Running against some of thes top teams in the state was going to be hard enough for the Marshalltown girls' cross country team Thursday. Doing so without the services of their top two runners made it nearly impossible.
Sophomore Rachel Blagg and junior Wynn Tan are both out due to injuries, and those losses forced the Bobcats to finish 10th in the team standings during action at the Bobcat Invitational at Marshalltown Community College.
"I bet eight of those schools that finished ahead of us are ranked, but for as dinged up as we are, I was pleased," Marshalltown coach Doug Bacon said. "The times are getting better, and we are tactically getting better, too."
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Marshalltown’s Michaela Huey, center, was the Bobcats top finisher at the Bobcat Invitational on Thursday. Huey placed 53rd overall as the team placed 10th out of 19 schools.
Six of the top 10 finishing schools are ranked. And No. 3 Pleasant Valley upended defending state champion and top-ranked Dowling Catholic in the final standings. The Spartans had all five scoring runners in the top 12 and finished with 34 points, while the Maroons had the top individual runner but finished with 48 points.
No. 12 Waukee ended up third, besting No. 6 Valley, No. 8 Cedar Falls and No. 15 Ankeny. Waukee was well off the first two teams with 104 points. Cedar Falls was fourth with 117, but unranked Des Moines Roosevelt was fifth with 122. Valley, Ankeny, Urbandale, Southeast Polk and Marshalltown rounded out the rest of the top 10.
"It's tough being in the position we're in with our two top runners being out," Bacon said. "We want to compete as hard as we can, and you want to find a way to motivate the kids. Today, we used the small-school approach. We wanted to beat all the small schools. We didn't want to lose to them."
Team Standings - 1. Pleasant Valley 34; 2. Dowling Catholic 48; 3. Waukee 104; 4. Cedar Falls 117: 5. Des Moines Roosevelt 122; 6. West Des Moines Valley 131; 7. Ankeny 194; 8. Urbandale 234; 9. Southeast Polk 271; 10. Marshalltown 349; 11. Iowa Falls-Alden 352; 12. Hudson 382; 13. East Marshall 404; 14. Fort Dodge 405; 15. South Tama 427; 16. BCLUW 432. 17. North Tama 471; 18. Grundy Center 483; 19. Boone 484.
Individual (top 10) - 1. Karissa Schweizer, DC, 14:42; 2. Kaley Ciluffo, PV, 14:43; 3. Allison Gregg, CF, 14:45; 4. McKenzie Yanek, PV, 15:02; 5. Brianna King, CF, 15:10; 6. Maddie Reynolds, PV, 15:16; 7. Lydia Saggau, WDM Valley, 15:19; 8. Grace Gibbons, DC, 15:20; 9. Nichole Svendsen, DC, 15:35; 10. Addie Rover, PV, 15:40.
Marshalltown (349) - 53. Michaela Huey, 17:12; 68. Victoria Jones, 17:49; 70. Ellyn Boland, 18:07; 76. Abby Snyder, 18:37; 82. Lily Larsen, 19:06; 85. Emma Runquist, 19:17.
East Marshall (404) - 54. Haley Fye, 17:13; 61. Kristen Amendt, 17:33; 83. Paige Flugge, 19:13; 90. Allie Roberts, 19:26; 116. Mariah Fritz, 22:31; 119. Kaylee Howe, 22:58; 122. Sarah Vajgert, 24:58.
South Tama (427) - 58. Kelsey Kupka, 17:26; 71. Taylor Ellenbecker, 18:11; 87. Regina Balderas, 19:22; 99. Erin Falloon, 20:11; 112. Natasha Musgrave, 21:37; 114. Grace Kavalier, 22:02.
BCLUW (432) - 56. Becca Steckelberg, 17:23; 73. Amelia Tonner, 18:19; 96. Michelle Schmitt, 20:01; 101. Bailey Nash, 20:13, 106. Molly Pieper, 20:36; 110. Madison VanCleave, 20:58; 118. Callen Scurr, 22:47.
North Tama (471) - 38. Abi Watson, 16:51; 93. Jamie Huntley, 19:40; 108. BrandiAnn Daub, 20:45; 115. Jordyn TeBeest, 22:13; 117. Alexis Taylor, 22:42; 121, Rachel Kopriva, 23:34.
Grundy Center (483) - 72. Hannah Stumberg, 18:18; 92. Erica Buck, 19:35; 103. Jes Ackerson, 20:18; 107. Dalyn Maxson, 20:42; 109. Kate Ross, 20:54.
The Bobcats finished 10th overall, but their top finisher did not cross until junior Michaela Huey hit the line in 53rd place with a time of 17 minutes, 12 seconds. Junior Victoria Jones was next at 17:49 and in 68th place, but right behind her was freshman Ellyn Boland. Boland ended up 70th in 18:07.
The other two scoring runners were juniors Abby Snyder and Lily Larsen. Snyder was 76th, while Larsen finished 82nd.
Blagg continues to recover from an appendicitis, and Tan is out after injuring her hip flexor during competition Saturday. Bacon does not know when the two runners will return to competition, but he hopes to have both Blagg and Kari Smith run in the JV race Monday. Smith is another injured runner expected to be in the top seven.
"The girls were either going to run well or totally fold up," Bacon said. "And they did not totally fold up."
Six other area teams also competed Thursday. East Marshall finished 13th, South Tama was 15th, and BCLUW, North Tama and Grundy Center finished one after another in 16th, 17th and 18th.
The top area runner was North Tama sophomore Abi Watson, who finished in 38th place with a time of 16:51.
After that was East Marshall freshman Haley Fye in 54th. Several area runners finished near Fye, including BCLUW sophomore Becca Steckelberg, South Tama senior Kelsey Kupka and East Marshall junior Kristen Amendt.
Steckelberg was 56th, Kupka finished 58th and Amendt ended up 61st.
South Tama's Taylor Ellenbecker, Grundy Center Hannah Stumberg and BCLUW's Amelia Tonner came in together at 71st, 72nd and 73rd.
Dowling Catholic junior Karissa Schweizer won the race in 14:42. Pleasant Valley locked down positions two, four, six, 10 and 12 though in winning the team title. Kaley Ciluffo was second at 14:43, while Cedar Falls senior Allison Gregg was third at 14:45.
The Bobcat girls will next run at the South Tama Invitational before heading to the Iowa City High Invitational on Thursday.