SPRING VALLEY – Creston ran at Perry Golf and Country Club Tuesday night, facing state-ranked competition on both the girls and boys side.
For the girls, Creston was outmatched by Ballard’s Class 3A No. 1 ranked team. The Ballard girls posted a team best score of 20 with all scoring runners scoring 12th or better.
Shewaye Johnson was the quickest at 19:52, running for Ballard.
“We ran against Ballard at Ballard-Huxley, but they were in a different class than us so it was the first time we were able to score against Ballard. It kind of shows where we’re at right now and is a good measuring point,” said Creston head coach Pat Schlapia.
Creston had a strong finish from Braelyn Baker, placing third with a time of 20:31. Her steadiness up front has been accompanied by Paige Davis, who ran a 21:29 for 11th place.
“Braelyn ran a fantastic race,” said Schlapia. “She beat Ellie Twedt, who’s ranked fifteenth in the state (according to IATC’s Class 3A top-15.) ... It was showing for her to go out and beat her. ... Paige has been on a roll. She was within 50 seconds on Braelyn and she was going back and forth with the girl from Denison (Claire Miller), ... she’s been trying to stick with Braelyn and it was nice to see.”
Schlapia said one thing he liked from Tuesday was how the girls started the race.
“We got out to probably our best start of the season. We just need to work on maintaining that,” said Schlapia.
The Panthers have made improvements on closing the gaps between the first and fifth scoring runner, but Schlapia says there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Riley DeGonia placed 27th, running a time of 22:45 and Morgan Buxton was 36th at 24:02.
Angelina Chuong (38th, 24:10), Molly Sickels (46th, 25:00) and Emma Pantini (59th, 25:45) rounded out varsity times for the girls on what Schlapia felt was a fast course.
“I thought it was a fast course,” said Schlapia. “Perry is usually a fast course for us, we get a lot of season’s bests there.”
For the Creston boys, the Panthers were led by Clayton Stafford’s time of 18:31 for ninth fastest.
“Very good race from him. This was probably one of his better races of the season,” said Schlapia. “He worked from 13th to the ninth spot through the race. ... He had good competition against him.”
The leading time in the race belonged to Jackson Mac-Maynard of Newton, running a 17:52. Bondurant Farrar was the winning team with a score of 43.
The Creston boys placed ninth, scoring a 227.
Behind Stafford was Jared Moreland (43rd, 19:48) and a close pack in the 60’s of Levi Hitz (60th, 20:30), Riley Wipperman (61st, 20:41), Aidan Anderson (63rd, 20:48) and Hunter Fry (65th, 21:03).
The principle of “pack running” Schlapia preached earlier in the season worked, only the placing of the pack is much to be improved upon.
“You can look at it both (positive and negative) ways,” said Schlapia. “Yes, on the pack running that’s what we stress in both the girls and the boys, but the pack running only helps if you’re in the top half. That’s something we continue to work with, closing the gaps.”
Despite the room for improvement, Schlapia had good things to say of his young and more inexperienced varsity runners.
“Our freshmen and our first time our sophomores, they were our fourth and fifth scorers and they weren’t that far off of Levi. We just need to keep pushing, we need to be in the top half on that. ... We have a lot of goals, but that’s a big one.” said Schlapia.
UP NEXT – With a forecast of 90 percent rain, Creston is scheduled to race in Atlantic at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
It is the final scheduled meet before the Panthers take on other conference foes in the Hawkeye 10 meet Thursday, Oct. 17 at Crestmoor Golf Course.
Boys Team results – 1. Bondurant-Farrar 43; 2. Newton 63; 3. Ballard 87; 4. Winterset 105; 5. Denison 121; 6. Roland-Story 123; 7. Boone 208; 8. Woodward Granger 211; 9. Creston 227; 10. Perry 265.
Girls team results – 1. Ballard 20; 2. Winterset 82; 3. Creston 95; 4. Bondurant-Farrar 116; 5. Roland-Story 126; 6. Newton 147; 7. Denison 180; 8. Perry 180; 9. Woodward Granger 277; 10. Boone 279.
Boys top-10 – 1. Jackson MacMaynard, Newton, 17:52; 2. Wynn Yeager, Winterset, 17:54; 3. Treycen Garton, Newton, 17:56; 4. Seth Vanbaale, Bondurant-Farrar, 18:13; 5. Payton Rowe, Bondurant-Farrar, 18:16; 6. Jack Chism, Ballard, 18:19; 7. Brennan Amos, Newton, 18:23; 8. Leo Flores, Denison, 18:36; 9. Clayton Stafford, Creston, 18:31; 10. Jackson McGovern, Bondurant-Farrar, 18:32.
Girls top-10 – 1. Shewane Johnson, Ballard, 19:52; 2. Paitlyn Noe, Ballard, 20:06; 3. Braelyn Baker, Creston, 20:31; 4. Brooke Loewe, Ballard, 20:41; 5. Ellie Twedt, Ballard, 20:42; 6. Kylie Tjernagel, Roland-Story, 20:43. 7. Jaylene Karolus, Perry, 21:11; 8. Josie Fleischmann, Ballard, 21:14; 9. Kate Huisinga, Ballard, 21:18. 10. Claire Miller, Denison, 21:28.
Creston boys – 9. Clayton Stafford, 18:31; 43. Jared Moreland, 19:48; 60. Levi Hitz, 20:30; 61. Riley Wipperman, 20:41; 63. Aidan Anderson, 20:48; 65. Hunter Fry, 21:03; 72. Devin Baker, 22:35.
Creston girls – 3. Braelyn Baker, 20:31; 11. Paige Davis, 21:29; 27. Riley DeGonia 22:45; 36. Morgan Buxton, 24:02; 38. Angelina Chuong, 24:10; 59. Emma Pantini 25:45.