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Panthers make statement at Leon Fox Invite

Published: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 2:49 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 6:15 a.m. CDT

PERRY — Last year, the Creston cross country teams had their best joint performances they’ve ever had under head coach Pat Schlapia at the Leon Fox Invitational, when the girls finished second and the boys finished fourth in Class A.

The Panthers topped those performances here Thursday, as the boys took second in Class A and the girls finished third.

“I thought the kids did an awesome job there at Perry,” Schlapia said. “Last year, we had our best showing in many, many years with the girls getting second and the boys getting fourth. With the boys getting second and the girls getting third, that topped that from a year ago.”

Class 3A top-ranked Boone ran away with the boys team title with 31 points, as Creston edged out Class 3A No. 13 Perry for second place, 100-108. Dallas Center-Grimes was a close fourth with 111 points.

The Dallas Center-Grimes girls, ranked 15th in Class 3A, won the girls team title with 78 points, as Ballard just beat out Creston for second, 92-94. Boone finished fourth with 100 points.

Eleventh-ranked Winterset finished eighth with 188 points, but competed without two of its top three runners.

In Class B, the Nodaway Valley boys finished second with 82 points, as Class 2A 14th-ranked Panorama took the team title with 53 points. Orient-Macksburg finished 10th with 249 points.


For the Creston boys, the second-place finish to top-ranked Boone made a statement.

The Panthers entered the state rankings three weeks ago at No. 15 after winning the Class B team title at Ballard, but fell out of the rankings the following week, despite a strong second-place finish at the home meet.

Creston remained out of the rankings this week, but beat 13th-ranked Perry at its home meet Thursday.

“They’re making great strides,” Schlapia said about his boys team. “They’re running very confidently. Running second to Boone and finishing ahead of Perry, maybe we’ll get a little more respect in the rankings.”

Sophomore Cooper McDermott ran yet another strong individual race, finishing fourth behind the top two ranked runners in the state in Boone’s Albert Meier and Chandler Austin and eighth-ranked Atem Akok of Perry.

McDermott ran 16:39, finishing just :02 behind Akok and :19 behind Austin. McDermott, who is ranked 24th in the state, also finished :13 ahead of 17th-ranked Casey Roberts of Saydel.

“Cooper, he had a more safe, secure start on this one,” Schlapia said. “The last time he went against the Boone kids, he maybe got a little too pumped up that first mile. That played out well, because he was able to reel them (Akok and Roberts) in a bit.”

Jay Wolfe, Ben Irr and Garret Taylor all posted top-20 finishes, as Wolfe finished 13th, Irr 14th and Taylor 19th.

The spread between the top four Creston runners was 1:23. Isaiah Foster was the fifth and final scoring member of the team, finishing 54th in 19:27. Kruz Adamson followed in 58th and Zack Peppmeier finished 60th.

“We need to get those guys to get that time cut down to be closer to our top four guys,” Schlapia said.


The Creston girls ran a strong team race, as the top four all placed within the top 25 of the race, while the fifth scoring member crossed in 27th place.

Maria Mostek led the way with a seventh-place finish in 16:08 and Taylor Briley closed the gap on her with an 11th-place finish in 16:49.

“This was a course Maria likes,” Schlapia said. “She worked ell through that whole race. Finishing seventh in that competition, she held her own pretty well.”

Raegen Smith had her second strong outing in a row, placing 24th with a time of 17:38, followed closely by Madison Hance in 25th in 17:40 and Maddie Skarda in 27th, running 17:41.

“Raegen has really been moving up,” Schlapia said. “She had a fine week for us this week. She had a fine freshman season and then last season had a lot of foot problems she dealt with. She’s been working on treating those. She was within 1:30 of Maria, so that was nice to see.

“Madison Hance and Maddie Skarda, they were just off of Raegen,” he continued. “Our five scoring girls were within 1:35 of each other. This is probably the girls’ best team race as far as getting the gaps closed.”

Class B

In Class B, it was another race and another race win for Nodaway Valley’s Destiny Scar. The Nodaway Valley boys team also had a strong showing in getting second.

Scar easily won the Class B girls race, running 15:47. Greene County’s Allison Higgins finished second in 16:02.

The Nodaway Valley boys team finished second to Panorama, ranked in Class 2A. The Wolverines placed four runners in the top 15 of the race, led by Brayten Funke’s second-place performance in 17:58. Shane Breheny finished fourth in 18:00.

Heath Downing took 10th in 18:27 and Nathan Venteicher finished 14th in 18:46.

Orient-Macksburg was led by Jesse Johnson in 29th, with his time of 19:34.

Creston JV

The Creston JV teams also ran well, once again. Savannah Hartman paced the girls with an eighth-place finish in 18:25, just missing moving up to varsity by :02. Rachel Shepherd finished 10th in 18:28.

For the boys, Brant Hudson finished 12th in 19:28, which was good enough to move him back up onto the varsity squad for Monday’s meet at Nodaway Valley.

But one of the biggest stories on the Creston JV team was junior Elijah Johnson breaking the 30:00 barrier for the first time in his career.

“There’s a spot for everybody in cross country,” Schlapia said. “This is the first time he got under 30:00 and he pretty much blew that away with 28:38. What was nice to see was all the teammates spread out around the course for him as he came in. When you see something like that, as a coach, you feel pretty proud. That shows there’s a spot for everybody. That’s what team is about.”

Creston returns to action Monday at Nodaway Valley, before traveling to Atlantic on Thursday, where for the first time since Schlapia has been head coach, the meet will be run at Atlantic Golf and Country Club instead of Nishna Hills Golf Club.

Leon Fox Invitational



1. Dallas Center-Grimes 78, 2. Ballard 92, 3. Creston 94, 4. Boone 100, 5. Newton 136, 6. Atlantic 147, 7. Carlisle 188, 8. Winterset 188, 9. ADM 221, 10. Bondurant-Farrar 238, 11. Saydel 286, 12. Perry 297.


Leaders — 1. Abby Kohut-Jackson, Ballard, 15:03; 2. Madison Waymire, DCG, 15:26; 3. Dianna Slight, Boone, 15:29; 4. Tiffany Williams, Atlantic, 15:51; 5. Dominique Fleming, Winterset, 15:58; 6. Brianna Mueller, ADM, 16:01; 7. Maria Mostek, Creston, 16:08; 8. Sydney Kaufman, Winterset, 16:25; 9. Hailey Coy, Newton, 16:27; 10. Emma Bravard, DCG, 16:41.

Creston — 7. Maria Mostek, 16:08; 11. Taylor Briley, 16:49; 24. Raegen Smith, 17:38; 25. Madison Hance, 17:40; 27. Maddie Skarda, 17:41; 41. Jenna Hayes, 18:08; 46. Jessica Beatty, 18:23.

Creston JV — 8. Savannah Hartman, 18:25; 10. Rachel Shepherd, 18:28; 14. Angela Drey, 18:56; 15. Caitlin McIlravy, 19:01; 17. Micah McCutchan, 19:10; 20. Cora Green, 19:12; 26. Amber Castillo, 19:41; 29. Abbie Cook, 20:03; 34. Ann Waigand, 20:24; 44. Madison Callahan, 20:49; 47. Leah Schuler, 21:04; 54. Jessica Drey, 21:30; 70. Sydney Suiter, 22:33; 78. Itzayanna Rubio, 24:35.


1. Boone 31, 2. Creston 100, 3. Perry 108, 4. Dallas Center-Grimes 111, 5. Ballard 145, 6. Saydel 158, 7. Carlisle 169, 8. ADM 177, 9. Winterset 190, 10. Bondurant-Farrar 248, 11. Atlantic 280.


Leaders — 1. Albert Meier, Boone, 15:19; 2. Chandler Austin, Boone, 16:20; 3. Atem Akok, Perry, 16:37; 4. Cooper McDermott, Creston, 16:39; 5. Luke Kohut-Jackson, Ballard, 16:46; 6. Casey Roberts, Saydel, 16:52; 7. Jacob Running Horse, Boone, 17:21; 8. Josh Berger, ADM, 17:21; 9. Nick Swift, Bondurant-Farrar, 17:24; 10. Jordan Murray, Boone, 17:34.

Creston — 4. Cooper McDermott, 16:39; 13. Jay Wolfe, 17:43; 14. Ben Irr, 17:48; 19. Garret Taylor, 18:02; 54. Isaiah Foster, 19:27; 58. Kruz Adamson, 19:33; 60. Zack Peppmeier, 19:37.

Creston JV — 12. Brant Hudson, 19:28; 16. Kaleb Cook, 19:45; 32. Isaac Wignall, 20:18; 42. Evan Nielsen, 20:46; 48. Michael Walsh, 20:59; 53. Nick Walsh, 21:12; 55. Jacob Geary, 21:15; 94. Patrick Normandeau, 22:34; 119. Jeremy Stoll, 23:19; 134. Daniel Scott, 24:14; 162. Elijah Johnson, 28:38.



1. Panorama 41, 2. Greene County 53, 3. West Central Valley 59, 4. Madrid 101, 5. Roland-Story 118, 6. Southeast Webster-Grand 136.


Leaders — 1. Destiny Scar, NV, 15:47; 2. Allison Higgins, Greene County, 16:02; 3. Oksana Covey, Des Moines Christian, 16:23; 4. Hannah Appleseth, Panorama, 16:30; 5. Shelby Hunemiller, WCV, 16:50; 7. Ashley Stevens, Des Moines Christian, 16:53; 8. Syndey Lawrence, Madrid, 16:54; 9. Maggie Smith, Panorama, 17:00; 10. Sydney Clark, Des Moines Christian, 17:03.

Nodaway Valley — 1. Destiny Scar, 15:47; 48. Cheyenne Wenstad, 20:40; 56. Shelby Nupp-Holder, 23:57.


1. Panorama 53, 2. Nodaway Valley 82, 3. Ogden 96, 4. Roland-Story 117, 5. Des Moines Christian 141, 6. Van Meter 144, 7. Woodward Academy 150, 8. Greene County 167, 9. Madrid 244, 10. Orient-Macksburg 249, 11. Paton-Churdan 275.


Leaders — 1. Trey Thompson, Ogden, 17:28; 2. Brayten Funke, Nodaway Valley, 17:58; 3. Spencer Dedic, Roland-Story, 18:00; 4. Shane Breheny, Nodaway Valley, 18:00; 5. Eric Fluegee, Des Moines Christian, 18:01; 6. Jordon Reynolds, Panorama, 18:08; 7. Sam Bassett, Panorama, 18:08; 8. Sam Courtney, Guthrie Center, 18:12; 9. Austin Dunbar, Van Meter, 18:16; 10. Heath Downing, Nodaway Valley, 18:27.

Orient-Macksburg —29. Jesse Johnson, 19:34; 58. Cameron Walker, 21:28; 59. Owen Hensley, 21:31; 62. Wyatt Hensley, 21:38; 66. Morgan Spurrier, 21:52; 72. Keaton Wambold, 24:26.

Nodaway Valley — 2. Brayten Funke, 17:58; 4. Shane Breheny, 18:00; 10. Heath Downing, 18:27; 14. Nathan Venteicher, 18:46; 61. Matthew Dickinson, 21:36; 71. Noah Cooper, 23:42; 75. Ben Freese, 24:54.

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