Local harriers invade MCC course for 44th Bobcat Invite

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • GMG’s Kyla Wilkening, left, and Waukee’s Isabelle Schaffer sprint toward the finish of Thursday’s Bobcat Invite in Marshalltown. Wilkening placed 28th in a time of 20 minutes, 9 seconds.

Marshalltown played host to over 1,800 athletes on Thursday from over 20 teams, as the 44th annual Bobcat Cross Country Invite was held at the Marshalltown Community College course.

For the varsity girls team scores, Dowling Catholic walked away as the champions with a team score of 67, while the Maroons also won the boys race with a team score of 61.

Locally, the top team finisher for the girls was Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR, coming in 11th with a team score of 305, while East Marshall took the local crown for the boys with a 427 team score, good enough for 14th.

Mustangs head coach Trent Taylor said his guys had a bit of an advantage running on a course they are somewhat familiar with, given they are just a short trip down Highway 30 away, but it’s always going to be difficult to compete with the best Class 4A teams in the state.

“We aren’t throwing them to the lions or wolves by any means, obviously it’s an advantage to us because it’s close,” he said. “We have had some of our athletes run on this course in previous years and there is a local 5K fundraiser that some of our guys have run in too. Honestly, once the race starts and that 4A elite gets out front, in just a couple minutes it turns into a regular race. Besides the start and the fact that it’s congested, once the race starts it’s just like any other meet.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • East Marshall’s Cam Hungerford, front left, runs with a pack at the Bobcat Classic on Thursday at Marshalltown Community College. Hungerford led the Class 2A No. 10 Mustangs with a 56th-place finish in 17 minutes, 23 seconds.

Individually, the top local finisher for the girls also came from Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR, as junior Aubrie Fisher broke into the top-10 with an eighth-place time of 19:28. GMG’s Kyla Wilkening was next for the local finishers, coming in 28th.

For the boys, BCLUW’s Caleb Silver was the top local finisher with a time of 17:05, good enough for 44th, while East Marshall’s Cam Hungerford was the next-best local at 56th.

Comets head coach Donna Fiscus said Silver was outstanding on the day, and as a whole her team showed a lot of improvement in just their second meet of the season.

“Caleb Silver ran a marvelous race, oh my gosh,” Fiscus said while her team packed up camp at the end of the meet. “We were talking before going into this meet today that we wanted to get better times than we did last week, since this is only our second meet. Each person wasn’t worried about placing, we weren’t worried about team finishes, we were just worried about making ourselves run harder and faster. And I think they all accomplished that, most of the times were down.”

While he came in 72nd in the boys meet, Marshalltown senior Luke Pedersen finally busted through a barrier he has been working on his entire career. Pedersen ran a 17:46 in the meet, the first time he has broken past the 18-minute mark in a meet, and head coach Chad Pietig said he couldn’t be happier for the young man.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Marshalltown’s Aida Almanza leads a pack of Bobcat runners during the 44th annual Bobcat Invite on Thursday at MCC. Almanza placed 85th in a time of 23 minutes, 4 seconds.

“It’s been a two-year goal for him to break that 18 minute mark, and he’s been stuck around that 18:25-18:30 mark, so running a 17:46 — 40 seconds faster than two weeks ago — I am really happy for him,” Pietig said as the sun set on the Bobcat Invite. “He has worked for that for several years, he has put the time in, and we have a lot of season left. We have a lot of training left. I am pleased for him to get that out of the way, because that put a lot of pressure on him to break that barrier and break that goal, so we will just keep chipping away.”

The Marshalltown boys were the second-best local team on the day, coming in just behind East Marshall in 15th with a team score of 508. Pietig said he knew coming in this wasn’t a meet his guys were going to challenge for the top spot in, but they all showed a lot of improvement, especially since running this course two weeks ago in the Early Bird Invite.

“It’s a big meet and we knew we were going to be in the middle of the pack, but everybody dropped a lot of time from last week and from two weeks ago,” he said. “I am really happy with the work they’ve done, and I wanted them to see the benefits from that work tonight. That was the important thing, to see that you have improved and all those miles you have put in, all those Saturday mornings and all that stuff we’ve been doing, you have some reward for it.”

The Bobcats girls finished with the third-best local score, taking 14th with a team score of 434, just four points behind 13th-place finisher Dike-New Hartford. Freshman Mary Kate Gruening was the high-finisher on the day for the second-straight time at the MCC course with a time of 22:53, but like last time four other Marshalltown runners finished within a minute of her pace.

Bobcats girls head coach Stacy O’Hare said, given how the girls struggled when they ran in Ames last week, she was thrilled with the performance they put on in their home invite.


“We didn’t run very well at Ames last week so for them to bounce back and run like this today, I am really happy with the effort,” she said. “Obviously we practice here and they love it here. We have had some good practices here and it’s their home course, that momentum and excitement gets them. I am glad we are running our personal bests here at home for everyone to see.”

Bobcat Invite

At Marshalltown Community College


Team Standings — 1. Dowling Catholic 67, 2. Dubuque Hempstead 79, 3. Cedar Falls 99, 4. Waukee 105, 5. Ankeny Centennial 126, 6. Roosevelt 137, 7. Urbandale 187, 8. Ankeny 233, 9. Southeast Polk 238, 10. West Des Moines Valle 256, 11. Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR 305, 12. Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck 380, 13. Dike-New Hartford 430, 14. Marshalltown 434, 15. GMG 437, 16. Fort Dodge 442, 17. East Marshall 469, 18. BCLUW 553.


Individual (top 10) — 1. Hannah Brown, DH, 19:00; 2. Mackenzie Micahel, CF, 19:06; 3. Sydney Schaffer, WAU, 19:06; 4. Elzerie VanDyk, DC, 19:10; 5. Helen Gould, VAL, 19:13; 6. Peyton Kelderman, WAU, 19:21; 7. Heather Hostager, DH, 19:22; 8. Aubrie Fisher, IFA/AGWSR, 19:28; 9. Kate Timboe, DC, 19:31; 10. Emma Gordon, AC, 19:32.

IOWA FALLS-ALDEN/AGWSR (305) — 8. Fisher 19:28, 48. Ellie Meyer 20:39, 74. Haley Bakker 22:04, 88. Sarah Faith Carson 23:15, 90. Katie Meyer 23:21, 96. Patience Kauzlarich 24:04, 104. Ali Gerbacht 24:58.

GRUNDY CENTER/GLADBROOK-REINBECK (380) — 51. Lily Ehlers 20:55, 70. Cora Saak 21:52, 73. Reagan Zinkula 22:00, 84. Shelby Rivera 22:53, 107. Sarah Lindeman 25:09, 109. Libby Ross 25:33, 115. Madison Westwater 26:09.

MARSHALLTOWN (434) — 83. Mary Kate Gruening 22:53, 85. Aida Almanza 23:04, 86. Jade Tejada 23:04, 91. Kaci Uhde 23:22, 94. Odaly Flores 23:56.

GMG (437) — 28. Kyla Wilkening 20:09, 87. Zoe Duncan 23:11, 97. Belle Duncan 24:11, 110. Lindsey Slifer 25:48, 120. Grace Schewe 27:53, 123. Talia Trumbo 33:05.


EAST MARSHALL (469) — 73. Melinda Puumala 21:57, 80. Wendy Liera 22:51, 92. Cindy Liera 24:29, 111. Madison Bond 26:03, 114. Olivia Terrones 26:08, 116. Hannah Roads 26:52, 118. Hannah Birks 27:10.

BCLUW (553) — 103. Katie Thompson 24:46, 108. Cheyenne Cushinberry 25:32, 113. Samantha Schleisman 26:07, 118. Payton Pekarek 27:08, 122. Madison Engle 28:51.

SOUTH TAMA — 66. Jessica Musgrave 21:43, 98. Kelsie York-Morris 24:09.


Team Standings — 1. Dowling Catholic 61, 2. Pleasant Valley 74, 3. West Des Moines Valley 114, 4. Waukee 126, 5. Iowa City West 138, 6. Dubuque Hempstead 158, 7. Ankeny Centenial 189, 8. Ames 216, 9. Ankeny 218, 10. Cedar Falls 252, 11. Urbandale 286, 12. Southeast Polk 286, 13. Roosevelt 332, 14. East Marshall 427, 15. Marshalltown 508, 16. BCLUW 531, 17. Fort Dodge 542, 18. Grundy Center/Gladbrook-Reinbeck 551, 19. Dike-New Hartford 553, 20. Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR 561, 21. GMG 633.

Individual (top 10) — 1. Kolby Greiner, ICW, 15:23; 2. Matthew Carmody, DC, 15:26; 3. Tim Sindt, ANK, 15:31; 4. Anthony Pena, PV, 15:56; 5. Camden Cox, AC, 16:05; 6. Konnor Sommer, PV, 16:07; 7. Brandon Conrad, CF, 16:10; 8. Payton Marrs, URB, 16:12; 9. Habibu Moise, VAL, 16:13; 10. Will Ode, DC, 16:14.

EAST MARSHALL (427) — 56. Cam Hungerford 17:23, 74. Seth Kilborn 17:49, 86. Brandon Fogt 18:06, 95. Cade Curphy 18:16, 116. Evan Espenchied 19:37, 120. Korbin Seth 19:52, 123. Holden Lane 20:11.

MARSHALLTOWN (508) — 72. Luke Pedersen 17:46, 100. Javier Rodriguez 18:28, 107. Zach Bitker 18:52, 112. Eli Thiesen 19:04, 119. Noah Hermenson 19:45, 128. Wyatt Demeyer 20:37, 134. Peyton Hlsabeck 21:29.

BCLUW (531) — 44. Caleb Silver 17:05, 94. Neifer Ralston 18:15, 116. Treye Teske 19:37, 138. Koty Kruse 22:17, 142. Alex Crompton 23:53, 144. Kristian Ferneau 24:47, 145. Drew Carson 25:43.

GRUNDY CENTER/GLADBROOK-REINBECK (551) — 82. Derek Ciddio 18:02, 106. Kenny Day 18:51, 114. Max Schweppe 19:20, 122. Sam Schildroth 19:53, 130. Marshall Day 20:46, 131. Brady Appel 20:46, 132. Alex Schweppe 20:56.

IOWA FALLS-ALDEN/AGWSR (561) — 104. Brayden Penning 18:46, 105. Greg Tystahl 18:50, 113. Seth Mazoway 19:19, 115. Campbell Murra 19:29, 127. Ben Macy 20:36, 139. JT Marshall 22:34, 140. Aidan Andrews 22:40.

GMG (633) — 90. Jackson Edens 18:08, 126. Logan O’Neal 20:34, 137. Daniel Huges 21:52, 141. Alex Tichy 23:11, 13. J.J. Handorf 24:46, 146. Spencer Tweedy 33:07.

SOUTH TAMA — 110. Chase Branan 19:01.