Cross country season concludes at Fort Dodge

Colten Glosser of Pekin leads a pack of runners in the 1A Boys 5K race in the State cross country meet. Glosser was the first Pekin boy to finish, taking 18th place.

Hundreds of people flocked to Fort Dodge on October 28 to witness the 2017 Iowa High School cross country season come to a close. The best of the best from every division matched up on a cold and windy day on the Lakeside Municipal Golf Course.

For Pekin fans, the experience wasn't anything new. Prior to the 1A girls race beginning, the PA announcer commented that the Pekin girls had finished as one of the top teams in recent years past. The success that many of the girls had shown throughout the season didn't prove to be enough in this competition. There wasn't much passing for the Pekin squad, with most of the girls maintaining their position throughout the 5K.

Remi Duwa, Pekin’s top female runner, was the first of seven Panthers to cross the finish line. She ended up in 10th place with a time of 20:32.3. A-ways back was Cari Duwa, who ended up finishing in 36th place, with a time of 21:37.6. The next three Pekin girls ran from start to finish in a closer pack formation.

Zoey Wright (22:07.2) finished in 54th, Hollie Loper (22:08.0) finished in 55th and Kelly Myers (22:08.4) finished in 56th place. The final two Pekin girls to finish were Hunter Lock (22:37.3) in 69th place and Kaitlyn Glosser (23:55.1) in 93rd place.

The girls wound up in 10th place overall in terms of a team score. All of the Pekin girls that competed will be returning next year, with hopes of returning to State.

On the boys' side, Pekin also had seven runners compete, three of which finished in the top 30 spots. Colten Glosser led the charge, as he had all season, finishing in 18th place with a time of 17:18.6. Right on his heels was teammate Isaiah Wittrock, who finished in 19th place with a time of 17:19.7. Brady Millikin, only a freshman, clocked in at 17:33.1, placing him in 27th.

Sam Roth (18:20.5) finished in 63rd place while Hunter Conger (18:20.6) finished in 64th. The final two Pekin boys were Clayton Greiner (20:24.2) in 102nd place and Cole Earnest (21:03.4) in 104th place.

"Whenever you compete in a state meet you always want to end your season on a high note," Panther coach Davis Eidahl said. "Our runners had a person best in the 5K. The boys really had an outstanding season, finishing in 7th place at State even after losing four boys from last season."

One other area boy successfully qualified for the State meet, Jacob Glandon out of English Valleys. Glandon had his best meets down the stretch, winning one, taking runner-up at conference and then qualifying for State.

"His goal was to run under 18 minutes at State," said E.V. coach Breann Coffman. "The course was the biggest factor for him. We're used to running hills and using them as an advantage, but this course was flat."

Glandon wound up running a time of 18:24.5, placing him in 108th place. Glandon is only a junior, with hopes of improving and returning to State next year.