Pekin XC faces tough test at Iowa City

Pekin had seen success in every meet this season, leading up to competing at Iowa City West on Sept. 26.

The competition was some of the toughest Pekin had faced, and it showed throughout the day. Both the boy's and girl's teams had finished in first place multiple times, but this time the girls finished in third and the boys in fourth place.

The Pekin girls were led by Remi Duwa, who finished in 12th place with a time of 21:17.5. The next girls to cross were Zoey Wright (22:31.2) in 22nd and Hollie Loper (22:31.4) in 23rd. Ayren Essary (23:28.8) finished in 30th, while Jordyn Earnest was shortly behind with a time of 23:45.7 in 31st place.

A gap separated the final two Pekin girls, who finished back-to-back. Kelly Myers (24:11.7) finished in 34th while Kaitlyn Glosser finished in 35th with a time of 24:16.6.

"We didn't get out fast and when that happens against good teams, you can't catch up," said Panther coach Davis Eidahl.

The boys side saw similar results, as their team leader, Colten Glosser finished in 23rd with a time of 18:01.1. It was a rarity for him, having finished many of his meets this season in first place.

Brady Millikin and Isaiah Wittrock ran much of the meet side by side, pushing each other to the end. Millikin finished in 30th with a time of 18:25.8, while Wittrock finished a spot behind his teammate, with a time of 18:27.3.

Sam Roth (19:09.1), Tanner Conger (19:29) and Clayton Greiner (22:37.2) rounded out the Panthers, finishing in 42nd, 45th and 69th place respectively.

"It was a tough competition, but we also didn't run our greatest. It got us back to reality," Eidahl said. "We need to focus on the conference and district meets now."

The Panthers will compete again on October 5, on their home Fairfield course.