CORNING — Issues at Thursday’s cross country meet in Corning muddied the varsity/junior varsity girls results at the end of the night, as more than a few runners' results were cast into question.
An issue of girls unknowningly cutting across a portion of the course caused an unknown number of runners to cut around a fifth to a quarter of a mile off their races. The issue was the difference in Creston falling in the team race to Shenandoah by three points, 48 to 51.
The discrepancy proved to be the difference in Shenandoah claiming the team title over the Creston girls. Several Panther girls toward the back of the varsity lineup ended in front of teammates who had run in front of them nearly the entirety of the race, but who they never passed.
“When they come down the sixth green, they’re supposed to come back out across the bridge and make this little loop before they come to the finish. What I believe is they cut this tree and went this way,” Southwest Valley coach Jason Hults said, pointing to a spot on the course map that showed where runners would have ran a looping portion of the race. Several unintentionally missed the loop and cut across where they shouldn’t have.
Creston’s Brielle (21:40) and Braelyn Baker (21:55) finished second and third respectively, as the two continue to yo-yo in front of one another, something that has been common since late last fall.
“There’s no limits on these things. This is good sisterly competition. They want to beat each other. There’s nothing wrong with that one bit,” Creston coach Pat Schlapia said.
Emma Lucas of Bedford finished first in 20:14.
A general consensus among the coaches at the race was that everything after third place was up in the air due to the course error.
Schlapia expressed thanks for the opportunity to get in a meet at Corning since Creston had only one race this season due to weather. That being said, Schlapia’s frustration with not taking home the team title because of the course error was evident.
“It’s not the girls' fault,” Schlapia said. “It’s not a reflection of actual team or individual placings or times. They didn’t have people out there directing the course.”
Shenandoah Valley News Today sports editor Bryan Clark tweeted the following about Shenandoah’s reaction to winning the team title Thursday evening.
“Shenandoah girls XC coach Liz Skillern tells me that some of her girls were part of a group that unintentionally didn’t take a loop that they were supposed to during today’s meet. Because of this the girls refused their medals and team trophy.”
The Panther girls were missing both Rachel Boyer and Sydney Hartsock, both of whom ususally run just outside of the pack of the Panthers scorers.
Clayton Stafford finished sixth on the boys side, and Schlapia commented positively after another strong performance from Jared Moreland, who finished 17th.
“He just missed out of medaling, but he has been night and day from a year ago. It shows what summer running has done for him,” Schlapia said.
Schlapia was encouraged to see his JV girls finish strong, and hopes the girls can move on from the confusion of the meet.
“You have to rise above it and move on,” Schlapia said. “With something like that… once it happens, there’s not a lot you can do with that, but our girls got the short end of it.”
UP NEXT — Creston hosts its home meet Tuesday. More details about the meet will be in Monday’s News Advertiser.
Results (results entirely based on official results handed out by Southwest Valley afterward. Time shaved off by course error is not factored into the girls race).
Boys team results — 1. Red Oak 63; 2. Shenandoah 75; 3. Sidney 104; 4.Bedford 105; 5. Riverside 114; 6. Creston 142; 7. Central Decatur 204; 8. Clarinda 210; 9. Southwest Valley 406.
Creston boys individual results — 6. Clayton Stafford, 18:59; 17. Jared Moreland, 20:09; 34. Hunter Fry, 21:24; 41. Levi Hitz, 21:43; 44. Keagan Trembly, 22:01; 46. Jackson Kinsella, 22:18; 59. Devin Baker, 24:10.
JV — 25. Tristan Callahan, 27:01; 28. Isaac Shields, 27:51; 29. Isaac Jacobson, 27:53; 33. Adam Short, 31:49; 34. Spencer Lane, 31:59.
Area boys individual results — 32. Cole Nelson, EU, 21:18; 40. Damon Hayes, EU, 21:41; 55. Kade Klommhaus, Diagonal, 23:11; 60. Daniel Kinyon, SWV, 24:31; 61. Michael Gomez, Lenox, 24:31; 62. Blake Wuebker, EU, 24:51; 64. Blake Rychnovsky, Lenox, 25:09; 65. Blake Venteicher, SWV, 25:38; 66. Skyler Stamps, Diagonal, 25:53; 67. Trent Newton, SWV, 26:03; 69. Alex Baker, Diagonal, 26:13; 70. Sean McCormick, SWV, 27:00; 71. Raymond Harris, SWV, 28:23; 73. Brayden Avila, SWV, 28:51.
Girls team results — 1. Shenandoah 48; 2. Creston 51; 3. Southwest Valley 125; 4. East Union 135; 5. Central Decatur 143; 6. Bedford 153; 7. Red Oak 156.
Creston girls varsity individual results — 2. Brielle Baker, 21:40; 3. Braelyn Baker, 21:55; 13. Ali Christensen, 22:30; 15. Hannah Rounds, 22:42; 18. Brittany Linch, 23:00; 21. Paige Davis, 23:07; 22. Morgan Buxton, 23:07.
Area girls results — 8. McKinna Hogan, Lenox, 22:17; 10. Gabrielle Valencia, EU, 22:19; 14. Sydney Davies, SWV, 22:42; 16. Halle Pearson, SWV, 22:53; 19. Cassidy Nelson, Lenox, 23:01; 23. Molly McNeill, EU, 23:13; 30. Mattie Riemenschneider, EU, 23:57; 31. Aubrey Boswell, SWV, 24:09; 32. Kate Sutton, EU, 24:31; 40. Maddy Hayes, EU, 25:37; 48. Kaylee Jacobs, SWV, 27:59; 53. Bella Johnson, SWV, 30:03; 54. Ansley Waigand, EU, 30:14; 58. Ashton Larson, Lenox, 30:52.
All area girls JV — 1. Angelina Chuong, Creston, 22:48; 2. Sydney Pantini, Creston, 23:50; 3. Alison Worthington, Creston, 25:13;4. Allivea Skarda, EU, 25:32; 8. Grace Nixon, EU, 10. Abbie Wetzel, SWV, 32:04; 13. Clarissa Kunkle, EU, 32:38; 24. Trianna Gabriel, SWV, 28:02; 26. Sophia Short, Creston, 40:21.