AUBURN – The location for the Auburn Invite may have been a short drive away Thursday afternoon, but local runners felt as though they had made a trip to a tropical rainforest.

Cross country athletes from Conestoga, Louisville and Weeping Water took part in their first meet of the season in hot and humid conditions. Athletes ran on a hilly Auburn Country Club course in a heat index that rose to 98 degrees by late afternoon. The dew point reached a muggy 74 degrees when high school girls began their race at 5 p.m.

Weeping Water head coach Charlie Cover said he was proud of students for completing the five-kilometer route. The boys race was delayed approximately 20 minutes after an ambulance came onto the course to treat a teenager with heat illness. All competitors were soaked with sweat at the finish line after registering their times.

“Some of the kids were disappointed with some of their times, but we have the knowledge on where we stand and what to do to get where they want to be,” Cover said. “I’ll say this, just finishing today was an accomplishment: 90 (degrees) with 70-percent humidity.”

Conestoga sophomore Danie Parriott earned a gold medal in her event with a winning time of 22:11.41. Parriott said she was pleased to make it to the finish line ahead of everyone. She beat returning state medalist Ashlei McDonald of Johnson County Central (22:45.20) and state qualifier Chloe Schaulis of Nebraska City (23:38.66) in the top group.

“It feels great to win,” Parriott said. “It was really hot.”

Parriott spent this summer putting a large number of miles on her feet. She ran on many Cass County roads to try to become more acclimated to cross country conditions. She said those workouts paid off at Auburn.

“It helped a lot,” Parriott said. “I think the time over the summer made a big difference.”

Parriott helped the Conestoga girls capture fourth place in team standings with 65 points. CHS teammate Jasmine Rainey joined Parriott at the medal ceremony with a 12th-place run of 26:06.14.

Louisville earned third place in team standings with 39 points. LHS athletes Mira Fosmer (8th, 25:09.67), Hailey Teller (9th, 25:33.74) and Amyra Moxey (10th, 25:45.63) all collected medals.

Weeping Water placed sixth in team standings with 79 points. Lauren Wehrbein (15th, 26:34.13) guided the Indians with a medal-winning performance.

The Conestoga boys earned fourth place with a team score of 54 points. Ben Welch (9th, 20:14.54), Jack Welch (10th, 20:15.98) and Dawson Hardesty (11th, 20:23.04) all won medals for the Cougars.

Jaxson Barnes led the Louisville boys with a second-place medal. He crossed the line in a time of 18:48.35. Barnes defeated Auburn’s Hayden Hall by more than 15 seconds for the silver medal. Returning state qualifier James Kearney of Nebraska City pocketed first place in 18:03.44.

Louisville teammate Scott Blumer joined Barnes in the medal ceremony. He captured seventh place in 19:54.18. The Lions finished fifth in team standings with 80 points.

Weeping Water placed eighth with 128 points. Jackson Flanagan led the Indians with a 29th-place time of 22:31.35.

Girls Team Results

Auburn 34, Falls City 36, Louisville 39, Conestoga 65, Nebraska City 66, Weeping Water 79, Freeman, Johnson County Central no team scores

Top 15 Results

1) Danie Parriott (CHS) 22:11.41, 2) Ashlei McDonald (JCC) 22:45.20, 3) Chloe Schaulis (NCY) 23:38.66, 4) Faith Allgood (AUB) 24:13.29, 5) Mazey McCullough (FCY) 24:21.14, 6) Kyra Becker (AUB) 24:51.26, 7) Brenna Leyden (FCY) 24:52.95, 8) Mira Fosmer (LOU) 25:09.67, 9) Hailey Teller (LOU) 25:33.74, 10) Amyra Moxey (LOU) 25:45.63, 11) Nia Crawford (FCY) 25:57.70, 12) Jasmine Rainey (CHS) 26:06.14, 13) Bethan Kiekel (AUB) 26:10.41, 14) Talisa Buhr (FRE) 26:12.77, 15) Lauren Wehrbein (WW) 26:34.13

Conestoga Results

Danie Parriott 22:11.41 (1st), Jasmine Rainey 26:06.14 (12th), Jessica Poirier 38:15.16 (31st), Shelby Curlo 39:55.36 (32nd)

Louisville Results

Mira Fosmer 25:09.67 (8th), Hailey Teller 25:33.74 (9th), Amyra Moxey 25:45.63 (10th), Katie Kerans 28:12.99 (19th), Abby Bruce 29:20.84 (22nd)

Weeping Water Results

Lauren Wehrbein 26:34.13 (15th), MaKayla Regler 32:37.62 (25th), Ciera Dieter 33:03.15 (26th), Dakota Reiman 36:33.07 (30th)

Boys Team Results

Nebraska City 32, Falls City 42, Auburn 51, Conestoga 54, Louisville 80, Johnson County Central 92, Freeman 107, Weeping Water 128

Top 15 Results

1) James Kearney (NCY) 18:03.44, 2) Jaxson Barnes (LOU) 18:48.35, 3) Hayden Hall (AUB) 19:04.56, 4) Eli Bottom (FCY) 19:30.96, 5) Jared Hawley (FCY) 19:32.23, 6) Eli Davis (NCY) 19:46.53, 7) Scott Blumer (LOU) 19:54.18, 8) Logan Barras (JCC) 19:56.65, 9) Ben Welch (CHS) 20:14.54, 10) Jack Welch (CHS) 20:15.98, 11) Dawson Hardesty (CHS) 20:23.04, 12) Alex Rico (NCY) 20:24.49, 13) Hayden Beccard (NCY) 20:42.50, 14) Derek Mason (AUB) 20:59.55, 15) Triston Perry (AUB) 21:00.20

Conestoga Results

Ben Welch 20:14.54 (9th), Jack Welch 20:15.98 (10th), Dawson Hardesty 20:23.04 (11th), Braden Ruffner 21:50.34 (24th), Kaden Simmerman 22:51.38 (30th), Bryson Berg 23:33.59 (37th)

Louisville Results

Jaxson Barnes 18:48.35 (2nd), Scott Blumer 19:54.18 (7th), Chase Savage 22:52.29 (31st), Tyler Euans 23:45.01 (40th), Jacob Peacock 25:02.15 (42nd), Dametre Moxey 26:33.62 (44th)

Weeping Water Results

Jackson Flanagan 22:31.35 (29th), Michael Zeeb 22:57.20 (32nd), Austin Patton 23:02.47 (33rd), Lane Damme 23:07.08 (34th), Matthew Cover 23:13.00 (35th)

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