ELDORA — Baxter junior Brenna Thomson was 1 minute, 48 seconds behind GMG’s Kyla Wilkening in the first cross country meet of the season back on Aug. 24.
More than a month later, Thomson significantly closed the gap on the Class 1A No. 7 Wilkening, but the Wolverine senior still got the best of Thomson at the 45th annual South Hardin Invitational at Pine Lake Golf Course on Saturday.
Wilkening finished second overall with a time of 21 minutes, 23 seconds. Thomson, who is ranked 14th in 1A, was only five seconds back. Class 3A No. 11 Aubrie Fisher of Iowa Falls/Alden-AGWSR won the race in 20:36.
“I was impressed with how Brenna battled throughout the race against one of the top runners in Class 1A,” Baxter coach Dennis Vaughn said.
The Class 1A No. 9 Bolts are still without No. 2 runner Lauren Ratliff. Their short-handed roster, which is also missing injured sophomore Maya Phelps, finished fourth as a team.
Class 3A IFA-AGWSR won the meet with 57 points, and 3A Nevada was second with 69. GMG was third with 80 points, and Baxter was one back in fourth. The Bolts defeated GMG by five points back in Aug. That was with both Ratliff and Phelps in the lineup.
“We had six girls in the lineup as Bryn Schultheis returned from an injury,” Vaughn said. “Lauren has began running in practice and should return soon.”
Class 2A East Marshall was four backs of Baxter, and 3A Webster City (134) and 3A South Tama (150) completed the seven-team field.
The second and third finishers for the Bolts were sophomore Holly Jessen and senior Ashlee Johnson in 12th and 13th, respectively.
On the boys’ side, Baxter junior Ian Thomson, who is ranked 30th in 1A, finished fourth overall, while sophomore Logan Berg was seventh. Thomson finished in 18:12, and Berg in 18:27.
“The boys had some great individual performances, including Ian in fourth, Logan in seventh and Josh Bruntz in 26th,” Vaughn said.
Class 3A No. 5 Malachi Hornbuckle of Nevada won the race in 17:21, 1A No. 24 Caleb Silver of BCLUW was next in 18:00 and South Hardin’s ZaKee Newman finished third in 18:10.
Baxter was seventh in the eight-team field. The Bolts scored 133 points. Class 3A Nevada won the meet with 75 points. South Hardin, which is ranked 11th in 2A, was one point back in second and 2A No. 10 East Marshall was two points back of the host Tigers.
Webster City (113), IFA-AGWSR (123), BCLUW (127), Baxter (133) and GMG (189) completed the boys’ field.
“I did not feel we ran as well as we did at Nevada, but we were still solid,” Vaughn said.
The Bolts compete at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Dike-New Hartford.
Here are the results of the Baxter cross country team from Saturday:
3. Brenna Thomson, 21:28; 12. Holly Jessen, 24:09; 13. Ashlee Johnson, 24:11; 27. Kailee Conradi, 25:18; 40. Piper Larson, 27:08; 48. Bryn Schultheis, 29:52.
4. Ian Thomson, 18:12; 7. Logan Berg, 18:27; 26. Josh Bruntz, 19:47; 51. Will Hitchler, 23:14; 53. Cade McGowdy, 23:42; 55. Austin Good, 23:57; 56. Brendyn Padget, 24:54.