Top-40 for BCLUW’s Silver, MHS 17th at own muddy Classic

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - BCLUW senior Caleb Silver, right, and Marshalltown sophomore Javier Rodriguez, middle, lead a pack of racers down a muddy stretch during the 45th Bobcat Cross Country Classic on Thursday.

By the time the varsity boys got on the cross country course at Marshalltown Community College on Thursday in the 45th Bobcat Classic, the field looked more like a tough mudder course.

Dirt flew and sweat dripped throughout the entire competitive race that featured many of the top Class 4A teams in the state, with the Marshalltown cross country team right in the mix.

Bobcat sophomore Javier Rodriguez paced MHS to a 17th-place finish, the highest of any of the area teams in attendance, by placing 71st with a time of 17 minutes, 57 seconds, the first sub-18 minute race of Rodriguez’s career.

When the race got started Rodriguez said he had no idea he was about to run the best time of his life.

“I was a little surprised because it was muddy. It was a mud bath out there,” he said after cleaning up prior to the race. “It was hard keeping my balance because I would step and my foot would slip. I thought I was going to fall for a little bit.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - GMG junior Jackson Edens, middle, runs along with the pack during an early leg of the boys varsity race in the Bobcat Classic on Thursday in Marshalltown.

MHS head coach Chad Pietig said his message to the team before the race was to not think about the mud, but rather use it to their advantage.

“I told them to go have fun with it,” Pietig said. “I told them have fun, race the course, plow through the mud and don’t be tippy-toeing through it, just race. If you pause for anything like that you’re going to get run over in this field.”

Rodriguez definitely had some fun competing in such a tough race, as he said it’s always fun to set a new record.

“It’s been my goal since my freshman year and I’m glad I got it,” he said of going under 18 minutes. “Barely but I still got it.”

Pietig said Rodriguez has still only scratched the surface of his potential as well.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON - East Marshall’s Cade Curphy, right, and Cam Hungerford, left, hit the home stretch at the Marshalltown Community College course in the Bobcat Classic.

“He is someone who works hard but has to be a little more consistent with his practice, then he will knock even more time off of that,” Pietig said. “I think tonight was an eye opener for him that he can run with these guys. The next thing is to train like these guys, lets do what they are doing and he will catch a bunch of them and do what they are doing.”

Senior Josh Terrones was the next-best finisher for the Bobcats with a time of 18:25, good enough for 92nd place. Eli Thiessen followed in 109th place with a time of 18:51, while Conner Smith came in 115th with an 18:59.

When facing a field that will likely be tougher than the state meet, Pietig said his guys stared down the strong competition and didn’t blink.

“I don’t think the moment seemed to big for them either,” he said. “When you hear that 12 of the top 15 4A schools are here, it’s easy to be intimidated and that’s the club we are trying to get to. That’s the elite club we are trying to join, so I just told them to go learn from them.”

To put things into perspective, Pietig said this wasn’t just some normal meet for the 45th running of the Bobcat Classic, it was an event that runners will remember for generations.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“Afterwards when we talked, I told them that they don’t realize cross country coaches will be talking about this meet 15 years from now,” Pietig said. “We are going to say, ‘do you remember that 45th Bobcat? Do you remember how crazy that field was?’ They were apart of something really, really cool and special in the running world, but they are young and don’t understand. People from all over the state wanted to come watch this meet, college coaches all of a sudden wanted to come watch this meet, it was pretty cool to be a part of that for these young guys.”

While the Bobcats had the top team finish in the area, the top local individual mark went to BCLUW senior Caleb Silver, who placed 39th with a time of 17:25.

Silver, a seasoned runner who has competed in multiple state events, said this was one of the craziest track conditions he’s ever seen.

“It was crazy, I about wiped out a few times there,” Silver said with a grin. “It was a fun race, reminded me of conference last year.”

Comet head coach Donna Fiscus said Silver is right on track to reach the state meet in Fort Dodge again this season.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

“He is a kid who knows how to run a race, he is a smart runner and I am very impressed with that,” Fiscus said. “He’s been like that since day one but now his senior year going into last week’s race and this one, he just really knows how he should get out there and where he needs to position himself and when he needs to make a movement. He knows when his body is going to be ready for it, he’s one of those kids you love to coach because he does a lot of it on his own.”

BCLUW placed 19th as a team with a score of 597.

Nearly the entire race, Silver and GMG junior Jackson Edens jockeyed for position, with Silver nudging Edens out in the last half mile. Edens was still the second-best area finisher, coming in 52nd for the Wolverines with a time of 17:38, and Silver said it’s always nice to have such a good competition with a local rival.

“Jackson really pushed me today, I was glad to have him around and see a familiar face out there. It was a good race I thought,” Silver said.

GMG placed 22nd as a team with a score of 680.

Finishing just ahead of the Wolverines was East Marshall, which came in 21st with a time of 614.

Cam Hungerford was the top finisher for the Mustangs with a time of 18:33 to place 99th, while Cade Curphy kept right in pace by placing 100th with a time of 18:34.

East Marshall head coach Trent Taylor said he was fine with how his guys competed, especially given the course conditions.

“I think it would be a little unfair to the boys to compare this course after seven races ran on it, there were some places that were pretty hard to navigate,” Taylor said. “From a competitive standpoint they were similar to where they were with the local athletes from the previous meets. The times were a little frustrating but I would much rather do this than wait another week and lose a meet.”

South Tama County only ran one varsity competitor in the Classic, with junior Garrett Arp placing 116th for the Trojans with a time of 19:01.

Class 4A No. 1 Dowling Catholic took top honors as a team with a score 45 points, as four Maroons placed in the top 10.

Ankeny senior Tim Sindt smoked the field individually, taking first overall with a time of 15:39, more than 30 seconds faster than Kolby Greiner from Iowa City West in second.

Team Standings — 1. Dowling Catholic 45, 2. Waukee 102, 3. Pleasant Valley 109, 4. Dubuque Hempstead 145, 5. Ankeny 161, 6. Iowa City West 168, 7. Ankeny Centennial 192, 8. West Des Moines Valley 197, 9. Cedar Falls 246, 10. Johnston 295, 11. Ames 295, 12. Dubuque Senior 321, 13. Southeast Polk 331, 14. Urbandale 336, 15. Des Moines Roosevelt 395, 16. Mason City 485, 17. Marshalltown 513, 18. Dike-New Hartford 574, 19. BCLUW 597, 20. Waterloo West 609, 21. East Marshall 614, 22. GMG 680, 23. Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR 686, 24. Fort Dodge 711.

Individuals (top 10) — 1. Tim Sindt, ANK, 15:39; 2. Kolby Greiner, ICW, 16:12; 3. Will Ode, DC, 16:12; 4. Sam Hall, DC, 16:20; 5. Gabriel Vicker, 16:25; 6. Payton Marrs, URB, 16:28; 7. Cole Schroeder, DC, 16:30; 8. Moe Smith, WAU, 16:31; 9. Carter Owen, VAL, 16:40; 10. Zach Fry, DC, 16:41.

MARSHALLTOWN (513) — 71. Javier Rodriguez 17:57, 92. Josh Terrones 18:25, 109. Eli Thiessen 18:51, 115. Conner Smith 18:59, 127. Freddy Ross 19:23, 129. Marcus Barker 19:28, 142. Zach Bitker 20:38.

BCLUW (597) — 39. Caleb Silver 17:25, 121. Henry Kaisand 19:15, 143. Treye Teske 20:44, 145. Neifer Ralston 21:00, 153. Joseph Mason 21:32, 155. Josiah Hand 21:47, 156. Tanner McLeland 21:52.

EAST MARSHALL (614) — 99. Cam Hungerford 18:33, 100. Cade Curphy 18:34, 138. Trevor Taul 20:11, 139. Kordell Negrete 20:11, 141. Korbin Seth 20:37, 150. Eli Curtis 21:22.

GMG (680) — 52. Jackson Edens 17:38, 151. Daniel Hughes 21:28, 154. Spencer Tweedy 21:38, 163. Justin Savatdy 23:50, 164. Cameron Spurlin 23:51.

SOUTH TAMA — 116. Garrett Arp 19:01.