BY PCC STAFF
MT. PLEASANT – A bit of a battle is brewing between Fort Madison junior Anthony Barnes and sophomore Will Gager, but the end result has been solid team finishes for the Fort Madison cross-country team.
The Bloodhounds won the Southeast Conference meet on Thursday in Mt. Pleasant with both Barnes and Gager finishing in the top 10. Points are based on the top five place finishers, with the team with the fewest point winning the meet.
In the girls meet, Katelyn Dennis finished in 3rd behind a couple of Abby’s. Ryon from Mt. Pleasant again paced the field at 19:54.02 and Abby Blint also of Mt. Pleasant was second at 20:48.93. Dennis finished at 21:33.52.
For the boys, Barnes has one of the fastest final stretches around, and is typically on a full out sprint to the finish line. He took 7th overall and 6th in team scoring with a time of 17:56.24, with Gager close behind at 18:06.58 for 9th overall and 8th in team scoring.
The Hounds have been pack runners all year staying close to one another and putting scoring runners in the top 20 at each event. Sophomore Hayden Wolfe was 12th (11th) at 18:25.84, freshman Tate Settles was 14th overall (13th) at 18:36.34. Austin Miller rounded out the Bloodhound scoring runners with a 17th overall (16th) at 18:43.15.
Those runners totaled 54 points, just one ahead of Washington who had two of the top three runners. Fairfield took 3rd with 60 points, Burlington had 73 and perennial powerhouse Mt. Pleasant finished with 85.
Other runners to finish for Fort Madison included Alex Steffensmeier 25th overall, and then Ben Thele, Emmett Kruse and Nathaniel Swigart, all freshman, came in at 32nd-34th place within 3.09 seconds of each other. Junior Owen Kruse finished 52nd, and freshman Cameron Shutwell was 58th.
The Fort Madison girls finished runner-up to Mt. Pleasant at their meet with 60 points as the Lady Panthers literally ran away with the event with 18 total points. Four of the top five runners were from Mt. Pleasant and all seven of the team finished in the top 10.
The Bloodhounds Maddy McVey broke the top 10 with a time of 22:02.58 (8th) and Anna Kester was just behind at 22:39.28 (11th). The other scoring finishes for Fort Madison were Marquel Warner at 18th place with a 23:54.00 mark and Mylah Blanchard at 24:16.27 (20th).
Other finishers for the Lady Hounds included Lauren Otte (22nd overall), Lily Scott (25th), Ellie Schulte (30th), Brandy Walker (33rd), Kay Quittem (36th), and Rachel Hellman (39th).
In the boys junior high 3200-meter meet, eight grader Carson Rashid again finished in the top spot with a 11:31.18 time and John Contrell was third with a time of 11:43.31. Nathan Bowen was also in the top 10 with a time of 12:00.34.
The two other scoring runners for the Little Hounds were Leif Boeding and Ben Ramatowski who finished 13th and 14 at 12:13.12 and 12:21.21 to give Fort Madison the title with 40 points.
Jacob Shottenkirk (17th), Aiden Mitchell (18th), Peyton Lambert (22nd), Connor Dennis (38th), Jack Johnston (47th), Oliver Santiago (14:36.81) Tateum Schelich (61), Damon Hunter (81st) and Ethan Huffman (86th) all finished for Fort Madison.
Hailey Kemper led the Fort Madison junior high girls with a 5th place overall, and 4th place team time of 13:10.74. Allison Lamb finished 11th overall (8th team) at 13:35.51 and Delaney Seay was 16th (13th) at 14:07.21.
Jordyn Burch and Alexa Walz rounded out the scoring runners with 14:14.92 (16th team), and 14:18.96 (17th team) to give Fort Madison 58 points and 4th place in the team standings.
Other runners for the Hounds included Lillian Gelsthorpe (20th), Bella Estrada (28th) and Jojo Vincent (49th).