AUBURN – Athletes from three Cass County programs took the first steps of their cross country seasons on Thursday at the Auburn Invite.
Students from Conestoga, Elmwood-Murdock/Weeping Water and Louisville traveled to Auburn Country Club for the season-opening meet. Athletes compiled five-kilometer times on one of the hottest days of the year. Temperatures were in the low 90s and heat indices came close to 100 degrees.
Elmwood-Murdock/Weeping Water placed sixth in the girls race with 97 points. Conestoga and Louisville did not have enough runners to compile a team score in the girls event.
The Louisville boys earned the championship in their race with 34 points. Elmwood-Murdock/Weeping Water placed sixth with 84 points and Conestoga was eighth with 142 points.
The Louisville boys used the power of the pack to produce a title-winning performance. Five Lions finished in the top 20 spots to help the team collect first place.
Jaxson Barnes (18:49.28, 3rd), Talon Ball (19:02.64, 5th) and Eric Heard (19:46.24, 10th) netted top-ten spots and Tyler Euans (20:43.59) finished 16th. Scott Blumer (21:09.33, 20th) and Chase Savage (22:01.54, 30th) rounded out Louisville’s roster.
Three LHS girls took part in the race. Senior Sophie Korytowski (23:55.17, 9th) and freshman Charlee Peacock (25:19.35, 14th) both earned medals. Junior Hailey Teller finished 31st in 31:46.06.
Elmwood-Murdock/Weeping Water co-head coach Charlie Cover said he and fellow co-head coach Cayle Burbach were pleased with the efforts. Teams ran on a day that featured temperatures in the low 90s and heat indices near 100 degrees.
“We ran well,” Cover said. “Austin Patton stepped up and placed for the first time in high school. Our top four boys ran pretty close to each other with the others not that far off. Our girls times weren’t what we had hoped coming in, but we as coaches aren’t disappointed. We now have our baseline to improve, and we are looking forward to the forecast as it is supposed to cool down.”
Cover said he was pleased to see freshman Bri Ross start her varsity career on a positive note. She led the Trailblazers with a 25th-place time of 30:02.83.
“Bri Ross had a really nice run,” Cover said. “She was so nervous coming in, and she beat her goal by over five minutes from what she set the day before in practice.”
Veteran Lauren Wehrbein placed 27th in 30:07.31. Treva Wright, Elizabeth Harder, Ciera Dieter and Dakota Reiman added times for the team.
Patton claimed an 11th-place medal with a time of 19:50.46. Jackson Flanagan (21:16.15) and Matt Cover (21:21.23) both placed in the top 25, and Michael Zeeb, Jaden Tuttle and Tucker Oehlerking pitched in times for the Trailblazers.
Jessica Poirier was the lone Conestoga girl to cross the finish line. She claimed 37th place in 38:33.03.
Braden Ruffner led the Conestoga boys with a 25th-place time of 21:31.19. Dawson Hardesty, Kaden Simmerman, Ethan Williams, Trace Widler and Ethan Avidano added results for the Cougars.
Girls Team Results
DC West 18, Nebraska City 51, Auburn 53, Falls City 55, Platteview 73, Elmwood-Murdock/Weeping Water 97, Conestoga, Johnson County Central, Louisville no team scores
Top 15 Results
1) Sydney Binder (AUB) 21:42.63, 2) Ashlei McDonald (JCC) 22:07.26, 3) Olivia Malousek (DCW) 22:50.04, 4) Chloe Schaulis (NCY) 23:11.41, 5) Ellie McCarville (DCW) 23:29.38, 6) Maria Malousek (DCW) 23:34.60, 7) Olivia Lawrence (PLV) 23:50.82, 8) Abaigeal Aydt (DCW) 23:52.82, 9) Sophie Korytowski (LOU) 23:55.17, 10) Morgan Morrison (DCW) 23:57.96, 11) Ava Armbruster (FCY) 24:10.22, 12) Emily Wiebelhaus (PLV) 24:27.56, 13) Brenna Leyden (FCY) 24:35.63, 14) Charlee Peacock (LOU) 25:19.35, 15) Courtlyn Keeling (AUB) 25:25.08
Jessica Poirier 38:33.03 (37th)
Elmwood-Murdock/Weeping Water Results
Bri Ross 30:02.83 (25th), Lauren Wehrbein 30:07.31 (27th), Treva Wright 30:24.66 (29th), Elizabeth Harder 32:13.57 (32nd), Ciera Dieter 34:13.87 (35th), Dakota Reiman 34:14.14 (36th)
Sophie Korytowski 23:55.17 (9th), Charlee Peacock 25:19.35 (14th), Hailey Teller 31:46.06 (31st)
Boys Team Results
Louisville 34, DC West 43, Platteview 57, Nebraska City 71, Falls City 80, Elmwood-Murdock/Weeping Water 84, Auburn 96, Conestoga 142, Johnson County Central 156
Top 15 Results
1) Eli Bottom (FCY) 18:02.56, 2) Ryan McArdle (DCW) 18:36.03, 3) Jaxson Barnes (LOU) 18:49.28, 4) Jared Hawley 18:58.09, 5) Talon Ball (LOU) 19:02.64, 6) A.J. Raszler (PLV) 7) Sabir Musa (NCY) 19:17.52, 8) Triston Perry (AUB) 19:28.85, 9) Parker Gaston (DCW) 19:34.28, 10) Eric Heard (LOU) 19:46.24, 11) Austin Patton 19:50.46 (EMWW), 12) Ryan Tolliver (PLV) 19:53.70, 13) Zach McArdle (DCW) 20:06.72, 14) Hayden Beccard (NCY) 20:21.94, 15) Rafe Davenport (PLV) 20:32.48
Braden Ruffner 21:31.19 (25th), Dawson Hardesty 22:05.08 (30th), Kaden Simmerman 22:43.94 (36th), Ethan Williams 25:18.85 (48th), Trace Widler 25:27.49 (49th), Ethan Avidano 27:34.72 (51st)
Elmwood-Murdock/Weeping Water Results
Austin Patton 19:50.46 (11th), Jackson Flanagan 21:16.15 (22nd), Matt Cover 21:21.23 (23rd), Michael Zeeb 21:50.42 (28th), Jaden Tuttle 23:09.70 (40th), Tucker Oehlerking 23:34.12 (43rd)
Jaxson Barnes 18:49.28 (3rd), Talon Ball 19:02.64 (5th), Eric Heard 19:46.24 (10th), Tyler Euans 20:43.59 (16th), Scott Blumer 21:09.33 (20th), Chase Savage 22:01.54 (30th)