Runners scale new heights

Iola, Humboldt, Crest and Marmaton Valley cross country runners were at Richmond today for the Central Heights Invitational, with several runners seeing their times improve as the season hits the home stretch.


October 1, 2021 - 2:25 PM

Iola High's Elanie Sturgeon runs at a cross country meet earlier this season. Sturgeon took eighth Thursday at the Central Heights Invitational. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

RICHMOND — Local runners are rounding into form as the 2021 cross country season enters the home stretch.

Iola High’s Mustangs placed three of the top seven runners, and five of the top 17, to claim first place as a squad at Thursday’s Central Heights Invitational.

Leading the herd was Jesse Taylor, who placed second individually in completing the 5-kilometer course in 18 minutes, 4.93 seconds.

Just behind him were teammates Kaster Trabuc in sixth, Cole Moyer in seventh, Eli Adams in 11th and Japeth Rutoh in 17th.

On the girls’ side, Iola’s Elanie Sturgeon secured another top-10 finish by taking eighth at 23:06.95. Teammate Sage Barney was 13th at 23:43.09.

Iola’s younger runners also made their mark. The Mustangs’ Drake Mathew and Alejandro Escalante finished third and fourth, respectively, in the boys junior varsity race. Alyssa Williams was fifth among JV girls. 

Iola’s Brennen Coffield secured 11th among eighth-grade boys in a 2-mile race.

HUMBOLDT’S standouts  also have plenty of reason to smile.

Senior Drew Wilhite, who has been sidelined with illness, is getting closer to his old self. He took fourth overall, at 18:13.37. McKenna Jones led the Lady Cub runners, finishing seventh at 22:52.04 — a new meet record for Humboldt.

“This was a nice meet for us,” Humboldt head coach. Eric Carlson said, “Six kids lowered their time from the same meet last year and four more set new personal records.

“We still have work to do, and our times need to drop more, but we are getting closer to where we want to be running for league and regionals.”

MEANWHILE, Crest’s Breakin Jones took 18th as the Lancers’ only varsity boy runner. 

Kallei Robb was tops for the Lady Lancers in the seventh-grade race; teammate Josie Walter took fourth among eighth-grade girls. Kole Walter was second among seventh-grade boys.

MARMATON Valley’s high school runners did well in the JV race. Zach Allee took fifth in the boys race; Pauline Thery was fourth among JV girls.

Varsity boys (5K)