The Lions kicked off the 2018 cross country season Thursday, Aug. 23, at the Iowa Falls Invitational held at Maynes Grove Park.
Coach Nick DiMarco said this year’s squad is an equal mix of experienced upperclassmen and runners who are new to the sport. The combination was good, as the Lions finished fourth in the nine-team race featuring 155 boys.
Humboldt won the meet with 31 points. Newman finished second with 50 points and South Hardin was third with 86 points. The Lions were fourth with 99 points.
Sophomore Justin Wright was the first to cross the finish line for the Lions. He finished ninth with a time of 18:20.
“Justin’s summer mileage really paid off, placing in the top 10 and running with the leaders most of the race,” said Coach DiMarco.
Next came six runners who utilized the pack strategy throughout the entire race encouraging each other and working as a team. These runners included: freshman Tanner Reimann, 20th in 19:48, senior Lewis Callaway, 22nd in 19:49, senior Jacob Peterson, 23rd in 19:49, senior Ben Stroup, 25th in 19:51, senior Noan Colby, 28th in 20:12, and junior Jacob Pedelty, 31st in 20:23.
“This was a great race to see where our fitness level is and determine the type of training our team needs to do for the rest of the season,” said DiMarco, adding he is very happy with how the team performed.
The following runners completed the race as follows: Austin Warnke, 42nd (21:07), Carter Olk 58th (22:07), Valdimir Starrett 70th (22:29), Conner Morey 71st (22:30), Elijah Mock 72nd (22:31), Mitchell Raber 91st (23:14), Eric Ritter 95th (23:26), Easton Goeman 100th (23:44), Noah Petersen 105th (23:58), David Guetzlaff 118th (25:00), Caden Jones 121st (25:09), Nick Currier 124th (25:26), Andrew Formanek 125th (25:26), Jorden Bergman 126th (25:31), Austin Young 127th (25:32), Carson Odor 132nd (25:39), Jacob DiCamillo 144th (27:35), and Braden Mills 148th (28:35).
There were 130 girls who competed at Maynes Grove. The Lions finished seventh (206 points) out of 10 teams. Humboldt won the meet with 45 points.
Clear Lake senior Alena Gabrielson came out with an exceptional effort, running hard the entire race. Gabrielson placed 11th with a time of 23:19. Also placing well for the Lions was senior Bailey Larsen, who was 30th in 24:45.
Underclassmen filled out the next wave of runners with Kaylee McCarl placing 70th (27:18), Jillian Enke 72nd (27:22), and Emily Roberts 73rd (27:27). Rounding out the Varsity scoring was Mallory Leisure, 75th (27:31), and Haley Jackson 85th (28:28).
“The girls came to the race with a great attitude and everyone ran hard,” said Coach DiMarco.
The following runners completed the race as follows: Jessica Theobald 88th (29:06), Taylor Krull 90th (29:32), Sarah Hall 93rd (29:47), Chloe Williamson 121st (34:57), Aimee Groeneweg 122nd (35:05), Gretchen Guetzlaff 123rd (35:33).