ELDORA With district assignments on the horizon, the 40th South Hardin XC Invite provided a late-September litmus test for the East Marshall boys.
Racing to a runner-up finish in a 10-team field, the Mustangs passed with flying colors.
Ben Terrones led East Marshall with a second place performance in a time of 18 minutes and four seconds as the Mustangs (88) edged Iowa Falls Alden (95) for the No. 2 spot at Pine Lake State Park on Saturday. Placing five runners in the top-17, Webster City took the team title with a score of 55. Isaac Montes of Iowa Falls-Alden won the race in 17:43.
T-R PHOTO BY TYLER STRAND
South Hardin’s Tim Rose, right, leads a pack early in Saturday’s race at Eldora. Rose led the Tigers to a sixth place performance by finishing third overall.
"In this meet we wanted to see where we stand and keep on fine-tuning things. The boys ran particularly well and Ben turned in a really nice performance," said East Marshall coach Christian Grandgenett.
Caleb Benzing (7th), Rob Petrie (20th) and Drew Schossow (23rd) also tallied top-25 finishes for the Mustangs, while Clayton Aman (36th) completed their team score.
Class 1A No. 8 ranked BCLUW finished fourth with 100 points, while Nevada (128) edged South Hardin (129) for fifth and South Tama (137) claimed seventh.
Getting through the distractions of Homecoming week, South Hardin didn't show any lack of concentration on the course.
Tim Rose triggered the Tigers with a third-place outing, while John Stanish was 18th and Levi Cook took 22nd. A sizable gap between their other scoring runners pushed the Tigers back a bit in the standings as Micah Dorow and Logan Roling finished 41st and 45th respectively.
"We're still working on getting our four and five runners in a little better position, but they ran hard," said South Hardin coach Tim Olson. "The runners stayed pretty focused during the week of Homecoming,. and we had a nice effort."
BCLUW showed a similar sense of restraint and control in their race mentality.
"We've been working this week on discipline. When the desire and motivation in a race don't come together, we want to rely on the discipline to take over. This is the time of the season where that's got to kick in. Our kids did that," said BCLUW coach Donna Fiscus.
Derek Coulter paced the Comets with a sixth place finish while Ben Kuhl and Clark Jackley placed 13th and 19th respectively. Branden Storjohann (25th) and Tanner Teske (37th) completed BCLUW's team score.
Robert Tyynismaa took fourth to propel the Trojans, while Blake Keller and Brady Ellenbecker placed 12th and 26th respectively. James Norton (43rd) and Taylen Andersen (52nd) also scored for South Tama.
Colo-NESCO grabbed 10th (257) as Gladbrook-Reinbeck, GMG and North Tama also competed but did not field enough runners to complete a team score. Tait Vaughn paced the Royals in 35th. Tyler Bovy represented the Rebels well with a 32nd place finish, while Jeff Hughes led GMG in 45th. Robert Young placed 67th for North Tama.
Mustangs can't match Cadets' depth
Barely edged by Iowa Falls Alden (121) for fourth, Class 2A No. 15 East Marshall (121) placed fifth out of 10 teams on the girls side. The Mustangs top three runners all finished ahead of their Cadet counterparts but East Marshall lost their advantage with the back of the pack including the sixth runner tiebreaker. Nevada (88) held off CMB (92) for the team title.
"We still need to get our 4 and 5 (runners) a little closer, but there's so many larger schools here today so that puts people in between," said Grandgenett. "We've been working on our second mile and fine-tuning the end of our races."
Haley Frye led the Mustangs in 5th, while Kristen Amendt and Paige Miller placed eighth and 15th respectively. Paige Flugge (44th) and Allie Roberts (49th) completed East Marshall's scoring quintet.
South Hardin finished sixth (165) trumping Class 1A No. 4 Eagle Grove (165) while South Tama (171), BCLUW (190) and North Tama (245) claimed the eight through 10 spots.
Abi Watson powered the Redhawks with a runner-up finish in 15:33, while South Hardin's Lydia Rose took third at 15:53. Claire Damon (16th) and Megan Carr (21st) also tallied top-25 finishes for the Tigers.
"We're racing well, but we just want to move the back two or three runners up a bit," said Rose.
Becca Steckelberg carried the Comets in 13th, while Amelia Tonner (17th) was close behind.
"Place wise we didn't end up where we wanted but we had the times we needed to compete in districts at the 1A level," said Fiscus. "We accomplished what we wanted and we'll build from this."
Gladbrook-Reinbeck and GMG also competed but did not field enough runners to figure into the team standings. Meg Edler led the Rebels in 53rd, while Allison Stegmann paced GMG in 73rd.