MARCUS - Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn/Remsen-Union hosted the War Eagle Conference Cross Country Meet on a beautiful fall day Monday, and Eagle Coach Ric Collins was very pleased with the times his runners turned in on the fast course against a very strong field, featuring the #1 rated (Class 2A) Orange City Unity Christian girls and the #9 rated (Class 1A) LeMars Gehlen girls.
The Lady Eagles finished 4th in the Girls' Team Scores, behind the two ranked teams and Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn, which slipped past the Lady Eagles into third place, beating MMC by just four points.
The Lady Eagles were led by sophomore Nikki Schwarz, who earned All-Conference honors and a 5th place medal as she ran the course in 14:56. Sarah Bird finished 20th, with a time of 16:24; Sidney Roberts was 25th, with a time of 17:02; Amber Neisius was 26th in 17:03; Heather Hoefling was 27th in 17:04, and Anna Wilcox, the only senior in this group, finished 29th in a time of 17:23.
The Lady Eagles also fielded a team of 11 junior varsity runners, and many had their best race of the season, topped by Carly Lenhoff's 10th place (JV) finish, in a time of 18:30. Other JV runners for MMC/RU included Kim Schroeder, Monica DeLa Cruz, Alissa McDermott, Jill Letsche, Casey Wurth, Tina Wilkens, Jill Addison, Mallory Roseen, Sara Peters and Jeri Welp.
The MMC/RU boys varsity team finished 5th out of 10 teams, with 137 points. Ben Brady had the Eagles' top finish, placing 31st with his time of 21:04, just ahead of teammate Zach Kellogg, who was one second behind in 32nd place. Nathan Ruba, Mitch Brady and Jacob Pearson also ran for the Eagles.
The boys team race was topped by Unity Christian, which scored 25 points to best second place South O'Briens' 65 points. Unity's Caleb Bakker was the individual champion, posting a time of 16:43 to beat second place Drew Schiltz of Hinton by 25 seconds. Unity runners took 3 of the top 4 spots.
South O'Brien had a strong showing, finishing second in the Boys' Varsity team scoring. Daniel Patterson was the Wolverines' top finisher, taking 9th place with his time of 18:01. Teammate Luke Hage, like Patterson, earned All Conference honors with his 12th place time of 18:42. Nate Struve, Daniel Haden, Tanner Hedberg and Wyatt Hyde also ran for the Wolverines, and all runners finished in the Top 30.
South O'Brien was also represented in the Girls' race, with Halee Rahbusch placing 15th and earning All Conference recognition. Rahbusch's time for the race was 16:00.80,
MMC/RU Coach Collins said they were blessed Monday with a great group of volunteers to help run the meet, which attracted a "huge" crowd to watch the more than 200 runners compete on the Marcus Golf Course.
The District Cross Country Meet is only a week away, and MMC/RU is assigned to the Class 2A District Meet at Unity Christian on Thursday October 20. South O'Brien is assigned to the Class 1A Meet in Holstein. The state meet will be held on Saturday October 29 in Fort Dodge.