The Marshalltown boys cross country team did not back down from training. They did not take it easy in any of their workouts leading up to the 40th annual Bobcat Invitational on Thursday.
And while the Bobcats finished in 13th place overall, 15 of their 17 runners on the day recorded personal-best times and the other two runners matched their previous bests.
That was enough for new MHS coach Chad Pietig to be confident about the rest of the season.
T-R PHOTO BY TROY HYDE
East Marshall senior Ben Terrones, left, finished 45th overall at the 40th Annual Bobcat Invitational at Marshalltown Community College. East Marshall (14th) was one point behind Marshalltown in the team standings with 399 points.
"I compared the guys' times at this course last year and several of our guys have already run their best-ever times on this course," Pietig said. "We didn't alter our training and rest for this, and we were still able to drop some time.
"Hopefully the guys are starting to get some confidence in the training and the philosophy and see that you can still train hard and drop some time. I am encouraged by that."
Taking home the team title was Class 4A No. 3 Waukee, which scored 54 points and had five runners hit the line in the first 19 positions. No. 6 Cedar Falls claimed three top-10 spots and was second with 66 points, while seventh-ranked Dowling Catholic used a second and third place finish to grab third with 74 points.
Team Standings - 1. Waukee 54, 2. Cedar Falls 66, 3. Dowling Catholic 74, 4. Pleasant Valley 79. 5. West Des Moines Valley 102, 6. Urbandale 247, 7. *Des Moines Roosevelt 252, 8. Fort Dodge 252, 9. Ankeny 258, 10. Boone 280, 11. Southeast Polk 295, 12. Ankeny Centennial 309, 13. Marshalltown 398, 14. East Marshall 399, 15. BCLUW 425, 16. Iowa Falls-Alden 458, 17. Hudson 460, 18. South Tama 485, 19. Grundy Center 563, 20. GMG 645, 21. North Tama 667.
Individual (top 10) - 1. Daniel Soto, VAL, 15:48; 2. Ryan Schweizer, DC, 15:51; 3. Spencer Clark, DC, 15:54; 4. Timothy Sevcik, CF, 16:11; 5. Ryan Tunink, WAU, 16:14; 6. Brennan Borgestad, WAU, 16:18; 7. Ben Stelk, PV, 16:20; 8. Alex Jackson, FD, 16:23; 9. Jared Failor, CF, 16:23; 10. Jonathon Smith, CF, 16:24.
MARSHALLTOWN (398) - 55. Imad Amenzou 17:51, 77. Nate Phillips 18:18, 85. Hunter Barnard 18:34, 90. Angel Pizano 18:40, 91. Sam Johnson 18:41, 111. Andrew Potter 19:37, 114. Alex Mason 19:45.
EAST MARSHALL (399) - 45. Ben Terrones 17:31, 78. Caleb Benzing 18:19, 84. Nick Meling 18:32, 92. Seth Webb 18:43, 100. Josh Benzing 18:54, 102. Sam Benzing 19:01, 104. Rob Petrie 19:09.
BCLUW (425) - 47. Cole Silver 17:36, 54. Derek Coulter 17:49, 94. Ben Kuhl 18:46, 103. Tanner Teske 19:02, 127. Orion Gunderson 21:39, 128. Devon Crompton 21:39, 130. Elijah Ralston 21:45.
SOUTH TAMA (485) - 61. Robert Tynnismaa 17:58, 64. Blake Keller 18:01, 115. Taylen Anderson 19:54, 120. Trevor Yuska 20:06, 125. Jacob Theissen 21:17.
GRUNDY CENTER (563) - 66. Espen Cleveland 18:03, 112. Finn Cleveland 19:41, 117. Dylan Hendricks 20:03, 133. Jack Stumberg 24:59, 135. Grant Weldon 25:12, 136. Jesper Holke-Farnam 26:21.
GMG (645) - 122. Jeff Hughes 20:25, 124. Josh Raymond 20:46, 129. Josh Gruen 21:45, 131. Logan Burt 22:55, 139. Camden Barnes 27:33.
NORTH TAMA (667) - 126. Brian Zobel 21:34, 132. Logan Zobel 24:18, 134. Kalan Deke 25:06, 137. Ben Panfil 26:43, 138. Shane Wendt 26:43.
Fourth-ranked Pleasant Valley trailed the Maroons by five points but used consistency to take fourth as it landed all five scoring runners in the top 23 positions.
West Des Moines Valley's Daniel Soto was the individual winner with a time of 15 minutes, 48 seconds. That victory allowed the Tigers to take fifth overall with 102 points. Soto is not ranked in the individual Class 4A top 30.
"We are just not at the level of some of those 4A teams yet," Pietig said. "We still have a lot of racing to do and a lot of training to do. I am encouraged to see them running their season-best times on this course. We worked hard this week and still ran our best times."
The top Bobcat was senior Imad Amenzou, who is out for cross country for the first time after moving into the district last year. He hit the line in 55th place with a time of 17:51. The next fastest Marshalltown runner - senior Nate Phillips - finished in 77th.
"Imad is brand new to cross country," Pietig said. "He didn't finish Saturday because he ran too hard. He is inexperienced, but he dialed it back tonight and ran a fantastic time on this course for this time of the year."
Phillips' 77th place featured a time of 18:18, while senior Hunter Barnard was 85th with a time of 18:34. The final two counting runners were senior Angel Pizano and sophomore Sam Johnson, who came across in 90th and 91st, respectively.
Johnson came into the season as the squad's top runner but dealt with asthma issues Thursday.
"We have averaged 18:30 for our varsity team, which is fantastic for where we are right now," Pietig said. "Saturday, we averaged 19:30 and we want to get to 17:50 by the end of the year."
Like the girls squad, the boys also wanted to use Southeast Polk as a barometer of where they are at. The Bobcats have ran against the Rams three times this year. The Rams ended up in 11th place overall with 295 points. Ankeny Centennial was 12th with 309 and Marshalltown's 13th place finsh netted 398 points. Urbandale, Des Moines Roosevelt, Fort Dodge, Ankeny and Boone were in positions five through 10.
The top area runner was East Marshall senior Ben Terrones, who crossed the line in 45th place with a time of 17:31. That was good enough to edge out BCLUW senior Cole Silver, who was two positions behind with a time of 17:36.
"He put in a lot of time this summer and it is showing," East Marshall coach Eric Niggemeyer said of Terrones. "He is looking really strong. He has bought into the workouts, nutrition and sleeping. He is doing everything right right now.
"Ben is running a more effective race. He is picking his spots to be aggressive. And he is being more consistent mile to mile."
The Mustangs, who are ranked seventh in Class 2A, finished one point behind Marshalltown in 14th place on the day. After Terrones, East Marshall got a 78th place finish from junior Caleb Benzing, an 84th place tally from freshman Nick Meling and a 92nd place run from senior Seth Webb.
"They had another good pack and stuck together," said Niggemeyer. "I thought they caught a lot of people with each progressing mile, so I was happy with how they looked today."
Silver and BCLUW senior teammate Derek Coulter helped the Comets to a 15th place team finish. Coulter was seven positions and 13 seconds behind Silver in 54th place, while senior Ben Kuhl ended up 94th in a time of 18:46.
"The boys looked really good. They did very well," said BCLUW coach Donna Fiscus. "We were trying to get closer to East Marshall and we beat the Hudson guys. The times were much better from last year at this course.
"They all liked the temperatures. We are heading on the right track, but I think we can still get better. We just need to get a few more races in."
South Tama (18th), Grundy Center (19th), GMG (20th) and North Tama (21st) also competed in the 21-team field.
The Trojans ended up with 485 points and were led by junior Robert Tyynismaa in 61st place. He crossed the line in 17:58. His teammate - sophomore Blake Keller - also hit the finish line in the first 100 positions, recording a 64th place finish in 18:01.
Espen Cleveland led Grundy Center. The senior Spartan was the only member of his team to finish in the top 100 spots as he hit the line in 66th with a time of 18:03.
GMG and North Tama each ran with just five varsity runners and no one ended up in the top 100. Wolverine junior Jeff Hughes was 122nd overall with a time of 20:25, while Redhawk sophomore Brian Zobel was 126th in 21:34.
Marshalltown will next run at the South Tama Invitational at Otter Creek Lake Park on Monday. East Marshall, GMG and North Tama also will be competing along with Meskwaki Settlement School and West Marshall. Action begins at 4:30 p.m. ... Ryan Schweizer and Spencer Clark came in second and third, respectively, and were separated by just three seconds. Cedar Falls' Timothy Seveik was fourth with a time of 16:11, while Waukee's Ryan Tunink and Brennan Borgestad ended fifth and sixth, respectively, to lead the Warriors to the team title.