Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 13, 2017

Double the fun: Panther XC reigns

Oct 13, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger The Mt. Pleasant cross-country teams pose for a team picture after their third double-conference championship in school history;

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

FT. MADISON — Maroon and gold ruled the day at Rodeo Park in Ft. Madison on Thursday evening. The Mt. Pleasant cross-country teams each rolled to conference gold. It was just the third time in school history for both teams to win the SEC championship in the same year; previously claiming both titles in 1999 and 2007.

First up were the Panther girls, who scored 36 points to win the conference by a comfortable 17-point margin over three-time defending champion Ft. Madison. It was the first title for the Panther girls since 2013.

Abby Ryon and Taylor Murray each cracked the top five to lead the Panthers. Ryon passed Ft. Madison’s Sierra Howardson for second place on the final stretch and crossed in 19:36.6., and Murray came across in fifth place, at 20:47.6.

Delaney McDowell had a great run, crossing in eighth-place with a time of 21:34.7. Kendall Dascher (21:46.1), Cristina Carthey (21:46.6) and Kelsey Notestein (21:48.3) went 10th, 11th and 12th respectively, and Claire Holtkamp wasn’t far behind with a 15th-place finish of 22:29.8, putting all seven Panthers in the top 15.

Ft. Madison’s 53 points were 15 ahead of Fairfield for third place. The Trojans finished with 68 points. Washington scored 71 points for fourth and Keokuk was unable to score due to a lack of runners.

Next up were the Panther boys, who were looking for their fifth straight title, and they had a big head start with another dominant performance by Cody Mertens.

Mertens cruised to victory in 16:23.9, winning the meet by over 40 seconds. Kyle Vanderham gave the Panthers two out of the top three with a third-place 17:15.1, and Dalton Moyle made it three MPCHS runners on the All-SEC list with a seventh-place 17:45.1.

Much like in the girls’ race, it was Mt. Pleasant’s depth that made the difference in the boys’ standings. Alec Gardner crossed in 11th place with a time of 18:01.3, and Drake Snavely was right behind him in 12th, with a time of 18:19.3, giving the Panthers five runners in the top 12.

Cade Warner crossed the line in 16th place, finishing in 18:43.9, and Dakota Triska was 20th in 19:11.8, meaning all seven MPCHS boys placed in the top 20.

The big wins for both squads were a good boost before next week, when they head to Solon for their state qualifying meet. That will take place on Thursday, Oct. 19.

Full team results from Thursday’s meet, followed by the All-Conference teams for both races can be found below.

GIRLS’ TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Mt. Pleasant 36; 2. Ft. Madison 53; 3. Fairfield 68; 4. Washington 71; Keokuk (No team score)

GIRLS’ ALL-SEC TEAM: 1. Ashley Bloomquist, Fairfield; 2. Abby Ryon, Mt. Pleasant; 3. Sierra Howardson, Ft. Madison; 4. Brett Schneider, Ft. Madison; 5. Taylor Murray, Mt. Pleasant; 6. Yana Gaskell, Fairfield; 7. Brooke Stout, Washington; 8. Delaney McDowell, Mt. Pleasant; 9. Molly Sparks, Washington; 10. Kendall Dascher, Mt. Pleasant.

BOYS’ TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Mt. Pleasant 34; 2. Ft. Madison 48; 3. Fairfield 67; 4. Washington 81; 5. Keokuk 143

BOYS’ ALL-SEC TEAM: 1. Cody Mertens, Mt. Pleasant; 2. Aaron Steffensmeier, Ft. Madison; 3. Kyle Vanderham, Mt. Pleasant; 4. Dayne Cordray, Ft. Madison; 5. Brennan Horak, Washington; 6. Gannon Courtright, Fairfield; 7. Dalton Moyle, Mt. Pleasant; 8. Evan Horak, Washington; 9. Nathan Steffensmeier, Ft. Madison; 10. Alex Forrest, Fairfield

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