Perry cross country hosts 16th annual Leon Fox Invitational

Perry senior Grace Stewart runs in the lead pack at Thursday's Leon Fox Invite. Stewart finished seventh overall.

The scenic grounds of the Perry Golf and Country Club served as a challenging host for over 400 cross country runners from grades 7-12 Thursday as the 16th annual Leon Fox Invitational was held in near-perfect weather conditions.

Perry finished ninth in an 12-team boys field that featured 228 varsity and junior varsity runners competing simultaneously, with 117 girls running in their varsity/JV race, in which Perry was eighth of 11 teams.

Creston won the girls crown with 50 points, with Winterset second at 73 and Madrid third at 114. ADM place fourth in 118 points, with Greene County (127), Roland-Story (140), Bondurant-Farrar (162), Perry (229), Boone (232), Kuemper Catholic (235) and Des Moines North (289) completing the field.

From left, Zach Stewart, Aaron Lockwood, Mario Cruz and Zachary Thompson stride through the opening stages of the Leon Fox Invite.

ADM’s Sadie Juergens won in 20 minutes, 22 seconds, with Creston sisters Brielle (20:50) and Braelyn (20:53) Baker finishing 2-3. Juergens is ranked 13th and Brielle Baker 26th.

Jayette senior Grace Stewart was the first finisher for the hosts, earning a medal by placing seventh overall in 21:58. Hannah Peterson was 50th in 25:13 and Cris Gomez 52nd in 25:27 while Julissa Calderon placed 58th in 26:00 and Molly Lutmer 62nd in 27:12.

Sophie Prombo (70th, 28:52) and Angela Hernandez (71st, 28:53) also ran for the varsity, with Kat Munoz (29:03) and Darian McCord (30:14) competing as well.

A strong B-F team, ranked 11th in Class 3A, won the boys race with 41 points. Class 2A No. 5 Roland-Story and ADM each compiled 76 points, with the tiebreaker (next best finisher) giving R-S second place, as their sixth runner was 29th as opposed to 40th for ADM.

Flanked by teams from Saydel and Kuemper Catholic, the Perry girls take off at the start of Thursday’s 16th Leon Fox Invite.

Class 1A No. 8 Madrid was a close fourth with 78 points, with Winterset (153), Kuemper Catholic (195), Saydel (199), Boone (242), Perry (245), Des Moines North (251), Creston (278) and Greene County (306) also on the course.

Sean McDermott of Madrid was the boys winner in 16:48, with Drake Vanbaale of B-F second in 17:12 and Nick Mueller of ADM third in 17:14.

Zachary Thompson (30th, 19:07) and Mario Cruz (45th, 19:49) set the pace for the Bluejays. Zach Stewart (50th, 19:54), Eduardo Sanchez (53rd, 19:58) and Eli Noble (67th, 20:41) helped create the varsity tally. Hayden McFarland (69th, 20:45) and Aaron Lockwood (70th, 20:53) were the remaining varsity racers.

Gabe Ridnour (22:39), Beau Nelson (22:48), Miguel Gonzalez (24:09), Calvin Sass (24:13) and Collin Malmberg (24:18) were the first five of 10 Perry JV runners to exit the finish chute. Jacob Prombo (24:29) and Chase Archer (25:14) were 6-7 for the Jays JV, with Alex Thompson (27:09), Kyle Lockwood (27:49) and Devin Carrillo (29:46) running for Perry as well.

Ballard’s 42 points won the two-mile middle school girls race, with ADM second at 59. Perry had only four runners and thus did not generate a team score in the 78-harrier field.

Eduardo Sanchez (left) and Zach Stewart cross the pond.

Jaylene Karolus and Lydia Olejniczak were 16-17, in 14:43.94 and 14:44.76, respectively, to lead the Jayettes. Pauline Galindo — running with a cast on a broken left wrist — was 61st in 18:16.92 while Hailey Peterson placed 66th in 18:16.92.

ADM had 18 points to win the 94-harrier boys middle school two-mile event, with Greene County second at 52 while Perry was ninth of 10 teams at 228.

Tanner Burgin was 30th in 14:52 and Gannon Meis 32nd in 14:56 to pace Perry. Cole Nelson (45th, 15:25), Johnathan Chavez (55th, 16:01) and Christian Garrido (66th, 18:35) navigated the course as well.

Perry will return to competition Thursday when they take part in the Saydel Invitational.



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