Pekin tops strong week with placements at St. Louis meet

Remi Duwa had two solid outings for the Lady Panthers, finishing first at Fairfield and fourth down in St. Louis. The Lady Panthers finished first at both events and are currently ranked 7th in 1A.

It appears the Pekin cross country team excels when it comes to running in mud or sloppy conditions. Both boys’ and girls’ teams competed in two different competitions, both of which involved muddy courses, and ran some of their best times of the season. The Panthers ran at Waterworks Park in Fairfield on September 6, followed by a meet down in St. Louis on September 8.

At the Fairfield meet, both boys’ and girls’ teams finished in first place among the 10-team field. Remi Duwa ran the best time for the ladies, finishing at 21:17.00 while Lauren Derscheid had another strong finish in fifth-place behind a time of 22:06.00. Maddie Black and Emily Laumeyer topped out the first 10 with Black taking seventh with a time of 22:18.00 and Laumeyer ran a time of 22:43.00 to take 10th.

Other varsity girls to run included Sarah Eubanks (23:07.00) who finished 12th, Mia Clark (23:55.00) who finished 19th and Hollie Loper (23:55.00) who finished in 20th. The girls finished with 35 points, blowing away the competition by over 80 points to take first.

Not to be outdone, the boys’ team also took first behind some strong showings by Brady Millikin and Colten Glosser. Millikin ran the quickest time of 17:03.00 while Glosser took third, running a time of 17:50.00. Tanner Conger and Zach Wise also finished in the top 10 with Conger taking seventh (18:45.00) and Wise finishing in eighth place (18:53.00).

Other varsity boys to run included Simeon Buie (19:48.00) who finished 12th and Chandler Stull (20:43.00) who finished 23rd. The boys finished with 31 points, beating out Wapello by 17 points for first.

“On a rainy muddy night, both our teams stepped up and ran their best times and races of the year,” Eidahl said. “Our attitude was great, we were ready to run, and it showed in the results. Our runners are buying into our workouts and their work efforts have been very good. We can build a lot of confidence from a meet like this.”

They took that confidence to another level when they headed down to run in St. Louis, a trip they’ve taken for the past three years. Eidahl’s runners stepped up to the challenge and delivered once again, the boys taking third and the girls bringing home a trophy for winning the competition.

Glosser ran the best time for the boys, finishing seventh and crossing at the 19:18.35 mark. Up next was Conger, running a time of 20:25.26, taking 26th place. Right behind him was Millikin, finishing in 27th with a time of 20:27.40. Wise finished in 33rd, running a time of 20:50.49.

Other boys to run included Stull (22:30.85) finishing 73rd, Buie (22:41.82) finishing 75th and Colton Bishop (22:50.12) finishing 79th.

“He came home so happy. He was on cloud nine,” Bishop’s mom said. “He said he had the best time running down in St. Louis and it gave him and his teammates so much confidence in their bid to make it to State.”

Of the boys who ran for Pekin, three are freshman and two are sophomores with the others being upperclassmen. They totaled 143 points, taking third place out of 22 teams.

The girls did even better with their competition, winning their second meet in three days.

Remi ran the fourth-fastest time in the field, clocking in at 23:16.85 and Derscheid also finished in the top 10, finishing eighth with a time of 24:03.87. Derscheid most notably ran most of the race barefoot, having lost her shoes in the mud, but persevered for her outstanding finish.

Black and Laumeyer finished next in 24th and 27th place respectively with Black running a time of 25:14.75 and Laumeyer ran a time of 25:29.99. Eubanks finished in 34th behind a time of 25:50.56.

Other girls to run included Lily Fariss (25:58.48) finishing 39th, Clark (25:59.91) finishing 41st, Cari Duwa (26:01.95) finishing 42nd and Loper (26:34.48) finishing in 51st.

Six of the nine girls who ran were freshman, with the others being upperclassmen. The Lady Panthers finished out with 78 points, beating Jefferson (Festus) by 20 points to take home the first-place trophy.

“Rain and lots of mud characterized this years’ meet. With five days of solid rain and many races, mud was everywhere,” Eidahl said. “Our girls finished in a good pack toward the front. The key to this race was the great start they had, which is something we’ve been working on. Although our times were slower because of the mud, they competed well and closed the gap between all the runners.”

Both boys’ and girls’ teams for Pekin were ranked 7th in the 1A rankings as of September 4. Their next meet is scheduled for September 13 at Lynnville-Sully.