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Panthers and Wolverines take on Ballard

Clayton Stafford ran his way to an 11th-place finish Monday night at the Ballard Invitational. Stafford was timed at 18:13.6, running as Creston's fastest boy.
Clayton Stafford ran his way to an 11th-place finish Monday night at the Ballard Invitational. Stafford was timed at 18:13.6, running as Creston's fastest boy.

HUXLEY – Creston and Nodaway Valley ran at the Ballard Cross Country Invitational Monday night, in a two-class race with both the Panthers and Wolverines racing in Class B.

A meet where no spectators were permitted to the race, the Panther boys and girls both had good finishes, taking ninth and fourth, respectively.

On the boys end, the Panthers were led by Clayton Stafford. Stafford was just outside the top-10, running a time of 18:13.6 for 11th-place. Creston head coach Pat Schlapia liked what he saw out of Creston’s leading boy runner.

“He’s bound and determined to get back to Fort Dodge. He improved by 50 seconds on his time from a year ago,” said Schlapia. “Finishing 11th, medaling, that was a very solid boys race. There [were] all four classes represented, ... with our small unit of boys, we were right there with some of them.”

Creston edged out Woodward Granger and Perry in the team standings. Riley Wipperman ran a time of 21:51.1 (48th) and Anthony Eblen ran a time of 22:56.8 (63rd).

The Panther girls took fourth, scoring 108 points. The Panthers were led by Braelyn Baker, a usual suspect, with a second-place time of 20:28.9.

“One of our highlights was Braelyn,” said Schlapia. “She finished second, ... you look at her time of 20:28, that was a 45-second improvement form last season. That was nice to see, and that’s a pretty challenging course. ... That was a very strong race. That sends a message to others of ‘Braelyn did fantastic, and she’s back again for her senior season.’ Each time out [she] has been looking really strong.”

Behind baker was Paige Davis, who ran a time of 23:01.9. Morgan Buxton and Riley DeGonia were nearly stride for stride, running times of 24:15.3 and 24:16.4, respectively.

Schalpia noted the strong improvements from the rest of the girls group, including Buxton’s improvement of 37 seconds and DeGonia’s improvement of 46 seconds (at Ballard).

A meet where over 20 ranked runners (individually) and over 10 ranked teams were present, the strength of the competition was prevalent Monday evening.

“Both the A race and the B race were pretty rock solid,” said Schlapia. “This kind of gives us an idea [of what state is like]. This the one time we’ll get to see some of these schools before the state meet. ... This is a good measuring stick for us, ... it was nice to get out and compete after about two weeks of waiting since DCG. Some kids stepped up.”

Schlapia said of the 11 kids who ran at Ballard last season, nine improved.

Wolverines race at with Panthers

The defending state-qualifier Wolverines ran well for early in the season with the girls placing seventh and the boys placing fourth.

The NV boys were led by Class 1A No. 14 Toby Bower’s time of 18:04.7 for seventh, and the girls were led by Class 1A No. 17 Sophia Broers’ 21:54.4 for 12th-place.

Rounding out the top scorers for the NV boys was Class 1A No. 26 Doug Berg in ninth (18:08.6) and Class 1A No. 16 Ben Breheny (18:15.5) in 12th. The NV girls had a 26th-place finish by Erin Ford in 23:58.2 and a 34th-place finish by Abby Engels in 25:10.8.

Boys results

Teams – T1. Madrid, 43; T1. Solon, 43; 3. Atlantic, 82; 4 Nodaway Valley, 102; 5. Nevada, 128; 6. Roland-Story, 150; 7. Eagles Grove , 187; 8. Ifa-SGWSR, 226; 9. Creston, 261; 10. Woodward Granger, 274; 11. Perry, 298.

Individual results – 1. Jason Renze, Madrid, 16:35.3; 2. Clay Pehl, Madrid, 16:36.8; 3. Craig Alan Becker, Atlantic, 16:48.8; 4. Gabe Hinkman, Solon, 17:35.5; 5. Tyler Bilskie, Solon, 17:45.4; 6. Ethan Loutzenheiser, Madrid 17:46.3; 7. Toby Bower, Nodaway Valley, 18:04.7; 8. Brick Kabela, Solon, Kabela, 18:05.6; 9. Doug Berg, Nodaway Valley, 18:08.6; 10. Michael Yeomans, Solon, 18:09.9.

Nodaway Valley – 7. Toby Bower, 18:04.7; 9. Doug Berg, 18:08.6; 12. Ben Breheny, 18:15.5; 34. Malachi Broers, 20;19.4; 40. Gavin Shoemaker, 20:50.3; 61. Jaxon Christensen, 22:25.5; Javin Christensen, 26:05.0.

Creston – 11. Clayton Stafford, 18:13.6; 48. Riley Wipperman, 21:51.1; 63. Anthony Eblen, 22:56.8; 66. Gavin Evans, 23:30.1; 73. Carson Smith, 25:38.3.

Girls results

Teams – 1. Solon, 46; 2. Roland-Story, 69; 3. Atlantic, 84; 4. Creston, 108; 5. Ifa-AGWSR, 137; 6. Nevada, 144; 7. Nodaway Valley, 147; 8. Madrid, 198; 9. Woodward Granger, 252.

Individual results – 1. Ellie Meyer, Ifa-AGWSR, 19:31.9; 2. Braelyn Baker, Creston, 20:28.9; 3. Kiersten Conway, Solon, 20:59.8; 4. Taylor McCreeedy, Atlantic, 20:59.8; 5. Reece Johnson, Roland-Story, 21:09.7; 6. Elizabeth Ihle, Roland-Story, 21:36.0; 7. Emma Bock, Solon, 21:37.7; 8. Jaylene Karolus, Perry, 21.37.7; 9. Tori Meinecke, 21:38.0; 10. Gracie Federspiel, Solon, 21:42.7.

Creston – 2. Braelyn Baker, 20:28.8; 18. Paige Davis, 23:01.9; 28. Morgan Buxton, 24:15.3; 29. Riley DeGonia, 24:16.4; 31. Carly Green, 24:44.0; 41. Autumn Stafford, 25:55.9; 44. Zoe Ralson, 26:14.1.

Nodaway Valley – 12. Sophia Broers, 21:54.4; 26. Erin Ford, 23:58.2; 34. Abby Engles, 25:10.8; 35 Lily Day, 25:14.7; 40. Annika Nelson, 25:38.9; 59. Hope Kading, 29:49.5.

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