The heat that doomed Iolas cross country home meet last Tuesday gave way Saturday morning as the Mustang and Filly varsity runners competed in the largest high school cross country meet in the country at Rim Rock Farms, Lawrence.
The meet hosts schools from six states and was split into three different divisions (Gold, Crimson and Blue). Iola competed in the blue division which consisted primarily of schools size 4A and smaller. The Iola boys finished 10th out of 60 schools and over 350 runners and the girls finished 11th out of 58 schools and 300 runners.
Both teams were without one of their top runners. Kelsey Morrison was sidelined with a hip injury and Trenton Varney was out with a sinus infection and sore throat.
A good race from Varney may have pushed the Mustangs up to as high as sixth place according to head coach Marv Smith and with Morrison, seventh seemed very attainable for the Fillies.
What-ifs aside, both teams ran with what they had.
The top 25 finishers earned medals. Junior Elka Billings was the lone medal winner for the Fillies with a 16th place and a time of 20:45.
Ursula Billings was the next Filly to cross the finish line in 69th with a time of 22:14. Rachel Bycroft finished 74th (22:18), Elysia Kunkler finished 109th (22:54), Josie Plumlee ended up 132nd (23:32), Elanie Sturgeon finished 145th (23:48), Madisyn Holloway finished 162nd (24:04), Audrey Coltrane finished 173rd (24:13), Averie Sharon finished 178th (24:22), Lorie Carpenter finished 204th (24:53) and Ella Taylor finished 248th (26:02).
On the boys side, sophomore Jack Adams was the only medalist for the Mustangs, finishing 15th with a time of 17:38.
Adams run was a personal best and was followed by a personal best by senior Cole Regehr who finished 39th with a time of 18:06.
Bret Plumlee finished 54th with a time of 18:17, Elijah Fawson finished 121st (19:05), Riley Jay finished 124th (19:07), Nathan Louk ended up in 157th (19:22), Tavon Bass was 163rd (19:29) and Blake Haar finished 323rd (22:08).
The Mustangs and Fillies will get back to a normal-sized meet on Thursday when they travel to Central Heights.
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