(Above) Clear Lake’s Bailey Larsen was the second Lion to cross the line. She finished in 15th place with a time of 23:47. -Reporter photo by Chris Barragy
Runners battled both the heat and several ranked teams at the Clear Lake Invitational Thursday at the Clear Lake Baptist Camp.
With temperatures approaching 90 degrees and high humidity, the Clear Lake boys captured the team title; the Lion girls were sixth.
“This hot weather didn’t deter the Clear Lake runners, volunteers, or spectators. It was a fun night for the community on Homecoming week to see so many students work hard to represent their school,” said Clear Lake Coach Nick DiMarco. “This race wouldn’t have been such a success without all of the help of the many volunteers. The cross country team appreciates all of the time they gave to help this event be such a wonderful experience. We are lucky to be able to run our race on such a beautiful facility as The Baptist Camp.”
It was a complete team effort for the Lions boys to secure the first place finish. Six of the seven runners finished in the top 20.
Sam Pedelty crossed the finish line third overall in a time of 17:34.
“Sam has had a great season so far. He is driven to perform well and has consistently been at the top of each race,” said DiMarco. “The same could be said about Eric Faught. Eric and Sam have really pushed each other to be their best. Eric has used his wrestler mentality to wear out the competition on the course.”
Faught placed eighth with a time of 18:10.
Dylan Schuchard ran his best race of the season, finishing 11th in 18:40 and fighting off several competitors down the stretch. Right behind Dylan came Ike Branstad, finishing13th in 18:43.
“Ike is doing a better job this year getting out with the leaders and not having to spend so much energy passing people on the course,” said Coach DiMarco.
Freshman Justin Wright came in next for the Lions, finishing 16th in 18:51. Karter Anderson was 20th 19:14, and Jacob Petersen placed 38th in 19:54.
The varsity girls team gave a solid effort and continues to improve.
Leading the Lions was Gretchen Jones, who placed 10th in a time of 23:01.
“Being a senior, this was Gretchen’s last home race. After the race, she commented how she was going to miss running the hills of Baptist Camp,” noted Coach DiMarco.
Bailey Larsen was next for the Lions, finishing 15th in a time of. 23:47. Riley Cooney finished 46th in a time of 26:37; Jillian Enke placed 48th in a time of 26:42; Tali Tesar was 52nd in a time of 27:07; and Mallory Leisure finished 58th in a time of 28:04.
The Clear Lake JV Boys won the junior varsity meet by placing multiple runners in the top 20.
Leading the Lions was Lewis Callaway, finishing first overall in a time of 20:03.
“Lewis ran a fantastic strategic race the first two-thirds before extending his lead the last lap for a comfortable win,” said Coach DiMarco.
Second for the Lions was Noan Colby, fourth over all with a time of 20:42. Finishing seventh for the Lions was Ben Stroup in 21:06. He was followed by Jacob Pedelty, ninth, 21:32; Jackson Hamlin, 12th, 21:37; Carter Olk, 13th, 22:39; David Lincicum, 20th, 22:07; Austin Young, 23rd, 22:13; Elijah Mock, 25th, 22:14; Carter Backhaus, 26th, 22:15; Joel Groeneweg, 28th, 22:23; Noah Petersen, 37th, 23:55; Theo Swanson, 42nd, 23:04; Conner Morey, 46th, 23:23; Carson Meyer, 59th, 24:08; David Guetzlaff, 66th, 24:2; Nick Currier, 70th, 24:55; Braden Byrnes, 88th, 28:55.
Clear Lake’s JV girls were once again led by Jessica Theobold. She finished 12th in a time of 27:49.
“Jessica keeps getting stronger and stronger every race. She looks to have a great second half of the season,” said Coach DiMarco.
Next for Clear Lake was the duo of Nikki Tesar and Kara Reineke, finishing 20th and 22nd in 29:23 and 29:26. Newcomer Bella Clabaugh finished 23rd in 29:39. She was followed by Delaney Markwardt, 24th, 29:54; Taylor Krull, 28th, 31:17; Jordyn Barragy, 29th, 31:44; Ali Lincicum, 30th, 31:49; Sharrell Lee, 31st, 32:55; Riley Schuchard, 32nd, 32:30; Gretchen Guetslaff, 36th, 33:59.