Wells leads MP girls to SEC winMt. Pleasant boys’ cross-country second to Ft. Madison at conference meet
KEOKUK — With all five scorers in the top 10, the Class 3A ninth-ranked Mt. Pleasant girls’ cross-country team claimed a win at the Southeast Conference meet in Keokuk on Thursday.
Beth Wells led the conference champions with a third-place overall finish in 16:28 on the 4K course.
Ellie Conrad — who was in Des Moines yesterday morning, but got a ride down to Keokuk in time for the meet — was right behind Wells, finishing in fourth place with a time of 16:30.
Emma Ludwig crossed the line just a second behind Conrad, finishing 16:31 to take fifth place. The Panthers claimed the sixth spot, too, when Hannah Weber came in at 16:36.
Chloe Haffarnan rounded out the scoring with her ninth-place finish in 16:48.
“We had a good night with a tight pack in varsity — it was a 20 second spread,” Coach Jean Caboth said. “Beth (Wells) went to the lead when Ellie (Conrad) was tired in the middle of the race. Emma Ludwig ran tough the whole race.”
Also running varsity for the Panthers was Natalie Ita, who finished 11th in 17:01, and Megan Shumaker, who was 23rd in 19:17.
The Panthers finished with 27 points as a team, well ahead of second-place Ft. Madison with 45 points. Fairfield was third with a score of 63.
Ft. Madison’s Kaylee Alvarez won the meet in 16:12 and Fairfield’s Taylor Ferrel was second in 16:18.
Washington scored 106 points for fourth place, followed by Keokuk, 146.
“We look forward to the state qualifier in Solon next week,” Caboth said.
On the boys’ side of the meet, the conference title was also won with 27 points — however, it was Ft. Madison that claimed the crown.
The Panthers were close behind with 34 points as a team.
“They’re a strong team, and have a really good shot at qualifying for state,” Mt. Pleasant Coach Mitch Anderson said. “Six of our seven varsity runners are freshmen, and for them to be so close to that strong a team, I was really proud of them.”
Mt. Pleasant’s Logan Murray was the individual conference champion after winning the 5K race in 15:46, nearly 30 seconds ahead of second place.
“I’m very excited about Logan (Murray) — he wants to be the four-time conference champ, and this first one is the hardest,” Anderson said.
Spots two, three and four went to the Bloodhounds, and Fairfield got its first runner in at the No. 5 spot.
Mt. Pleasant’s Jack Pieper took sixth in 16:41, followed by Ft. Madison’s fourth runner.
After that came a pack of Panthers: Josh Beelman took eighth in 16:58 and Adam Bodenham was ninth in 17:04. Ryan Hutchinson took 10th in 17:12.
Also running varsity for Mt. Pleasant was Dalton Krum, who took 12th in 17:33, and Alex Warren, who was 22nd in 18:33.
The Panthers came in ahead of three conference teams: Fairfield (91), Washington (110) and Keokuk (114).
The Mt. Pleasant JV teams also had quite a bit of success at the meet.
The Panther boys took the first seven places, more than what they needed for another perfect score.
The team was led by Henry Pham (17:55), followed by Brad Martin (18:01), Ben Zihlman (18:10), Josh Stott (18:29), Blake Wickham (18:34), Jacob Holtkamp (18:38) and Dilan Zilliox (18:40).
The Panthers finished with 15 points, winning by a long way. Ft. Madison was second with 89 points.
On the girls’ side, the Panthers had a new runner as of yesterday — Ashai Jordan transferred from Iowa City West and promptly won the JV race for Mt. Pleasant, finishing in 18 minutes flat.
She was followed by Jenna Ludwig, who took second in 18:18. After that came Serie Welcher, Hannah Wickham and Emma Smith in seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.
As a team, the Panthers scored 27 points for the win.
They were followed by Fairfield with 38 points.
Next up for the Panthers is the state-qualifying meet at Solon on Oct. 24.