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Bobcat cross country kicks off season in Ames Invite

AMES — Marshalltown boys’ and girls’ cross country teams were on the Iowa State University cross country course Thursday afternoon for the 52nd running of Ames’ Kirk Schmaltz Cross Country Invite.

The girls finished fifth out of six teams participating in the event with a best time of 22:36.2 from Odaly Flores, good enough for 25th place individually. Finishing right behind her was Micah Blevins with a 22:37.5. Grace Rasmussen finished 35th with a 23:31.4, followed by Rachel Smith with a 23:53.7 in 36th place. Lydia Blevins finished 42nd with a time of 24:53.3, Maggie Augustine finished 44th with a time of 25:00.8 and Makenna Ainsworth finished with a 25:08.7.

Phoebe Hermanson was not among the finishers, as girls’ CC head coach Stacy O’Hare said she encountered some breathing problems about a mile-and-a-half into the run, ending it prematurely. O’Hare said Hermanson and another runner she didn’t name who suffered an asthma attack were okay but was sad their meet got cut short.

O’Hare said it was encouraging to see new runners get some action early in the year.

“We had some newbies, some kids that haven’t run, so they had some inexperience and ran really, really well,” O’Hare said. “Overall, I think I’m really pleased with the kids, they ran well for the first time out. But it was kind of disappointing for those kids that didn’t get a chance to finish.”

The boys’ team finished their meet sixth out of seven teams with an average time of 18:59.9, led by Connor Smith’s 14th-place finish at 16:43.1. Anthoneih Kopsa finished 41st with a 19:10.5, Jason Strand ran a 19:21.6 to finish 44th, Noah Hermanson finished 45th exactly eight seconds behind Strand (19:29.6), and then three Bobcats finished consecutively to finish off their times — Marco Hererra in 47th with a 20:14.4, Ethan Benscoter in 48th with a 20:21.2 and Nicholas Price in 49th with a 20:26.8.

The next meet for both squads is Sept. 10 at the Bobcat Invite at Marshalltown Community College. Running starts at 4 p.m.

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