TAMA — The Baxter cross country teams are getting closer to full strength.
And for the third time this season, the girls squad came in second as a team at the South Tama Invitational Cross Country Meet.
This was the first time Baxter ran at this meet.
Baxter junior Logan Berg won his second consecutive race in the boys’ 5K.
Senior Ian Thomson ran for the first time this season and placed sixth and senior Josh Bruntz came in 13th as the boys team was sixth in the nine-team field.
In the girls’ race, the Bolts were once again the runner-ups despite putting two runners in the top 10 and all five scoring runners in the first 33 positions.
Senior Brenna Thomson was fourth overall, while senior Lauren Ratliff placed eighth. The Bolts also welcomed back sophomore Kailee Conradi, who placed 33rd in her first race of the season.
The Bolts haven’t competed since Aug. 27 when they were at Woodward-Granger.
Monday’s meet featured twice as many teams and Class 1A Baxter was one of the smallest programs in the field.
Class 2A East Marshall won the girls’ meet with 73 points. The Bolts were next at 93 and 2A West Marshall finished third with 97. Class 2A Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck also scored 97 in fourth, while Belle Plaine completed the first five with 111 points.
Brenna Thomson’s fourth-place finish was clocked at 21 minutes, 57.4 seconds. Ratliff crossed the finish line eighth with a time of 22:51.6.
The other three counting runners were freshman Lilie Vansice in 21st, junior Holly Jessen in 32nd and Conradi in 33rd. Vansice finished in 24:44.9, Jessen hit the finish line in 25:11.4 and Conradi’s first 5K of the season was clocked at 25:14.2.
Junior Andrea Brown competed in her first meet of the season and was 64th overall. Senior Piper Larson placed 68th and junior Bryn Schultheis was 74th.
Berg won his second consecutive varsity race and he did so by finishing ahead of 13th ranked Caleb Silver of BCLUW and 20th ranked Jackson Edens of GMG. Berg came into the day ranked 22nd in 1A.
Berg won the race with a time of 17:51.3. Silver was next at 18:07.9 and Edens finished third in 18:19.4.
Thomson had missed Baxter’s first two meets of the season because of an injury. His first 5K of the season was clocked at 19:05.4, and he was sixth.
Bruntz was next in 13th with a time of 19:52. The final three counting runners were junior Will Hitchler in 58th, senior Cade McGowdy in 60th and senior Austin Good in 71st. Hitchler was clocked at 22:42.3, McGowdy finished in 22:54.4 and Good crossed the finish line in 24:07.4.
Sophomore Sean Finch was 4 seconds back of Good as the final varsity runner in 72nd.
BCLUW won the meet with ease, scoring 60 points and putting three runners in the top 10. East Marshall was second with 101 points, while GC/G-R took third with 103. Vinton-Shellsburg was one point back in fourth, South Tama County scored 116 points in fifth and Baxter was sixth with 122 points.
Baxter runs at West Marshall at 4:15 p.m. on Sept. 18 in State Center.