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Cross Country Scotties race in Pierre

by Ralph Kroetch

Entering all four of Philip's cross country girls in the same race would give them their best ever team performance. Eighth grader Holly Iwan, junior Emily Schofield, sophomore Jennifer Stangle and seventh grader Allison Pekron ran in the junior varsity "A" division race.

After a mad-dash start, Iwan fell into third place out of the 34 runners. Schofield settled into 10th and Stangle into 16th, with Pekron in the back of the pack. By the one mile mark, Iwan had moved into the distant lead with only Chamberlain's Burke in close pursuit. Iwan had edged this girl out of the victory at this year's Winner meet. On this day, at the two mile mark, Iwan could not answer Burke's challenge. Iwan finished the race in a time of 16:40, an improvement of 1:29 over her 2007 Pierre run, earning second place both years.

Schofield put on a burner in the last half mile that would move her up to sixth place and a time of 18:19, an improvement of 56 seconds. Stangle fought off two Lyman runners to earn 25th place in a time of 21:27, an improvement of 10 seconds. Pekron ran her best time to date, 22:53.

New challenges in an emerging boys' team would give the Scotties a new junior varsity leader for the Pierre cross country meet on Thursday, September 11. Five Philip boys were entered in the 39-runner junior varsity race; sophomore Zane Pekron, freshmen Kelvin Ferguson, Marcus Martinez and William Coyle and eighth grader Tyler Dekker. At the start, Pekron fell into second place to lead his team, with Coyle in fifth, Martinez in seventh, Ferguson in 10th and Dekker in 22nd. At the two-mile mark, Coyle had taken the race lead, with Pekron second, Ferguson in 12th, Martinez in 19th and Dekker in 20th. Coyle finished as the race champion in a time of 14:14. Pekron took third in 14:49, bettering his course record by 55 seconds. Ferguson improved his time by 1:46 to finish in 15:43 and claimed 14th place. Martinez completed his third race ever in 18th place, clocking 16:23, and Dekker placed 22nd by bettering his 2007 performance by a tremendous 2:33.

Senior Anthony Iwan and sophomore Kyle Iwan ran the varsity boys' race, both doing the best performances of their careers. They began in eighth and nine place, respectively, in a very strong field of 42 runners. By mid race, this field of powerful runners had strung out, with Anthony in 22nd and Kyle in 24th place. A strong finish allowed them to better their positions. Finishing in 19:19 for 19th place was K. Iwan, with an improvement of 1:37 over his previous course best. A. Iwan crossed the finish line in 19:20 for 20th place. He bettered his previous course mark by 3:01.