DES MOINES - Making it a point to move up its pack, the Marshalltown boys' cross country team turned in its best outing of the season with a second-place performance at the Augustine Invite at Ewing Park Thursday.
Class 2A's second-rated North Polk topped the podium with 36 points, while the Bobcats finished at 55 and Ottumwa was third (68) in the six-team field.
The Comets' Peter Smith - the No. 4 runner in Class 2A, reached the finish in 16 minutes, 29 seconds. North Polk's Ryley Sandberg, rated 17th, was second in 17:18, while the Bobcats' Imad Amenzou was five seconds back in third.
Nate Phillips added a ninth-place tally for MHS in 18:21 and Sam Johnson was 20 seconds back in 12th. Hunter Barnard and Alex Mason each clocked 19:04 to place 15th and 16th, respectively.
"Our best effort of the year," said MHS coach Chad Pietig. "The guys competed hard, ran up front and put themselves in a position to have some success."
Andrew Potter took 19th in 19:22 and Jacob Shirar was two positions behind in 19:34 for MHS. The Bobcats will compete at the Central Iowa Conference championships Oct. 17 at Iowa State University Cross Country Course in Ames. Races begin at 5 p.m.
At Ewing Park, Des Moines
Team Standings - 1. North Polk 36, 2. Marshalltown 55, 3. Ottumwa 68, 4. Lincoln 94, 5. DM North 130, 6. DM East 146
Individual (top 10) - 1. Peter Smith, NP, 17:18; 2. Ryley Sandberg, NP, 17:18; 3. Imad Amenzou, MHS, 17:23; 4. Cody McConnell, Ott, 17:40; 5. Muni Abdulahi, DMN, 17:50; 6. Sam McMichael, Linc, 17:50; 7. Reed Smith, NO, 17:56; 8. Christian Berglund, NP, 18:13; 9. Nate Phillips, MHS, 18:21; 10. Keegan Cook, DME, 18:32
MARSHALLTOWN (55) - 3. Amenzou 17:23, 9. Phillips 18:21, 12. Sam Johnson 18:41, 15. Hunter Barnard 19:04, 16. Alex Mason 19:04.