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Neighbors Growing Together | May 22, 2018

Mid-Prairie competes in Monticello Invitational

Sep 13, 2017

Submited by Aaron Fleming


Mid-Prairie cross country competed in the Monticello Invitational today, Saturday, September 9. Girls team

Yesterday we had a team goal setting session for how much they wanted to improve at this meet, and nearly the whole squad -varsity and JV - met their goals today. That’s very satisfying for the runners, to see their times improving, and the whole team improvement is a great sign of how unified these girls are and how focused they are on supporting each other and winning as a team. This was our program’s first win at Monticello, another milestone for the program. Marie Hostetler led the team again; she and sister Anna battled class 3A’s top runner, Adrianna Katcher, before using their superb conditioning to break away at the 1.5 mile mark. Pacing was a little difficult to gauge since this course is at least 150 meters longer than regulation, but the Hostetlers’ first mile time of 5:31 was remarkable and indicates how fast they can be as the season progresses and they aim for the state meet record. Kate Cavanagh also had an outstanding race, finishing as a scorer for the first time this season; it was really good to see her be able to move up and push her teammates and contribute to the scoring. Kessa Jones and Abbagail Evans ran 90 seconds faster than a year ago, while Moriah Brase posted a 150 second improvement year-to-date. These returning letter winners are really determined that the team won’t be defined simply by the front runners, and they have worked really hard to close the gap on the Hostetlers and create a strong team attack. Freshman Ana Fleming finished 7th in a field that included 6 runners who will likely finish top-ten in the state this season.

On the JV squad, I really like what I saw from Freshman Jill Owen. Jill is new to the sport this year, but today I saw her racing hard, making determined moves to get through packs of opponents, and that kind of tough racing is a sign of great things to come for her. Sophia Norman and Kitty Conway had year-to-date improvements of 90 seconds and 3 minutes, respectively; Freshman Sarah Meader led the JV squad today, and her time would have easily been on our varsity squad last year. Shelby Zahradnek was injured a year ago and did not run, so it is really good to have her healthier this year and bringing her cheerful leadership to this group.

The girls record improves to 37-3 for the season, and they remain unbeaten in class 2A.

Boys team

The boys also posted a number of year-to-date improvements, with front-runner Floyd Evans leading the way with a 68-second leap forward. Floyd finished only 15 seconds behind Myles Bach, Center Point Urbana’s fine athlete who is ranked #2 in class 3A. Head Coach Mark Hostetler spent some time challenging Quinn Schmidt this week to stay close to Zach Petit, and Quinn really rose to the challenge, staying right on Zach’s heels for most of the race before Zach pulled away a bit at the finish. Zach had a nice year-to-date improvement, and it was really good to see him pulling Quinn along and Quinn working on that mental toughness through the middle of the race. Peyton Miller, who is co-captain with Petit, finished right between them, and that kind of pack running will give us a lot of team strength as the season goes along. Cary Schaefer rounded out the scoring, 20 seconds faster than our fifth runner finished a year ago, and once again we’re really grateful to have him out. The boys sort of “trained through” this meet and the fatigue of the week showed a little bit today, but that also shows off their mental toughness and commitment to giving their all. Miller and Schaefer are notable for the way they give their best every meet whether or not they feel good, and we really hope the younger guys are soaking up that senior example.

On the JV side, senior David Fleming came back from a disappointing outing last week, posting a 4 minute improvement and grinning the whole way to a JV individual title. His fast start seemed to inspire freshman Lucas Bontrager, who ran his fastest first mile of the season by 20 seconds and finished just fast enough to claim a spot along with Fleming on the varsity squad for the next meet. We expect these two to continue to battle with Miles Burrows and Samson Kimani for spots on varsity, and that kind of competition will push the whole team forward and give the team much more overall depth. These four young men are such hard workers and we’re really proud of the many summer miles they all put in to make their team better. Many other JV boys have improved a lot this year, including Austin Bontrager (1 minute), Dallas Miller (nearly 3 minutes), Ethan Hall (4 minutes) and the big year-to-date move Levi Stultz, who has dropped 10 minutes.The boys’ record improves to 33-11.

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