GARNETT — Iola High’s cross country runners could be better described Thursday as the “running wounded.”
The Mustang varsity squad had only two runners compete because of injury or schedule conflicts. And both of those runners, Braden Plumlee and Kendall Jay, both had maladies of their own to deal with.
“I was looking forward to this meet since I knew we would see all of the Pioneer League runners to see how the season would shape up,” head coach Marv Smith said. “We turned out to be the unknown quantity.”
Senior Colby Works missed Thursday’s meet because he was on a trip to Colorado. Isaiah Fawson sprained his ankle earlier in the week during a pickup basketball game.
That left three runners, one of whom, Cole Regehr, was moved to the junior varsity race.
The final two, Jay and Plumlee, finished 22nd and 24th, respectively. Jay, who skinned up his arm in a recent motorcycle accident, finished the 5K course in 20 minutes flat.
Plumlee, who has missed practice during the week because of his ailing knees, finished in 20 minutes, 7 seconds.
Even Regehr was hobbled with a sore Achilles tendon. He finished in 20:57, good for third in the JV meet. He would have finished 34th in the varsity portion.
“Cole is a freshman whose longest race ever before had been the 1600 meters,” Smith said. “He will be on our varsity the rest of the year.”
Other runners for the Mustangs were Nathan Sprague, who finished 23rd in the JV race in 23:36. Jonathan Rodewald dealt with “the second nastiest blister I’ve seen,” Smith said, in finishing 47th at 27:10. “He will get much better.”
THE FILLIES competed for the first time in a 5K — the new regulation distance for high school girls. In years prior, girls ran a 4K.
Megan Klubek finished 10th overall at 23:24, a misleading stat because Thursday’s meet included the powerful Baldwin squad. Baldwin is the defending Class 4A state champion, and returns all but one of its key runners from 2014.
“Megan had five Baldwin girls ahead of her,” Smith said. “She was the third-fastest Pioneer League girl.”
Abigail Taylor took 15th at 24:03, fifth among Pioneer League runners. Olivia Taylor finished 42nd at 27:38, the 13th fastest of all Pioneer League runners.
“Olivia will get her time down,” Smith said.
THERE WAS plenty of hardware earned for Iola in the middle school ranks.
Iola’s seventh grade boys and girls teams both took first in their respective divisions, as did the eighth grade girls.
The seventh-grade boys swept the top three individual places in the one-mile race, led by winner Jack Adam, 6:25, Riley Jay in second and Nathan Louk in third, both at 6:29.
Other seventh-grade boys:
Xavier Dickerson, 15th, 7:49; Levi Meiwes, 18th, 8:04; Henry Lohman, 21st, 9:09; Toby Sander, 23rd, 9:28; and Tristan Cary, 24th, 9:36.
Avery Sharon led the seventh-grade girls by taking second overall at 7:22, followed by Lorie Carpenter in fifth at 7:55 and Audrey Coltrane and Kailey Schinstock in seventh and eighth, respectively, at 8:11.
Others: Jessica Tidd, 10th, 8:18; Olivia Kerr, 13th, 8:33; and Kaylin Klubek, 24th, 13:16.