ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The Free Press
Marion, Peabody-Burns and Centre High Schools all competed at the Chapman Cross Country meet Thursday.
Peabody-Burns’s Andrew Topham continued to dominate by winning the junior/senior 50kilometer race in 16 minutes, 40 seconds.
Following him were teammates Robert Rossberg (28th, 19:45), Jacob Wolf (29th, 19:47), Jesse Riggs (57th, 22:55) and Dane Lau (60th, 25:33).
In the freshman/sophomore race, two Warriors earned medals: Duane Unruh, who placed eighth in 18:57, and Ryan Wiebe, 20th in 19:58.
Also competing were Kendall Wiebe (29th, 20:49), Ethan Riggs (47th, 22:16), Seth Methvin (56th, 23:30) and Joe Zappone (67th, 27:14).
For the girls, Alyssa Carter won a medal by placing 11th in the junior/senior 2-mile race in 13:59. She was followed by teammates Jennifer Schmelling (23rd, 15:21), Ashley Elliott (30th, 16:00) and Jacqueline Benjamin (37th, 17:33).
Samantha Pickens led the Warriors’ freshman/sophomore entrants by placing 49th in 18:54 while Erica Frederick was 53rd in 21:19.
“It was a great day for a meet at a great location,” coach Tony Zappone said. “The athletes look forward to the meal provided free by booster parents after their race, thanks to the Chapman boosters.”
Marion coach Rex Ostmeyer echoed Zappone’s sentiments.
“This is one of my favorite meets as a coach because they have a very nice course that gives you a bit of everything and the weather was perfect, meaning it was windy and cool,” he said.
“As a coach you find out who is going to block out the elements and just focus on running a good race no matter what the conditions might be.”
Daniel Goentzel led the way for Marion by finishing sixth in the junior/senior race in 17:58. Ostmeyer said it “may have been his best race of the year.”
Goentzel held off a pair of competitors down the stretch.
“I was proud of him for that,” Ostmeyer said.
Also earning a medal for a top-20 finish was Luke Bowers, who placed 11th in 18:21.
“Luke ran a real solid race,” Ostmeyer said.
Earning a medal in the freshman/sophomore race was Justin Heidebrecht, who placed 16th in 19:35.
“We need to speed up Justin’s pace because I think he could handle a faster pace,” Ostmeyer said. “That’s something to work on this week and next.”
Joining the Warriors after a 14-month hiatus from competition was Gavin Moore who covered the course in 19:25.
“I think (Gavin) got caught up in the moment at the start of the race and went out a bit fast for his current level of conditioning,” Ostmeyer said. “He’s a competitor and wants to do well, and this race will help him figure out what a cross-country race is all about.”
Also competing for MHS were Matt Kirkpatrick (20:33), Ben Leppke (21:57), Kerim Geldimuradov (24:50) and Bryce Nelson (25:42).
Marion girls claimed two medals in the junior/senior 2-mile race as Danielle Cope finished seventh in 13:32 while Katie Hett 14th in 14:24.
“Danielle kept up her consistent junior year,” Ostmeyer said. “I was proud of Katie today-she ran a tough second mile.”
Also competing were Emily Svoboda (16:56) and Elisa Gayle (17:05).
In the freshman/sophomore race, Tacy Taylor placed 13th in 14:17.
“Tacy is just doing a great job and has been so solid all season long,” Ostmeyer said.
Marion will host the Mid-Central Activities Association league meet at Marion County Lake on Thursday. Peabody-Burns will participate in the Heart of America league meet while Centre is off until the regional meet on Oct. 22.