Hawks, Demons, Warriors race at IMS Invite
WELLMAN — The Mid-Prairie boys’ cross-country team nearly took first-place hardware Monday at the Wellman Golf Course.
The IMS Cross-Country Invitational team trophy came down to eight points, which Vinton-Shellsburg won.
“Last week we got beat pretty easily by Clear Creek; this week we beat them by 12,” said Mid-Prairie head coach Mark Hostetler. “We beat Williamsburg by eight. They have really been doing well this year.”
Junior Jared Draper posted the top time for Mid-Prairie at 17 minutes and 40 seconds for fifth place in the 5K. At the two-mile marker he held the top spot, but couldn’t sustain it.
“Jared went out and ran tough,” Hostetler said. “I told him he needs to get up there and run like he is capable. His ankles have been bothering him and he didn’t run the last four days. He is a bit out of shape.”
Sophomore Ryan Errthum gave his school two runners in the top 10 with a seventh-place finish at 17:46.
Senior Ty Feigenspan came in 12th with a time of 17:59. Sophomore Cade Miller had a time of 18:19 in 21st place.
The Golden Hawks girls’ team finished in fourth place with 20 schools competing. Mid-Praire was the lone 2A school in the top five with the rest 3A.
The Hawks were led by freshman Abby Tornow. She finished in sixth, one minute out of first with a time of 16:36.
“I thought we ran awesome,” Hostetler said. “Abby ran real well. Abby picked up the equivalent of four or five places from the Clear Creek Invite.”
Sophomore Hannah Van Roekel, who typically occupies the second spot, did not race.
Instead sophomore Maddi Zahradnek took up the reins and finished in 30th place with a time of 17:38.
“Maddi picked up about 20 places,” Hostetler said. “Beth Chmelar did the same. Maddi ran super well. Calli Shaw and Greta Schmidt ran really well. Grace Chmelar ran one of her best times. Jordan Murray ran varsity for the first time.”
Tornow has state aspirations for her team.
“I think it has been going really well,” Tornow said. “I hope eventually we can make it to state and push ourselves even more than we are doing now.”
The Washington boys’ side were led by senior Austin Latcham’s time of 20:05 in 48th.
“It was good,” Latcham said. “I felt a lot better; it was cooler weather.”
Junior Curtis Vest was 50th with a time of 20:09. The pair were side-by-side until the final leg of the race.
“We push each other and then battle out at the end to see who has the better kick,” Latcham said. “It has been that way most of the meets. He has got me at two of the meets.”
Latcham said his time was a product of work in the offseason and a push to have a solid senior year.
“I worked hard over the summer because I only made one meet last year,” Latcham said. “It was my goal to step it up this year for my last year.”
His record time this year is 18:27 which he put up at the Mt. Pleasant meet. His goal is 18 minutes.
Washington girls’ team was led by sophomore Emme Keith with a time of 17:59 for 36th place. Freshman Mariah Howard was in 42nd with a time of 18:16.
Sophomore Morgan Kimball rounded out the top three of the team with a 47th-place finish in 18:45.
The IMS boys’ team was paced by Kirby Shetler’s 28th place finish and 18:39 time.
The IMS girls’ side was led by Renee Buckwalter with a 20th place finish of 17:12.
“The nice thing for this meet is we ran two weeks ago and we can compare how we did,” said IMS head coach Marty Gingerich. “Most of the runners ran faster. Renee Buckwalter ran about 40 seconds faster.”
WACO had just two boy runners suit up. Senior Dillon Douglas made his first appearance at the course and led the boys’ side with a 62nd finish and time of 21:11.
Unfamiliarity with the challenging course made the race difficult.
“They gave a great effort, said WACO head coach Cinda Blake. “It was pretty hilly and pretty tough course. They ran quite well. Our kids haven’t run here very often.”
WACO fielded one girl runner with two missing from action.
“Tonight went really well for us,” Blake said. “We only had three runners and the other three had prior commitments because we don’t usually run on Mondays. We were down quite a few runners.”
Sophomore Cheyenne Sedlacek finished in 64th with a time of 20:03.