BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
KNOXVILLE – Fort Madison’s boys and girls cross country teams jumped out to good start on the 2017 season with wins in a very humid run at Knoxville Monday night.
In the girls meet, seniors Sierra Howardson and Brett Schneider were just three seconds apart finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively in the 5K run. Fairfield’s Ashley Bloomquist set the pace with a mark of 20:43.60. Howardson ran 21:53.7 and Schneider finished at 21:56.6.
The Hounds finished with 29 points and had an average team time of 24:07, a full :50 ahead of Knoxville, who took second place at the meet with 40 points. Fairfield finished with 65 points for third.
The next Lady Hound across the line was sophomore Ashlynn Haas with a 25:06 mark at 7th overall. Senior Elizabeth Miller chased Haas over the line at 25:41 good for 8th place and fellow senior Clair Mendez rushed in for 9th at 25:57.
Maddy McVey, a sophomore was 12th overall with a mark of 26:38 and Lauren King rounded out the scoring for the Hounds with a 27:00 good for 13th place.
Other finishers for Fort Madison included junior Claire Hellman at 27:48, sophomore Lexi Miller with a 35:12 time, and freshman Rachel Hellman at 36:12.
In the boys’ meet, senior Aaron Steffensmeier took first-place at the meet completing the 5K run at 18:37.3, 4.1 seconds ahead of Bloodhound junior Dayne Cordray with a 18:41.4 mark good for second place.
Other place finishers for the Hounds were freshman Owen Kruse with a 20:40 time, good for 7th place overall. Kruse ushered in a pack of other Fort Madison runners including senior Noah Sissel at 20:51 at 8th place and junior Elton Kruse at 21:02 good for 9th overall. Junior Miguel Trejo, crossed the line at 21:05 for 11th place, while Shakir McClellan, just a freshman, took 19th overall with a 22:57 time.
Fairfield junior Mike Diers took 3rd place with a 19:44 time and senior Darren Roberts took 5th overall with a 20:33 time. Knoxville sophomore Jordan Bacon took 4th to round at the top five finishers at the meet with a 20:16 time.
Other runners for Fort Madison included freshman Alex Steffensmeier who clocked in at 23:28 and Seth Mendez, also a freshman with a time of 25:12.
Both teams head to the Cedar Rapids Prairie Invitational on Saturday.