Conrad leads Panther girls to win at FairfieldMurray takes gold as MP boys’ cross-country team finishes second, W-MU runners also compete
FAIRFIELD — Individual first-place finishes by Ellie Conrad and Logan Murray helped the Mt. Pleasant girls’ cross-country team to a first-place finish and the boys’ team to the runner-up spot at the Fairfield Invitational on Thursday.
The Mt. Pleasant girls scored 36 points, 20 points ahead of second-place Ft. Madison. The tables were turned in the boys’ race; Ft. Madison won with 28 points, followed by Mt. Pleasant with 50.
“It was a very hard-fought victory,” Mt. Pleasant Girls’ Coach Jean Caboth said. “We knew it was within reach. The weather really helped us to do so well. Ellie (Conrad) led the race from about the 1/2 mile mark all the way to the end.”
Conrad finished the girls’ race in 16:34.
Beth Wells took fourth place with a time of 16:52, followed by Chloe Haffarnan in fifth at 17:02.
In 12th place was Emma Ludwig, 17:40, and Natalie Ita rounded out the scoring with a 14th-place finish in 17:52.
“Beth (Wells) set a personal record in her run. Chloe (Haffarnan) is running very well, too. Emma (Ludwig) and Natalie (Ita) continue to improve and race well,” Caboth said.
Also running for the Mt. Pleasant varsity was Lindsey Moeller, 26th with a time of 18:44, and Jenna Ludwig, 27th with a time of 18:49.
On the boys’ side, Murray finished in 16:11, more than 30 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Ft. Madison’s Nick Guzman, who is one of the top 10 returning runners from the state meet last season.
Adam Bodenham was second for the Panthers, finishing eighth overall with a time of 18:04. Josh Beelman took ninth in 18:08.
In 15th place was Dalton Krum with a time of 18:35, and Ryan Hutchinson took 17th in 18:52.
“I thought the guys competed well tonight,” Coach Mitch Anderson said. “(After Murray), the rest of the scoring varsity finished in the 18-minute range, which was a goal for us. Runners 2-5 are still 50 seconds spread out, and we need to close that to under 30 seconds.”
Also running for the Mt. Pleasant varsity was Henry Pham, 19th in 19:12, and Josh Stott, 31st in 20:20.
Winfield-Mt. Union competed in the Class A division of the Fairfield Invite, and the boys’ team placed fourth of nine teams.
Wapello won the meet with 55 points, followed by Louisa-Muscatine (67), Highland (82) and W-MU with 95 points.
Johnathan Quinn led the Wolves with a 10th-place overall finish and a time of 18:02.
Quinn was followed by Gavin Bencze in 15th with a time of 18:43 and Kollin Lintz in 16th with a time of 18:47.
In 24th was Levi Giese, 19:24, followed by Tristan Klopfenstein in 30th, 20:05, to complete the varsity scoring.
Also running for the Wolves was Kohlton Heinzel, 34th in 20:38, and Luke Beard, 40th in 21:18.
On the girls’ side, the Wolves don’t have enough runners for a team score.
Grace Edwards finished in 31st with a time of 20:18 and Steffanie Watson-Hewitt took 38th in 22:04.
Next up for the Wolves and the Panthers will be the Ft. Madison Invitational on Thursday, Sept. 19, at 5 p.m.