Conrad joins Murray in Class 3A rankings
WILLIAMSBURG — Mt. Pleasant cross-country runner Ellie Conrad broke into the Class 3A girls’ top-30 rankings this week at No. 27 after her second-place, 16:25 finish at Williamsburg on Tuesday.
Conrad joins the Panthers’ Logan Murray, who remains at No. 16 on the boys’ side of the rankings.
Neither the Panther boys nor girls are currently among the ranked teams, but coaches believe that both teams are on the bubble.
“We did not make the team rankings, but we know we are close, because Williamsburg is in there,” Mt. Pleasant girls’ cross-country coach, Jean Caboth, said.
Both Mt. Pleasant teams were third at the Williamsburg Invite on Tuesday — the girls scored 51 points, behind Solon (39) and Williamsburg (41); the boys scored 69, behind Williamsburg (46) and Solon (55).
Alex Smith of Solon won the girls’ race in a time of 16:20.
Conrad led the Mt. Pleasant girls’ team, followed by Beth Wells in seventh place with a time of 17:03. She was followed by Natalie Ita (13th, 17:49), Chloe Haffarnan (14th, 17:53), Hannah Weber (15th, 17:55), Emma Ludwig (16th, 17:56) and Lindsey Moeller (27th, 19:53).
The spread between Mt. Pleasant’s first and fifth runners, which has been around a minute in the last couple of meets, was 1:30 at Williamsburg.
“The gap got us,” Caboth said. “We had two varsity runners not feeling their best — tired from all the Homecoming activities, I think.”
However, she wasn’t disappointed in the Panthers’ overall performance.
“Both Solon and Williamsburg teams are state-ranked, so for us to be right in there with them was great,” Caboth said.
On the boys’ side, Murray led the boys’ with a second-place finish in a time of 16:47. Tipton’s Eric Lenz won the race in a time of 16:42, setting the course record in the process.
“It was a really good race for Murray — (Lenz) beat the course record by three seconds, so Murray was just two seconds away from it,” Coach Mitch Anderson said. “(Adam) Bodenham and (Josh) Beelman ran good races, too; Beelman is running about a minute faster than last year.”
Bodenham was 10th in 18:30, followed by Beelman (12th, 18:36), Jack Pieper (20th, 18:54), Dalton Krum (25th, 19:16), Henry Pham (26th, 19:26) and Blake Wickham (27th, 19:27).
Next week, the Panthers will find out where they run their state-qualifying meet.
“We hope for placement in the Pella state qualifier, to our west, becasue the one at Solon is going to be killer,” Caboth said. “We will still have a hard time at Pella, but better chances to advance than at Solon.”