Scotties race Lead's cross country meet

by Coach Ralph Kroetch

The Philip Scotties traveled west to face the best teams in the Black Hills area on an extremely challenging mile high Tomahawk Golf Course for the Lead Cross Country Invitational on Tuesday, September 29.

Holly Iwan again set the pace for the Lady Scotties as a field of 41 runners climbed the west side of Strawberry Hill. Kaeley Fenhaus, running second for Philip, though still learning race strategies of cross country, let the first uphill quarter mile intimidate her. She topped the hill in 30th place. Allison Pekron and Jennifer Stangle worked to stay with the field, as all four runners on the team are counted for team points in this "A" division race. Once over the hill, the runners remain out of sight of the spectators until the closing half mile, also uphill.

Iwan out-kicked Spearfish's front runner for fifth place in a time of 17:36 for her best varsity finish on this course. Fenhaus used a very strong finish to overtake Hot Springs and Belle Fourche runners for 25th place in a time of 20:33. Pekron improved her previous course time by 2:18 to place 37th. Stangle finished in 24:44 for 39th place. The girls' team took sixth place overall.

The boys' course loops the same hill. but gives the runners nearly one mile of up-hill running to start the race. Then the runners are out of spectator sight. Zane Pekron, in fifth place at the half mile mark, was leading his team. William Coyle was just behind in sixth place. Tyler Dekker would top the hill in 11th place. Marcus Martinez, starting what would become one of his best races so far this season, was in 17th. Teammate Kelvin Ferguson was just two places behind. Each Scottie was pacing off of a Rapid City Central runner.

Back in sight in the last half mile, Z. Pekron continued to lead his team to finish in seventh place in a time of 19:12. This is an improvement of three places and 65 seconds over last year. Dekker stopped the clock at 21:14 for 17th place, an improvement of 2:43 from his 2008 course time. Martinez overtook Lead and Belle Fourche runners to better his course best by 55 seconds, placing 24th in a time of 22:41. Ferguson finished in 23:48 for 31st place, a three spot improvement over last year.

The boys' team finished fifth in points with 51, behind Spearfish's 47, Belle Fourche's 47, Hot Springs' 46 and Rapid City Central's 29 points.