COLFAX — Lynnville-Sully was not scheduled to run a cross country meet at Colfax-Mingo this season.
But heavy rains and inclement weather forced several postponements and cancellations the past 10 days.
The Hawks took advantage of their invitation to the Tigerhawk Cross Country Invitational on Monday. Three runners earned medals for top 10 finishes, and Lynnville-Sully was second overall in the girls’ team standings.
“It wasn’t a meet we were supposed to go to, but we had to change things around due to the rain,” Lynnville-Sully coach Darin Arkema said. “It worked out well to go to Colfax instead of Pleasantville because most of our girls ran on this course twice last year.”
Sophomores Megan Van Zante, Meleisha Vos and Caitlin Alberts all brought home medals and junior Abby Gruver also found her way into the top 20 as the Hawks scored 69 points in second place.
Collins-Maxwell won the meet with 41 after placing its five scoring runners in the first 17 positions.
Lynnville-Sully edged Class 2A PCM by five points. The Mustangs’ had two finishers in the top 10, and their top runner from last year, senior Kirstin Ives, is still working her way back from an injury she suffered in the spring.
“This was a tough course, and if we were comparable to Iowa State time wise, I would say we are making serious progress,” PCM coach Eric Karr said. “We had some really good times. We had some season personal best times.”
Central Decatur was a distant fourth behind PCM with 100 points.
Mount Ayr was next with 113 points, Colfax-Mingo was sixth with 118 points and Ogden finished seventh with 177 points. Interstate 35, Martensdale-St. Marys, Melcher-Dallas and Saydel all had incomplete teams.
Colfax-Mingo continued to rely on its consistent senior Ilia Hostetter while junior Abbey McConeghey works her way back from a hip injury she sustained during basketball season last winter.
Hostetter led the Tigerhawks on Monday, and she earned another medal with a 10-place finish. McConeghey competed for the first time this season and was 14th overall.
“She’s our rock. She’s constant and stable,” Colfax-Mingo co-head coach Jake Crouse said about Hostetter. “We have faced some battles trying to get Abbey back and ready and to get her confidence up. Today was just about getting the race done, and getting that mental victory.”
McConeghey was a state qualifier last year and finished a few positions off a state medal. She still has plenty of time to get into shape for this year’s postseason run.
“Anytime you have a serious injury, there’s always a worry of a re-injury so we took it slow and are progressing in the right direction,” Crouse said. “She told us tonight that she had a lot left after the race so that’s a huge weight off her shoulders. She’s way ahead of schedule. We are taking it slow and will keep progressing.”
The top area finisher was PCM junior Klaire Jungling, who was the runner-up with a time of 23 minutes, 9 seconds. Senior Megan Townley ended up fourth with a time of 23:14. Ives was 25th overall with a time of 26:05.
“We ran well. Our top runners who need to be near the top of races are doing that,” Karr said. “They are right where I want them to be right now. They are competing well and they probably will continue to go back and forth. They are doing exactly what I want them to do.”
Lynnville-Sully’s top finisher was Van Zante, who was sixth with a time of 23:50. Vos and Alberts were eighth and ninth with times of 24:09 and 24:10, respectively.
The final two counting runners for the Hawks were Gruver and junior Ashton Thompson. Gruver was 18th with a time of 24:57 and Thompson finished 43rd with a time of 27:52.
“Our front four were separated by a little more than a minute, and while there is work for them to do to make that closer, we really need to get the gap back to our fifth, sixth and seventh runners closed up if we’re hopeful of contending to win meets like conference later this season,” Arkema said.
The final two varsity runners were senior Emily Van Gorp and junior Brittney Hansen, who finished 45th and 52nd, respectively. Sophomore Hadley Tice was 66th.
PCM’s other two scoring runners after Jungling, Townley and Ives were senior Hannah Bouwkamp and sophomore Margo Chipps. Bouwkamp was 27th with a time of 26:27 and Chipps finished 32nd in 26:53.
The final two varsity runners were junior Hannah McCarthy and sophomore Emma George, who were 41st and 47th, respectively. Freshman Taryn Steenhoek was 57th, junior Natalie Smith was 60th, senior Sara Dudley was 67th and freshman Hanna Townley ended up 73rd.
Hostetter claimed another medal with a 10th-place finish. She crossed the finish line in 24:11. McConeghey was 14th with a time of 24:27.
The other three scoring runners for Colfax-Mingo were senior Payton Rhone, sophomore Daytin Chadwick and senior Delaney Underwood. Rhone placed 37th in 27:13, Chadwick was 38th in 27:15 and Underwood ended up 40th in 27:28.
Senior Colbee Cunningham, who played volleyball for the Tigerhawks less than an hour after the high school cross country race, finished 48th and junior Chelsey Atwood was 51st as the final varsity runners.
Sophomore Crystal Lincoln was 54th, senior Jordan Atwood ended up 55th, sophomore Jodine Woods finished 59th and freshman Brennan Rhone was 74th.
“We had some good senior performances all around,” Crouse said. “There are a lot of moving parts from runners four to eight. We have to figure out those moving parts and figure out whose going to be in the top five positions. I like where we are at overall though.”
Lincoln was expected to be a top-five Tigerhawk runner when the season started, but she’s been hampered by an injury and then an illness. She competed for the first time Monday.
Colfax-Mingo goes to Lynnville-Sully at 4:30 p.m. Thursday as the Hawks and Tigerhawks compete at Diamond Trail Golf Course in Lynnville. PCM competes at 5 p.m. Thursday in Pleasantville.