tomas was happy with the way the girls stepped up in the absence of a couple of their top runners.
“It was nice to see Cassie Craig had a career best time,” Tomas said. “We were missing Dakota Hostetter and Sara Lahart because of a volleyball game tonight but the other girls stepped up and had another good night.
Overall, the Tigerhawks’ times were a little slower than usual, and Tomas seemed to think that had to do with a lack of recovery time from the meet at Lake Keomah
“Overall, our times as a team were a little down tonight which I think is the result of tired legs. We probably hadn’t totally recovered from our Pekin meet. However, this is going to make us stronger moving forward at the Ballard meet on Monday,” Tomas said.
Pella Christian’s boys were fourth in the Johnston Invitational’s A varsity division with 143 points.
Leading the way for the Eagles was Jacob Lensing, who took eighth place in 17:56 for the 5K race. Grant Dungbergen was 22nd in 19:00, and Jonathan Beltman was 27th in 19:08. Scott Haveman placed 36th in 19:43, and Gabriel Soler finished 53rd in 20:50.
Also running for Pella Christian, Samuel Dahm finished 56th in 20:55, followed by David Dykstra in 80th in 22:38, Sam Lensing in 81st in 22:40 and Zach Shen in 98th in 23:48.
Pella Christian’s girls scored 147 points for sixth place in the A varsity division.
Marina Shannon was the top runner of the day for the Eagle girls with a 22nd-place finish in 19:12 for the 4K race. Morgan Anderson ran 24th in 19:17, and Andrea Carballo was 33rd in 19:46. Damaris Worthington was 38th in 20:11, followed by Abby Van Soelen in 52nd at 21:03 and Brianna Van Donselaar in 87th.
“It’s amazing how much difference 20 degrees makes in how you feel when you’re running,” said Jocelyn Meinders, Pella Christian coach. “I’m happy with the improvements I saw in our runners’ performances from what they did in last Saturday’s meet. It’s nice to run in ‘normal’ weather so they can really work on learning their races.”
PCM’s eighth-place finishing boys’ team was led by 12th place finisher Matt Chizek and his 18:08 time. Chris Ellens, a freshman, was 44th at 21:11. Trenton Howard was right behind in 45th (21:34). Mark Bruxvoort was 55th (22:46). Connor Brey was 61st (23:42). Lucas Rains was 66th (25:43).
Rachel Stafford led PCM’s eighth-place girls’ team with a time of 17:43. Kayla Schakel was 41st (21:31). Shelby Palm was 42nd overall (21:37). Amber Beener finished 51st (28:12), milliseconds ahead of Kayla Dustin in 52nd.