Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 31, 2014

Pekin girls returning to state meet

By MICHAEL LEACH, Ledger sports editor | Oct 23, 2012

OTTUMWA — The backs of Pekin’s 2012 team shirts say “Tradition never graduates.”

It’s hard to think of a more apt slogan for the current crop of Pekin girls, who claimed the regional title at Monday’s cross country meet in Ottumwa. Despite losing three of their top runners to graduation last spring, the Panthers will be making a return trip to the state meet to defend their Class 1A title.

A flood of red and black led the 98-runner field, with Panthers filling in the top three spots and scoring just 37 points for the landslide win over runner-up Durant (70). Lynnville-Sully also qualified for state with a score of 103.

Gwynne Wright, winner of every meet in her freshman campaign except one, was again the runaway individual victor. Wright finished nearly a minute ahead of the field in 14:49 to add a regional title to her growing list of accolades.

Senior Maleaha Earnest finished behind Wright in second place (15:40), and freshman Taylor Lock completed the 1-2-3 punch in third (15:42). Earnest and Lock just edged out a pair of Durant runners, who took fourth and fifth, respectively.

Sloan Reighard was next for the Panthers in 13th (16:20), followed by Samantha Wright in 19th place (16:44). Payton Lock finished mere seconds later in 20th (16:47), and Hannah Robison was the final Panther in 28th (17:21).

Pekin freshman Austin Fariss turned in a state-qualifying run of his own, finishing 10th individually in 16:00. Fariss will be joining the seven Pekin girls at the state cross country meet scheduled Saturday in Fort Dodge. Start time for the Class 1A races is approximately 2 p.m.

The rest of the area runners saw their seasons come to an end, but impressive performances were sprinkled throughout.

Fariss’ teammate, senior Chase Earnest, finished 18th in 16:44. Clayton Essary (45th, 17:32), Christian Little (46th, 17:32) and Avery Bennett (48th, 17:33) all packed together to round out the Panthers’ team score.

Other top area finishers included Van Buren’s Unity Daugherty in 23rd place (16:57) as well as Cardinal’s Lindsay Albert in 30th (17:27) and Lexi Engle in 42nd (18:20). Sydney Atwood of Van Buren also finished in the top-50 (48th, 18:43). Cardinal finished 11th in the team standings with 260 points and the Warriors were 12th with 266.

In the boys’ race, Van Buren finished seventh and only 13 points behind Pekin with a tally of 174. Dalton Haynes led the Warriors with a 28th-place time of 17:01, Seth Dickinson was 32nd (17:14) and Tyler Runyan finished 36th (17:22). Thomas Fitzsimmons (39th, 17:28) and Nolan Lydolph (40th, 17:29) were separated by sheer feet to round out the Warriors’ team score.

 

Final Team Scores — Girls

1. Pekin 37, 2. Durant 70, 3. Lynnville-Sully 103, 4. Lone Tree 115, 5. North Mahaska 118, 6. Van Meter 157, 7. Wilton 177, 8. IMS 237, 9. English Valleys 240, 10. Wayne 250, 11. Cardinal 260, 12. Van Buren 266

Pekin Individual Results

1. Gwynne Wright (14:49), 2. Maleaha Earnest (15:40), 3. Taylor Lock (15:42), 13. Sloan Reighard (16:20), 19. Samantha Wright (16:44), 20. Payton Lock (16:47), 28. Hannah Robison (17:21)

 

Final Team Scores — Boys

1. Highland 59, 2. Woodward Academy 86, 3. Wilton 111, 4. Durant 131, 5. Van Meter 151, 6. Pekin 161, 7. Van Buren 174, 8. Sigourney 197, 9. IMS 235, 10. Winfield-Mount Union 238, 11. Lynnville-Sully 253, 12. Wayne 279, 13. Pleasantville 369, 14. Lone Tree 378, 15. Harmony 400

 

Pekin Individual Results

10. Austin Fariss (16:00), 18. Chase Earnest (16:44), 45. Clayton Essary (17:32), 46. Christian Little (17:32), 48. Avery Bennett (17:33), 110. Dylan Burgdorf (24:10)

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