ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Marion County Lake was the site of the Marion Invitational Cross Country meet Thursday, with five of the six area schools competing.
Council Grove took top honors for the boys with 48 points, but was followed closely by Peabody-Burns with 52. Marion was next with 80, Goessel 98, Chase County 114, Canton-Galva 117 and Andover Central 136.
Peabody-Burn’s Andrew Topham obliterated the field, finishing the five-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 54 seconds-1:16 faster than his nearest competition.
Luke Bowers led Marion by placing third in 18:18.
“Luke finished in front of Daniel (Goentzel) for the first time this year,” Marion coach Rex Ostmeyer said. “It looked like Luke had more left in the tank this week down the stretch. He ran a great race.”
Goentzel placed fifth in 18:21.
“Daniel ran well,” Ostmeyer said. “But I know he can run a better race than he did today.”
Also finishing among the top 15 was Justin Heidebrecht, who was 14th in 19:53.
“(Justin) continues to keep his times under 20 minutes,” Ostmeyer said.
For Goessel, Evan Fast placed sixth overall in 18:56.
“We had a pretty good day with a number of runners bringing home medals,” Goessel coach Greg Bontrager said. “And the other guys improved their times.”
For Canton-Galva, Brandon Shannon was the pace-setter, finishing 10th in 19:08.
He was followed by Travis Myers (22nd, 20:44), Joseph Unruh (29th, 21:17), Andy Otte (35th, 22:08) and Martin Falkenberg (43rd, 24:36).
“The boys are staying steady and solid,” Canton-Galva coach Lyle Silsby said. “The top three-Brandon, Travis and Joseph-didn’t improve their times much from last week, but the run solid races each week.”
In the girls’ division, Council Grove won the team title with 50 points. Following them were Andover Central with, 57, Canton-Galva 82, Marion 82, Peabody-Burns 97 and Chase County 124.
For Canton-Galva, Caitlin Nelson finishing seventh overall with a personal-record time of 13:20. She was followed by Alyssa Koehn (10th, 13:32), Kelly Arendt (15:03) and Lynn Volkman (15:29)-all three running a personal best.
“The girls are really starting to see improvement, not only our No. 1 and 2 runners, but with the whole team,” Silsby said.
Danielle Cope led Marion by placing second in 12:49, marking the first time Cope has broken the 13-minute barrier.
“Danielle decided to be aggressive and get out and lead the race, which she did until the last 200 yards,” Ostmeyer said. “The Flinthills runner had a bit more speed down the stretch, but Danielle ran a great race as usual.”
Tacy Taylor placed 14th in 13:45.
“I was a bit concerned about her before the race because she looked fatigued,” Ostmeyer said.
Katie Hett finished 16th in a season’s best 13:50.
Peabody-Burns was paced by a ninth-place finish from Alyssa Carter (13:24) and a 16th-place finish from Ashley Elliot (14:08).
Centre, who didn’t have enough runners to score as a team, was led by Alie Will (29th, 15:54).
“Our kids ran well,” Centre coach Cindy Riedel said. “All of them, except one, finished at least a minute faster than last week’s time.”
The Bluebirds also did not qualify as a team, but were paced by Janessa Wedel (15th, 14:00).