STATE CENTER — Baxter’s cross country teams competed in the West Marshall Invitational on Tuesday evening.
Without its No. 2 runner, the girls’ team placed second to host West Marshall, and the boys finished fourth but were four points out of second place in a very competitive field after champion South Hamilton.
The Class 1A No. 10 Bolt girls did not have the services of junior Lauren Ratliff but still placed three in the top six positions. They were just 13 points behind West Marshall, which is receiving votes in the latest 2A poll.
South Hamilton, ranked ninth in 2A, had three of the top four positions to win the team title easily, but the next four teams were separated by five points.
Junior Brenna Thomson was the runner-up in the girls’ race. She finished in 21 minutes, 31.11 seconds. West Marshall’s Avril Sinning won the race in 21:16.76.
Senior Ashlee Johnson placed fourth overall in 22:17.33 and freshman Kailee Conradi took sixth in 23:14.03.
Sophomore Holly Jessen was 11th in 24:09.11 and the final counting runner was junior Piper Larson in 35th with a time of 30:17.99.
West Marshall won the title with 36 points.
Baxter scored 49 points in second followed by Collins-Maxwell (78), South Hamilton (85) and Colo-NESCO (103).
The Baxter boys put three runners in the top 10 overall. Junior Ian Thomson finished fifth, sophomore Logan Berg was sixth and junior Josh Bruntz placed 10th.
Ian Thomson, who battled a sinus infection recently, started the season with times under 18 minutes. His fifth-place time was 18:20.95 on Tuesday. Berg finished sixth in 18:46.91 and Bruntz was 10th in 19:12.01.
Sophomore Will Hitchler finished 38th in 23:14.32, junior McCade Gowdy was 49th in 24:21.44 and junior Brendyn Padget placed 52nd in 24:41.32.
Freshman Sean Finch finished 54th in 24:59.35, and sophomore Christian Brandt took 61st in 27:46.27.
South Hamilton’s Josiah Brown won the race in 17:33.36.
The Hawks scored 32 points to win the title. West Marshall was next at 94 points, BCLUW finished third in 96 points, Baxter placed fourth with 98 and Collins-Maxwell ended up fifth with 99 points.
Ankeny Christian Academy (109) and Colo-NESCO (167) also were in the field.
The Bolts won’t compete again until 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Nevada.