MENLO — The Panorama girls cross country team placed first and the boys squad second Thursday at the West Central Valley Invitational, which was run on the links of the 5×80 Golf Course. Medals were awarded to the Top 15 finishers in both races, with four Panther girls and two Panther boys returning home with individual hardware.
“Both teams ran well,” Panther head coach Greg Thompson said. “Most of them weren’t too excited about running tonight, but, once the races got going, they competed well. Lydia Knapp and Maggie Smith had great races for the girls team. George Appleseth ran in his first cross country race and struggled with the pacing a bit; he gained valuable experience that will help him in the coming weeks.”
Thompson said familiarity with the course helped the Panthers, but he was most excited to see the progress many of his runners had made from last season.
“We ran this course last year Oct. 1,” he remarked. “Six athletes ran faster than last year at that time, with another four of five within 30 seconds of their time from last year. We will run this course again Sept. 29, so I am excited to see how much improvement we can make in four weeks.”
Panorama’s 43 points won the girls side, with WCV second at 71 and Greene County third at 91. Martensdale-St. Mary’s (102), EHK-Exira (110), CAM (134) and Interstate-35 (135) completed the girls field.
Nodaway Valley did not have five runners, and so could not generate a team score, but Reagan Weinheimer was the top individual girl to finish, crossing in 20 minutes, 2.94 seconds. She was followed by Panorama’s Brianna Hoffman (who was awarded points for first place, in 20:47.87) and EHK-Exira’s Emily Copic (20:59.78).
Next to finish was Panorama’s Devyn Kemble (3rd, 22:35.8), with Lydia Knapp (9th, 22:35.8), Maddie Knapp (14th, 23:39.6) and Taylor Rishel (16th, 24:01.68). Also running for the varsity, but not having their places tabulated, were Brooklyn Behrends (18th, 24:11.72) and Maggie Smith (19th, 24:18.54).
Nodaway Valley’s 24 points won the boys team competition, with Panorama (78) edging WCV (87) for runner-up honors. I-35 was fourth with 102 points, with M-SM (142), Ankeny Christian Academy (146), Audubon (153) and Greene County (220) in tow.
Shane Breheny of Nodaway Valley won the boys race in 16:29.41, with WCV’s Rylan Heffernan second in 16:42.95 and I-35’s Dominic Cresta third in 17:04.84.
Danny Nordquist was 11th for Panorama in 17:50.12, with Josh Carstens (12th, 17:59.35), George Appleseth (16th, 18:16.99), Mitch Wagler (18th, 18:27.8) and Sam Webster (21st, 18:55.4) also scoring for the Panthers. Running, but not scoring, were Kaleb Randel (26th, 19:28.71) and Austin Behrends (30th, 19:54.09).
The format of the meet allowed schools to enter an additional seven runners, if they chose — in essence, an unscored junior varsity meet.
Finishing, in order, for the Panther girls were Lydia Lindstrom, Chloe Webster, Bryn Steffen, Emily Smith, Mallorie Pittman, Anna Holloway and Maisie Knapp, with Erik Olsen, Lucas Wasson, Bryant Thompson, Jared Stagg, Tanner Kuta and Colton Stogdill competing for the Panther boys.
Panorama will return to action Thursday with a visit to the Greene County Invitational.
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