Cross Country: Elite runners flex muscles at Panorama XC Invite
By BRANDON HURLEY
PANORA - A swarm of top-notch runners shook off warm and blustery conditions last week at the 44th annual Panorama Cross Country Invite, producing some of the season’s top times.
Fighting bouts of exhaustion, several runners crossed the finish line gasping for air as a hilly and tight Panorama West Golf Course made for quite the test.
In the end, the favorites made their mark, cruising to a number of titles.
Six top 15 teams, including the top two squads in 1A, and six ranked runners dotted the boys’ field while two ranked schools and five rated individuals made up the girls’ competition.
Conner Allender medaled for the Greene County girls, leading a pack of three top 30 runners while no Ram boy placed inside the top 50.
Led by Allender’s 16th place finish, the Greene County girls placed seventh overall (179 points) in the 16 team field. Madrid finished just a hair ahead of the Rams, scoring 170 points due in large part to a pair of top 10 runners, ninth place Oksana Howard and 10th place Lauren Horn.
Greene County junior Kassie Lamoureux came in 25th (24:39) while Makala Kafer placed 29th (25:22), providing the Rams with a trio of top 30 runners. Ashlee Harmeyer (54th) and Izzy Bravard (55th) rounded out Greene County’s top five.
Third-ranked Panorama captured its third consecutive team title this fall, placing four runners in the top 15, including sophomore Ella Waddle’s runner-up finish.
The sixth-ranked runner in 2A finished with a time of 20:07, well ahead of 2016 state champion and second-ranked (1A) Kate Crawford (20:25) of AC/GC, earning her third straight top two finish. Waddle placed second at the season-opening ISU meet and won the WCV meet a few weeks back.
Tri-Center’s Peyton Pogge (ranked third in 1A) captured the Panorama individual title with ease, cruising to a time of 19:43.
Nodaway Valley’s Reagan Weinheimer (ranked 25th in 1A), finished fourth with a time of 22:15 while teammate Sophia Broers rounded out the top five (22:22).
Eleventh-ranked Earlham (1A) finished runner-up as a team with 90 points while AC/GC snagged a bronze medal with 99 points.
Tri-Center narrowly edged out Nodaway Valley for fourth place, scoring 143 points, two points ahead of the Wolverines, who finished fifth with 145 points.
On the boys’ side, last year’s 1A runner-up, Sean Mcdermott captured the individual title with a time of 16:59, one of four Madrid runners in the top seven, as the Tigers piled up 34 points to snag the team title with ease.
Three-time defending state champion Nodaway Valley used a runner-up finish from eighth-ranked Joshua Baudler (17:23) to finish second overall as a team with 86 points.
Greene County struggled to a 14th-place finish in the 20-team field (339 points), placing all six runners outside of the top 50 in the individual race.
West Central Valley finished just two points ahead of Greene County for 13th, while Woodward-Granger finished 12th with 308 points.
Greene County sophomore Luis Velazco led the way for the Rams, placing 51st with a time of 20:41. Fellow sophomore Connor Brus came in 64th (21:06) while Jack Bryson was a few feet behind in 65th (21:12). Freshman Logan Woodruff rounded out the top four with another top 70 finish, placing 67th . Trevor Lebeck (92nd) and Brian Hardaway (111th), rounded out Greene County’s top six.
Adair-Casey/Guthrie Center finished third as a team with 146 points thanks to a third place finish from fifth-ranked Noah Nelsen (17:25) while 11th-ranked (2A) Des Moines Christian (162) and 15th-rated (1A) Tri-Center (198) rounded out the top five. Ninth-ranked Earlham (1A), finished sixth with 230 points.
All seven of Madrid’s runners placed in the top 26, individually while Nodaway Valley used four runners in the top 20 to secure their runner-up finish. AC/GC placed two runners in the top 15.
Greene County was in action at the Roland-Story Invitational Sept. 20 in Story City.
The Rams faced off against top-ranked Madrid, Bondurant-Farrar, Kuemper Catholic, Nevada, Ogden, South Hamilton, Southeast Valley and Webster City, among others.
The Roland-Story boys are ranked 12th in 2A while the South Hamilton boys and girls are each ranked sixth in 1A.