DES MOINES - Placing all five scoring runners in the top 12, the Marshalltown boys' cross country team overcame a 1-2 finish from Ottumwa to claim its first victory of the season in the Augustine-Scarlet Classic Thursday at Ewing Park.
With a spread of just 1:29 between its first and fifth runners, the Bobcats (42) held off Ottumwa (49) and Lincoln (50) to top the five-team field.
Zach Wells led Marshalltown claiming third in a time of 17 minutes, 11 seconds.
"I am happy for the team to win our first invite of the year. They knew if they competed they had a chance," said Marshalltown coach Tim Bell.
Ottumwa held an advantage over the Bobcats through the top three runners, though the Bobcats' No. 4 and 5 runners were the difference. The Bulldogs' Cody McConnell took first in 16:33 and Charlie Alcfilisch was second, while Collen McCollen was ninth edging the Bobcat trio of Wells, Daniel Talbert (6th) and Nestor Sanchez (10th). Marshalltown's Ellis Lincoln and Nathan Phillips clinched the win with 11th and 12th place finishes respectively, while Ottumwa's final two scoring runners finished 15th and 20th.
Just for good measure, the Bobcats' final two runners, Sam Johnson (14th) and Hunter Barnard (17th) also came through ahead of the Bulldogs' fifth scorer.
At Des Moines
Team Standings - 1. Marshalltown 42, 2. Ottumwa 47, 3. Lincoln 50, 4. Hoover 102, 5. East 122
Individual (top 10) - 1. Cody McConnell, Ott, 16:33; 2. Charlie Alcfilisch, Ott, 17:03; 3. Zach Wells, MHS, 17:11; 4. Aaron Havens, Lin, 17:23; 5. Ben Bourland, Hoov, 17:30; 6. Daniel Talbert, MHS, 17:42; 7. Sam McMichael, Lin, 17:44; 8. Tanner Wood, Lin, 18:13; 9. Collen McCollen, Ott, 18:18; 10. Nestor Sanchez, MHS, 18:24
Marshalltown (42) - 3. Wells, 17:11; 6. Talbert, 17:42; 10. Sanchez, 18:24; 11. Ellis Lincoln, 18:34; 12. Nathan Phillips, 18:40
Team Standings - 1. Ottumwa 32, 2. Marshalltown 32, 3. Hoover 102, 4. Lincoln 103, 5. East 111
Individual (top 10) - 1. Rachel Blagg, MHS, 16:29; 2. Caroline Owens, Ott, 16:52; 3. Daylin Latham, Ott, 16:58; 4. Michaela Huey, MHS, 17:20; 5. Wynn Tan, MHS, 17:26; 6. Charlotte Flanders, Ott, 17:39; 7. Audrey Klein, Ott, 17:43; 8. Victoria Jones, MHS, 17:54; 9. Sydney Strunk, Ott, 17:57; 10. Riley Mortenson, Hoov, 17:58
Marshalltown (32) - 1. Blagg, 16:29; 4. Huey, 17:20; 5. Tan, 17:26; 8. Jones, 17:54; 14. Ellyn Boland, 18:32
Bell was impressed with his team's ability to overcome some tough training to claim the win.
"Even though we ran tired from hard workouts this week, they competed to win," said Bell.
Propelled by a commanding victory from Rachel Blagg, the Marshalltown girls nearly pulled off a sweep for the Bobcats, though Ottumwa edged them out via the sixth runner tiebreaker.
Both teams tallied scores of 32, though the Bulldogs' sixth runner placed 13th, while the Bobcats countered in 15th.
Blagg left no doubt in her individual victory clocking 16:29 and finishing 33 seconds ahead of Ottumwa's Caroline Owens. Michaela Huey and Wynn Tan tallied fourth and fifth for the Bobcats, while Victoria Jones (8th) and Ellyn Boland (14th) wrapped up the team's scoring quintet. Kari Smith (15th) and Abby Snyder (16th) were close on their heels. Marshalltown trumped the Bulldogs first, third and fourth runners, though Ottuwma had the upper hand with its second, fifth and sixth finishers.
Hoover was a distant third with a score of 102, while Lincoln (103) and East (111) also competed.
The Bobcat boys and girls JV squads earned a sweep though the girls had a tight battle with Ottumwa, edging the Bulldogs 28-29.
Thalia Chavarria paced Marshalltown in a time of 19:17 to earn runner-up honors.
Alex Heinrichs carried the Bobcat boys to a commanding victory winning individual honors in 18:57 to lead Marshalltown to a score of 17 - 30 points ahead of second place Ottumwa.
Despite all the success the Bobcats experienced at Ewing Park, the celebration will be short lived as Marshalltown faces a highly competitive field next week.
"Now we have a very tough conference meet to prepare for," said Bell.
The Bobcats return to host the Central Iowa Conference meet Thursday at Marshalltown Community College. Races start at 3:30 p.m.
The talented field of teams features three ranked squads on the boys side including Class 4A's top-ranked Dowling Catholic, No. 10. Waukee and No. 11 West Des Moines Valley. The girls field is littered with five top-12 squads including No. 3 Dowling Cathlolic, No. 6 Urbandale, No. 8 Johnston, No. 10 Ames and No. 12 Waukee.
Both Bobcat squads are coming off fourth place finishes from a year ago.