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Titans find success at Lennox Invite, Babb places sixth, Campbell 11th

The Tea Area High School cross country team traveled to Lennox this past Thursday, Sept. 28 to take on a very competitive field of runners from across the State. First up on the day were the varsity girls. There were 190 athletes from 14 schools competed across the three girls races.

The Varsity girls started that afternoon and featured 22 of the top 40 runners in Class A this year. Jaycie Babb paced the Titans in this super competitive field. Babb used a great middle mile to move up the field and finish sixth in a time of 19:34. Grace Bialas also finished incredibly well, surging ahead in the last mile to grab 20th place in a time of 20:24. Jayna VanLaecken continued her stellar season, claiming 29th place in a time of 21:13. Abby Hilleson used a strong start to earn 42nd place in a time of 22:06. Meredith Decker grabbed 51st place (22:54) with Haley Korver close behind in 53rd (22:58) and Brooklyn Korver in 55th (23:23). Scarlett Taylor earned 67th place in a time of 25:42. The Varsity girls finished fifth in the team competition.

The Varsity boys took to the course next. The Varsity boys field at Lennox was just as competitive as the girls, with 21 of the top 40 runners in Class A in the field. Jack Campbell led the Titan effort at Lennox, moving out to the front of the pack from the start and holding strong throughout to finish in 11th place, running a 17:00, less than a second of his career best of 16:59. Reid Hammerquist also ran near a career best, posting a time of 17:20 for 15th place. Jonah Klemisch claimed 28th in a new personal best time of 18:04, with Holden Jelen close behind in 30th in a time of 18:06. Peyton Sieber recorded a new personal best time of 18:28 for 36th place. Tate VanLaecken matched his career best, 19:06, for 47th place. Jacob DeYoung grabbed 56th place in a time of 19:35. Alex Kayser finished in 80th place in a time of 21:28. The Varsity boys finished sixth in the team competition.

For the Junior Varsity girls, Logan Castle continued to lead the Titans, earning 12th place in a time of 17:50. Taylor Boehnke recorded a huge PR, recording a time of 18:01 for 14th place. Breslyn Rand also recorded a new personal best, running 18:37 for 22nd place. Daphne Decker claimed 29th place in a time of 19:08, while Natalie Hyronimus posted a new personal best time of 20:09 for 35th place. Erica Boterman earned 41st in a time of 20:32 with Brooklyn Korver close behind in 45th place in a time of 20:43. Kiley Pendergast grabbed 52nd place in a time of 21:26. The JV girls finished fourth in the team scoring.

The JV Boys raced next and two Titans made their mark on the race and the school record books. Dawson Lowery posted a new personal best time of 15:12 (#8 All-Time School Rank) for 12th place while Noah Korver also ran a new personal best time of 15:13 (#9 All-Time School Rank) for 13th place. Riley Clark topped his previous best time by nearly a minute, earning 37th place in a time of 16:35. Malachi Kaiser also ran a new personal best, recording a 18:16 for 72nd place. The JV Boys finished 5th in the team scoring.

The MS girls and boy combined for the final race of the day.

The Titan girls dominated the field, claiming the top four spots and securing the team win for the MS. The Titans were led by Evelyn DeGeest, who ran a new personal best time of 11:55 (#2 All-Time School Rank) to earn her first career XC race win. Taylor Davis also ran a new personal best time of 11:58 for 2nd place, as did Janessa Kuipers, who ran a personal best time of 12:20 for 3rd place. Allie Babb also ran a new personal best time of 12:41 for 4th place. Emma Hilleson rounded out the Titan medalists, grabbing 10th place in a time of 12:59. Three more Titans followed her with Gretchen Curtis earning 11th (13:09), Ella Kamps 12th (13:16—new PR), and Raegan Rand 13th (13:18). Harper Thompson grabbed 19th place in a time of 13:54. Lola Under-berg claimed 26th place in a time of 14:18, with Grace Chapman close behind in 26th place (14:36). Ella Korver finished in 27th place in a time of 14:37. McKinley Mayer earned 39th place in a new personal best time of 15:55.

The MS Boys were led once again by Reed Cerny, who recorded a new personal best time of 11:11 (#3 All-Time School Rank) for 9th place. Caden Schuster also ran a personal best, grabbing 14th place in a time of 11:36. Grant Woodis claimed 24th place (12:21) with Phoenix Bak close behind in 28th place (12:34—new PR). Ryker Kubik posted a season best 13:28 for 44th place. Noah Sayler (48th place, 13:52) and Simon Jelen (49th place, 13:57—new PR) finished back to back. Easton Meier grabbed 57th place (15:01) and Jace Ullom finished in 60th place (15:41).

The MS team competition was a combined team score, and the Titans earned the first place team finish.

The Titans will compete in the DAK XII Conference Meet on Thursday, Oct. 5 at Vermillion at the Bluffs Golf Course. Action is set to begin at 10 a.m. with the Varsity boys, followed by the varsity girls, JV boys JV girls, middle school boys, and middle school girls.

The Region meet will be held Oct. 11.


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