Panthers claim varsity titles at O-M
ORIENT — The Creston cross country teams nearly pulled off the clean sweep here Monday at the Orient-Macksburg Invitational.
The Panthers swept the varsity team titles, and took home the individual crowns in the boys varsity, boys junior varsity and girls junior varsity races.
“This is the first time in at least 25 years we’ve had a clean sweep of the team titles for varsity at any meet,” head coach Pat Schlapia said. “We had three out of the four individual champions. That hasn’t happened in 25 years.”
The Creston girls varsity picked up its first meet win of the season, edging out West Central Valley by 11 points, 76-87, for the team title.
Meanwhile, the Creston boys varsity rolled to a 47-point win over second-place Nodaway Valley, 35-82.
On top of that, Creston sophomore Cooper McDermott won the individual title in the boys varsity race, running away from Mount Ayr senior Noah Larsen in the final three-quarters of a mile to post the win in 17:26 for the 5K course.
Senior Zack Peppmeier won the JV boys race with a time of 20:22, which was also good enough to move him up to the varsity team for Thursday’s meet at Perry. Savannah Hartman won the JV girls race with her time of 19:21 over the 4K course at Lake Orient.
The team race in the varsity girls division was close, but Creston’s depth prevailed over West Central Valley.
“It was a nice surprise with the girls winning,” Schlapia said. “We were wanting to shoot for first. As the runners were coming in with 200 meters to go, I was figuring maybe West Central Valley or Audubon — I wouldn’t have been too surprised to see either of them win it.”
But the Panthers placed their top five all within the top 22 of the race, led by Maria Mostek’s fourth-place performance in 16:45.
Mostek closely trailed Nodaway Valley’s Destiny Scar for much of the first half of the race, before Scar pulled away in the final three-quarters of a mile.
“Maria, I feel she got out stronger,” Schlapia said. “The first half was stronger than it was last week. She ran a good race with Scar. I feel she ran more focused.”
Also scoring for Creston was Taylor Briley in 11th at 17:48, Raegen Smith in 19th at 18:31, Jessica Beatty in 20th at 18:36 and Madison Hance in 22nd at 18:43.
West Central Valley’s top finisher came in eighth, with its scoring fifth member running in 31st place, giving Creston the edge.
“Raegen Smith, this was her best race of the season,” Schlapia said. “She jumped all the way up to third for us. She was our seventh runner coming into this. That was nice for her to move up. Jessica Beatty has been pretty consistent for us all year. So has Madison Hance.”
The Creston boys varsity posted its second team win of the season. The Panthers have a streak over the past four meets of placing either first or second in the team standings.
“That was exciting to see the boys get their second win of the season,” Schlapia said. “That comes at a very important time right now.”
McDermott led the way in 17:26, being pushed by Larsen for much of the race, before taking control late and pulling away.
“It was a good battle,” Schlapia said. “Him and Noah were together from the get-go. They were shoulder-to-shoulder through at least the first two miles.”
The Panthers placed four runners in the top 10 individually, as Jay Wolfe took fourth in 18:14, Ben Irr finished fifth in 18:30 and Garret Taylor claimed eighth in 18:44.
Kruz Adamson rounded out the scoring for the Panthers with a 17th-place finish in 19:51.
“We were wanting our top four to be in the top 10,” Schlapia said. “Those three were pretty close to each other. Kruz ran his best race. It was nice to see Kruz pick up the slack and move up to number five for us.”
The Panthers also had a successful night in the JV races.
Not only did Creston have the winners in each of the individual JV races, but the Creston girls accounted for the top nine spots in the JV girls race. The Creston boys placed six in the top 10 of the JV boys race.
“Top 10 medal and we had nine out of the 10 in the girls and six out of 10 in the boys,” Schlapia said. “We’ve got some JV kids challenging varsity kids.”
Creston returns to action Thursday at Perry Golf and Country Club.
Full official results from Monday’s meet were not available at press time. Results will be published in a future edition of the Creston News Advertiser.
GIRLS TEAM SCORES
1. Creston 76, 2. West Central Valley 87, 3. Earlham 100, 4. Audubon 115, 5. Bedford 157, 6. Mount Ayr 165.
Creston — 4. Maria Mostek, 16:45; 11. Taylor Briley, 17:48; 19. Raegen Smith, 18:31; 20. Jessica Beatty, 18:36; 22. Madison Hance, 18:43; 25. Jenna Hayes, 18:57; 27. Maddie Skarda, 19:09.
Creston JV — 1. Savannah Hartman, 19:21; 2. Caitlin McIlravy, 19:44; 3. Rachel Shepherd, 19:52; 4. Micah McCutchan, 20:15; 5. Cora Green, 20:27; 6. Angela Drey, 20:59; 7. Amber Castillo, 21:07; 8. Ann Waigand, 21:10; 9. Madison Callahan, 21:31; 12. Jessica Drey, 22:26; 13. Leah Schuler, 22:37; 17. Sydney Suiter, 24:23.
BOYS TEAM SCORES
1. Creston 35, 2. Nodaway Valley 82, 3. Earlham 95, 4. West Central Valley 145, 5. Orient-Macksburg 185, 6. Audubon 197, 7. Mount Ayr 198, 8. Paton-Churdan 211.
Creston — 1. Cooper McDermott, 17:26; 4. Jay Wolfe, 18:14; 5. Ben Irr, 18:30; 8. Garret Taylor, 18:44; 17. Kruz Adamson, 19:51; 19. Isaiah Foster, 19:54; 34. Brant Hudson, 21:11.
Creston JV — 1. Zack Peppmeier, 20:22; 3. Isaac Wignall, 21:01; 4. Kaleb Cook, 21:06; 5. Evan Nielsen, 21:08; 8. Michael Walsh, 21:40; 10. Nick Walsh, 21:55; 12. Jacob Geary, 22:17; 13. Jeremy Stoll, 24:42; 15. Patrick Normandeau, 25:22; Daniel Scott, 25:33; 20. Elijah Johnson, 33:50.