The Oskaloosa Herald
The Oskaloosa cross country teams were in action at the Southeast Polk Invitational on Tuesday.
Under warm and sunny skies, the Indians had a good night of running. Races were held in a 9-10 grade and 11-12 grade divisions rather than the normal varsity/junior varsity format.
In the girls 9-10 race, the girls were led by Bailey Blythe, who ran a time of 17:16 to place third in the race. She was followed by Melanie Harvey in 26th place, Julia Coniglio in 28th place, Brey Hill in 29th place, Alex Koenig in 40th place and Lauren Gorski in 48th place.
“The girls ran well for the warm conditions,” Oskaloosa coach Keith Comfort said. “The course was tougher than the one we ran on last week and I thought the girls had a good showing. This is a strong group of girls and they are developing quite nicely. The girls were fourth out of five teams with 93 points.”
In the 11-12 girls race, the Indians had an 11-13-15 finish with Lesley Roquet leading the way with a time of 18:56. She was followed by Kelsey Roquet and Riley Berg, with Natalie Whitis in 29th place and Morgane Cloesen in 41st place for a fourth-place team finish. Also running for the Indians were Brooke Beers and Angela Hyland.
“This group of girls has been running for a couple of years and continue to be a strong group,” Comfort said. “I thought they competed quite well and showed some improvements from last week. I think when we put the two groups of girls together, we will have a pretty strong team The freshman are still learning to race at this distance, and some of our veterans are still rounding into running shape. By the end of the year, we could surprize some people.”
In the 9-10 boys race, the Indians finished 1-4-6 led by Skylar DeJong and Spencer DeJong along with Kamron VanHulzen. Skylar DeJong won the race with a time of 18:08. The team score was rounded out by Caleb Fisher and Logan Gross for a team score of 47, which was good for a tie for second. The Indians lost the tie-breaker to Southeast Polk however. Gerrit VanMaanen, Jared Buckallew, Johannes Hartman and Devion Versendaal also competed for the Inidans.
“I thought the boys ran really well and I was happy with the 1-4-6 by the guys,” Comfort said. “Skylar and Spencer are always strong and Kamron has had a good summer and is starting to scratch his potential. Strong runs by Caleb and Logan helped offset some off nights by some others. We have a ways to go, but the potential is there.”
There was only one Indian boy in the 11-12 race. Graeme Kuba is the lone upperclassman for the team and he had a fine performance, finishing in 18th place.
“Graeme is new to cross country and is learning the ropes, but he did a great job tonight, including a very strong sprint to the finish.” Comfort said.
“All in all, I would rate the performance as a good one for the team.”
The next action will be Saturday at the Pella Dutch Invitational held at Central College beginning at 11 a.m.
Southeast Polk Invite
Team standings — 1. Johnston 24, 2. Newton 49, 3. Southeast Polk 80, 4. Oskaloosa 93, 5. Carlisle 137.
Oskaloosa — 3. Bailey Blythe 17:16, 26. Melanie Harvey 20:28, 28. Julie Coniglio 21:00, 29. Brey Hill 21:05, 40. Alex Koenig 22:20, 48. Lauren Gorski 24:01.
Team standings — 1. Johnston 35, 2. Southeast Polk 38, 3. Carlisle 90, 4. Oskaloosa 103, 5. Newton 113.
Oskaloosa — 11. Lesley Roquet 18:56, 13. Kesley Roquet 19:44, 15. Riley Berg 20:39, 29. Natalie Whitis 21:58, 41. Morgane Cloesen 23:53, 43. Brooke Beers 24:10, 44. Angela Hyland 24:18.
Team standings — 1. Newton 37, 2. Southeast Polk 47 (won tiebreaker), 3. Oskaloosa 47, 4. Carlisle 100.
Oskaloosa — 1. Skylar DeJong 18:08, 4. Spencer DeJong 19:18, 6. Kamron VanHulzen 20:17, 17. Caleb Fisher 21:52, 22. Logan Gross 22:44, 29. Gerrit VanMaanen 22:47, 30. Jared Buckallew 23:51, 34. Johannes Hartman 25:21, 40. Devion Versendaal 29:18.
Oskaloosa — 18. Graeme Kuba 22:27.