Mustang runners nab top spots in Fort Scott

A picturesque setting led to a memorable day for Iola High's cross country runners, as both boys and girls earned medals for their work at Fort Scott. Crest and Marmaton Valley runners also reached high marks at the event.



September 10, 2021 - 2:44 PM

Iola High's Jesse Taylor rounds a corner at the Fort Scott Invitational Cross Country Meet Thursday. Taylor took third. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

FORT SCOTT — Any questions about the Iola High cross country teams are already being answered with authority.

The Mustang boys placed three runners among the top seven finishers and four of the top 11, in taking third overall at the Fort Scott Invitational.

Only five points separated the top three teams in the event, with Pittsburg’s 46 points just a shade better than Fort Scott’s 50 and Iola’s 51.

And despite having only two runners in the girls race, Iola’s Elanie Sturgeon and Sage Barney captured sixth and 11, respectively, in a stacked field.

“It was a great day for the Mustangs cross country team,” head coach Brit Daugharthy said.

Thursday’s meet was held at Fort Scott’s picturesque Woodland Hills Golf Course, where runners not only had the challenge of competing against some of the top harriers of southeast Kansas, but had to deal with a hilly course filled with serpentine corners and temperatures in the 80s

Iola High’s Kaster Trabuc, left, and Cole Moyer run in the Fort Scott Invitational Thursday. Moyer took sixth and Trabuc seventh. Photo by Richard Luken
Crest Middle School medalists at Thursday’s Fort Scott Invitational are, from left, Kallei Robb, Peyton Schmidt, Josie Walter, Kaelin Nilges, Aubrey Allen and Kole Walter. Courtesy photo
Marmaton Valley High’s Pauline Thery runs in the girls junior varsity race Thursday at Fort Scott. Photo by Richard Luken
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LEADING the way once again on the boys’ side was Iola’s Jesse Taylor, who took third overall with a blistering time of 17 minutes, 59 seconds.

“Jesse has worked so hard to break into the 17-minute times,” Daugharthy said.

Freshman Cole Moyer also continued his torrid start with a sixth-place finish, just seconds ahead of senior teammate Kaster Trabuc.

“Cole ran a very smart race,” Daugharthy said, noting that Trabuc’s time was an improvement from the season-opener in Garnett.

Iola’s Eli Adams ended his competition in a full  sprint — “his specialty,” Daugharthy said — edging a Fort Scott runner for 11th.

J.J. Rutoh took 32nd, Drake DeLaTorre 34th and Travis Wanker 36th.

Daugharthy is certain Iola’s near-miss of taking first or second likely will stick with the team.

“Knowing this group, it will fire them up to move to the top,” she said.

AS FOR the girls, Iola’s Elanie Sturgeon and Sage Barney each turned heads with their marks.

“Elanie had the best race I’ve seen her run to date,” Daugharthy said. The Iola senior finished sixth overall with a time of 23:51. “This was a huge personal record for her.”

Barney finished 11th at 24:20. “That’s a great race from her as she’s learning the sport,” Daugharthy said.

Iola was without the services of Josie Plumlee, who missed the meet because of illness.

“She’ll hopefully be back next week,” Daugharthy said. “This senior group of girls is a powerful group. I can’t wait to see how they finish their season.”