The Montezuma Cross Country teams competed at the Grinnell Invitational, held at Ahrens Park, on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
“In the first full team competition of the day, there was a lot of exciting progress within the team family,” said coach Kevin Gartman
The junior high girls competed first and showed lots of promise in the first meet. Ellen Cook finished 14th overall for the Bravettes, running a 6:58 mile pace and finishing 16th. wo seconds behind her was fellow teammate Alivia Cline. Both Cook and Cline surpassed the previous Montezuma Junior High girls’ record on the Grinnell course by about 30 seconds. Also surpassing the previous record and finishing in 30th was 8th grade runner, Makenna Johannes.
Runners Camryn Brennan, Aja Kapayou, Lydia Singleton, and Ashlee Eilander also ran well for the Bravettes as they finished in a tight pack not far behind. Also completing their first cross country races of their careers, 7th graders Hayley Burnett and Catelynn Coffin both set strong paces and showed a lot of excitement for their proud results! The Bravettes finished 6th with 13 teams in attendance. A bright future is ahead for this team!
The junior high boys battled next, competing with a full team of five runners for the first time in a few seasons and they show plenty of promise as well, finishing 9th with 13 teams in attendance. Eighth grade runner Jack Erselius led the boys and set a new Montezuma best time on the Grinnell course, finishing with a 15th place 6:09 average mile time finish. Carter McKee, new to cross country this year, finished close behind Jack in 20th, while 7th grade runner, Bryson Stockman, fresh off his first football game the day prior, came in with a strong pace as well. Also finishing their first races of the season, Jayden Ross and Jusiah Wetering both set new fastest paces of the season as they helped hold the pace for the team.
At the varsity girls level, the Bravettes took 9th with 15 teams in attendance, finishing as the top 1A school in competition and beating Newton, a team who beat them at the meet the week prior. Elise Boulton set a new fastest Montezuma 5K time on the course with a 21:41, finishing 21st. Sophomore Rebeka Teumer and junior Alyssa Cline continued their hot start from a week ago, setting a second career personal best time in the second meet of the year. Other notable performances came from junior Carmen Klos and sophomore Haley Van Der Hart who both ran season-best times by 40 seconds.
For the varsity boys, Colton Benson was a highlight of the team, finishing his first cross country race with solid mile splits, keeping a consistent pace throughout the race. Junior Brayden Stockman ran his fastest time of the season by about 30 seconds. The boys team has lots of potential and the team is excited for the growth ahead!
Running the last Montezuma race of the evening, three Montezuma girls ran strong junior varsity race performances, led by junior Katie Probasco who in her second race, took a minute and 10 seconds off her previous best time. Both Sadie and Madelyn De Jong also ran strong races for the Bravettes who battled humidity and heat to perform well!
The high school teams competed at Colfax-Mingo on Thursday, Sept. 12 and both junior high and high school teams are back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at English Valleys.