Conference cross country, Scottie boys take 1st, girls 2nd

WGP Conference ... The Philip boys took first in the conference cross country meet on Sept. 23. The Scotties hosted the meet. From left: Marcus Martinez, William Coyle, Tyler Dekker and Zane Pekron.

The hosting Philip Scotties were glad to be on their home course of the Lake Waggoner Golf Course for the Western Great Plains Conference cross country meet on Wednesday, September 23.

The weather - sunny skies, low 60s and a light breeze - brought out personal best performances, and a team title that had not gone to Philip since 1995, which was then the Three Rivers Conference.

The boys' varsity five kilometer race began with Philip's Zane Pekron and William Coyle leading the field. A much-improved Tyler Dekker was near the front of the main group of runners, and Marcus Martinez rounded out the Scottie team.

A mile into the race, Pekron and Coyle were each pushing the other, exchanging the second and third positions. At the two mile mark, both attempted a strong run at the lead. Pekron made a 47 second improvement over his 2008 conference time to earn second place in a time of 18:55. Coyle dropped 2:22 from his '08 time for third place in 19:04. Dekker, running this race at the varsity level for the first time, stopped the clock at 21:01 to earn a fifth place medal. Martinez dropped 52 seconds from '08 to place 14th with a time of 23:43.

The Philip boys outran the Wall team to earn the conference title with 10 team points. Wall earned 12 points for second place and White River took third place with 29 points. Other schools represented were Kadoka Area and Bennett County.

In the girls' four kilometer varsity run, Philip junior Kaeley Fenhaus ran for the Scotties for the first time, giving Philip a full team of five for the first time this year. Holly Iwan started the race in third place, Emily Schofield began in 10th place and Fenhaus in 11th. Jennifer Stangle and Allison Pekron started in 14th and 15th place, respectfully.

Iwan crossed the finish in third place with a time of 18:44, an improvement of six places and of 1:28 over her '08 conference run. Schofield's closing speed overtook White River's front runner to earn her eighth place in a time of 18:44, improving three places over last year. Fenhaus used a long kick to successfully challenge a Wall runner for 12th place and earn a finish time of 19:30. Pekron ran her best varsity race to date, earning the 15th place medal and cutting 5:22 from her '08 conference time for a finish of 20:43. Stangle cut 14 seconds from her '08 time to place 17th in 22:13. The girls tallied 20 team points to earn the conference runner up spot, behind Kadoka's seven points and ahead of White River's 28 points.

This is the highest conference placing the Lady Scotties have had in over a decade.