Le Mars boys finish fifth in crowded Gary Meyer Invitational field
BRUNSVILLE — The Le Mars Community boys cross country team placed fifth out of 15 teams at the Gary Meyer Invitational held at Prairie Rose Golf Club on Tuesday.
“It was a tougher field for sure,” Le Mars first-year head coach Kyle Borchers said. “Overall I thought they did fine. Everybody gave it their best, but I think the lack of a practice yesterday and maybe the heat got us a little bit today.”
The Bulldogs had a quick turnaround from their race Saturday in Council Bluffs where they claimed a team title. While maybe not quite as high of a finish as they would have liked after the team win, the Bulldogs still did pretty well with all five of their counting times within the top half of the 97 runner field.
“I thought we battled pretty well,” Borchers said. “We had some hopes of maybe going out and winning as a team. After Saturday when we won, so we had maybe loftier expectations. Every now and then you don’t quite get where you want to be, but that’s fine. It gives you more ammo for next week when we go to Storm Lake.”
Trace Obbink led the Bulldogs with a time of 18:05.61 which was good enough for seventh place in the race.
“The first mile, you go out really fast, and then that heat and hills combine together and really attack you down the stretch,” Obbink said after running in heat approaching 90 degrees. “It was so hot out there. It was a tough one, that’s for sure.”
Obbink improved his time and placing from last year at the event. He shaved about two seconds off of his time from 2021 and jumped five places closer to the top this season as a junior.
“The goal was top five. I tried staying with the front pack as much as I could,” Obbink said. “I was going to wait for them to kind of fall off and die, but they held on.”
Michael Meis placed 16th with a time of 18:28.31. Meis showed a good improvement over his time from last season at the event where he was 28th in a time of 18:49.35.
Senior classmate Juan Sanchez was 40th with a time of 20:15.88 as he finished 11-hundredths in front of Sioux City West’s Eric Munoz. About a second after that came Michael Murra for the Bulldogs as he took 42nd place with a time of 20:16.73. Caden Wurth completed the team scoring for the Bulldogs as the senior crossed the finish line 46th in 20:30.16.
Non-counting times for the Bulldogs came from Noah Laursen (74th, 22:39.79) and Samuel McIntyre (78th, 23:22.25).
MOC-Floyd Valley took first place as a team with the top two individual times from Isaiah Hulshof (17:09.10) and Trevor Mirande (17:20.97). Sioux Center was the second place team with the next two individuals, Easton VanDenBerg (17:33.29) and Hudson Vonk (17:42.57).
Le Mars ended fifth out of the teams, but trailed only one of the five other Missouri River Activities Conference teams who attended, third place Sergeant Bluff-Luton.
“The team’s shaping up very well,” Obbink said. “The new coach really helps in enforcing good runs, good workouts and the team altogether is just working hard.”
Gehlen, WC-KP take final two spots
Competing against mostly larger schools, Gehlen Catholic and Woodbury Central/Kingsley-Pierson took the final two spots in the team standings.
Gehlen’s score matched that of Siouxland Christian, but the Eagles had a sixth runner while the Jays did not, which gave Siouxland Christian the tiebreaker.
Braden Weber led the Jays with a 43rd place time of 20:18.80. About a minute later, Robert Schmit was the next Gehlen runner to finish, taking 66th in 21:21.88. Nolan Teel added a 73rd place time of 22:38.43.
Owen Sievers and Landen Kneip had nearly identical times as they were separated by less than half a second for the 76th and 77th place spots. Sievers crossed the finish line in 23:04.35 while Kneip was 49-hundredths behind that pace.
Marshall Benson had the fastest time for WC-KP at 19:44.87 which was 32nd. Carson Seuntjens finished just after the 21-minute mark with a 60th place time of 21:01.57. Cameron Colbert was the next on the team to finish as he placed 71st in 22:27.99.
The rest of the team’s runners placed in the 90s. They were Evan Jagodzinske (91st, 25:09.60), Kaedyn Willis (93rd, 26:40.90), Noah O’Mara (94th, 27:00.00) and Levi Haggin (95th, 27:20.13.)
Team scores: MOC-Floyd Valley 39, Sioux Center 71, Sergeant Bluff-Luton 106, Unity Christian 110, Le Mars 151, Spencer 177, Sioux City East 196, Storm Lake 215, Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson 246, Bishop Heelan 298, Sioux City West 305, Ridge View 316, Siouxland Christian 335, Gehlen Catholic 335, WC-KP 347.