TOLEDO - The Marshalltown girls cross country team ran without its top three runners on Monday at the South Tama County Invitational at Otter Creek Lake Park in Toledo. The end result was a fourth-place finish as South Tama County finished seven points ahead of the Bobcats in third.
STC's top four runners were in the top 21, while Marshalltown's best three runners on the day came in 13th, 16th and 17th. STC finished with 90 points, while Marshalltown ended up with 97.
"This was the best race we ran all year long, and that goes for our boys and our girls," South Tama County coach George Kuhter said. "It's a tough course so the times won't reflect it. I am really pleased with our girls placing third."
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
Marshalltown senior Thalia Chavarria, left, and South Tama County junior Erin Filloon head toward the finish line at the South Tama Invitational at Otter Creek Lake Park on Monday. Chavarria was 31st overall while Filloon came in 32nd.
Marshalltown coach Doug Bacon knew it would be tough to score a top finish today without the services of sophomore Rachel Blagg and juniors Wynn Tan and Michaela Huey.
Blagg is recovering from an appendicitis and won the junior varsity race, while Tan has an injured hip flexor. Huey was given the night off and used Monday as a practice night.
"For what we wanted to accomplish, I thought we ran well and did what I expected," Bacon said. "The nice thing is that we were aggressive in the beginning. This was a good experience for some of our younger runners to run against some good varsity runners. It's a good feel to see how you have to be at that level. It was a good night."
Team Standings - 1. Grinnell 37; 2. Vinton-Shellsburg 72, 3. South Tama County 90, 4. Marshalltown 97, 5. East Marshall 99, 6. North Tama 157, 7. West Marshall 157, 8. Belle Plaine 203.
Individual (top 10) - 1. Lily Horst, V-S, 16:30; 2. Olivia Gallo, GRN, 16:47; 3. Bristi Gerber, V-S, 16:56; 4. Abi Watson, NT, 17:03; 5. Victoria Pothast, WM, 17:23; 6. Haley Fye, EM, 17:29; 7. Malia Durr, GRN, 17:37; 8. Baylee Kivett, GRN, 17:37; 9. Morgan Finch, GRN, 17:47; 10. Kelsey Kupka, STC, 17:48.
South Tama (90) - 10. Kupka, 17:48; 14. Taylor Ellenbecker, 18:40; 16. Naomi Hoskey, 19:08; 22. Regina Balderas, 19:39; 32. Erin Filloon, 20:36.
Marshalltown (97) - 13. Victoria Jones, 18:21; 17. Abby Snyder, 19:08; 18. Ellyn Boland, 19:17; 24. Lily Larsen, 19:49; 30. Abigail Saucedo, 20:32.
East Marshall (99) - 6. Haley Fye, 17:29; 12. Kristen Amendt, 18:06; 19. Allie Roberts, 19:21; 26. Paige Flugge, 20:02; 40. Kaylee Howe, 21:18.
North Tama (157) - 4. Abi Watson, 17:03; 28. Jamie Huntley, 20:08; 37. Brandi Anne Daub, 20:47; 50. Jordyn TeBeest, 23:02; 52. Alexis Taylor, 23:48.
West Marshall (157) - 5. Victoria Pothast, 17:23; 38. Rachel Knights, 21:03; 39. Maggie Sodders, 21:14; 41. Ashley Pfantz, 21:44; 42. Carly Kielman, 21:44.
GMG - 47. Codi Groth, 22:27; 49. Allison Stegmann, 22:38.
Meskwaki - 53. Amara Powell, 23:52.
Blagg was 35 seconds ahead of the next best runner at the junior varsity level but still took it easy, and that is what Bacon wants. The same went for junior Kari Smith, who placed fifth in the junior varsity race. Both are recovering from injuries and Bacon wants them both to work their way back slowly.
"If everything goes well the next two days, I would think Rachel would be ready for our meet Thursday," Bacon said. "Kari had a good run. We didn't want those two kids to go crazy though."
South Tama County was led Monday by senior Kelsey Kupka, who finished 10th overall in 17 minutes, 48 seconds. Junior Taylor Ellenbecker was 14th in 18:40, and sophomore Naomi Hoskey was 16th in 19:08. Juniors Regina Balderas and Erin Filloon were the final two scoring runners in 22nd and 32nd, respectively. Senior Natasha Musgrave was the final runner and she ended up in 43rd overall.
Marshalltown's top runner was junior Victoria Jones in 13th place. She hit the line in 18:21. Behind her was junior Abby Snyder and freshman Ellyn Boland, who were 18th and 19th, respectively, and separated by nine seconds. Junior Lily Larsen ws 24th, junior Abigail Saucedo was 30th, senior Thalia Chavarria ended up 31st and freshman Riley Peterson was 35th to round out the Bobcat runners.
Grinnell won the meet with 37 points and had five runners finish in the top 11. Vinton-Shellsburg was second with 72 points and featured winner Lily Horst, a freshman, and third-place finisher Bristi Gerber, also a freshman.
The next best area finishers were North Tama sophomore Abi Watson and West Marshall senior Victoria Pothast. Watson was fourth in 17:03, while Pothast ended up fifth in 17:23.
East Marshall scored a fifth-place team finish and was led by freshman Haley Fye, who placed sixth overall in 17:29. The Mustangs were two points behind Marshalltown as junior Kristen Amendt was 12th overall and sophomore Allie Roberts was 19th. The final two scoring runners were junior Paige Flugge in 26th and sophomore Kaylee Howe in 40th.
"The scores were close in the team race, but we need to run with a little confidence," East Marshall coach Christian Grandgenett said. "It's early, but we need to get over the hump. They know they can do it, too."
East Marshall is running without top runner Paige Miller, who continues to miss time with a leg injury. Grandgenett was unsure of when his top performer would be back in the lineup.
"We are fighting through some injuries as a team," he said. "Hopefully we'll be healthy by the end of the season."
North Tama and West Marshall both scored 157 points, but the Redhawks won because of the tiebreaker, which is determined by the sixth runner from each squad. North Tama was one spot better in that spot.
"I was happy with how Victoria ran at the top," West Marshall coach Brian Weig said. "The other girls need to move up with their pack. They have to know they can do it. Once they get moving, I think we'll be OK."
After Pothast's finish in fifth place, West Marshall's next runners came across in 38th, 39th, 41st, 42nd and 55th.
Senior Rachel Knights was 38th in 21:03, freshman Maggie Sodders was 39th in 21:14 and juniors Ashley Pfantz and Carly Kielman were 41st and 42nd, respectively, as both hit the line in 21:44.
North Tama 's second-best runner was junior Jamie Huntley in 28th and senior Brandi Anne Daub was 37th in 20:47.
Belle Plaine was eighth in the team standings, and Janesville, Meskwaki and GMG also ran but did not have enough runners to field a team.
GMG's two runners were juniors Codi Groth and Allison Stegmann, and they finished in 47th and 49th, respectively.
Meskwaki's lone runner was freshman Amara Powell and she finished in 53rd.