Scotties show improvement at White River's cross country Prestige Run

Holly Iwan

The Philip Scotties were one of 10 schools competing in the White River invitational cross country meet, the Prestige Run.

With temperatures in the the high 80s, a strong northwest wind was welcomed by the runners.

The junior varsity race was run with boys and girls together. Seventh graders Damian Bartels and Peyton Kuchenbecker, and eighth graders Garrett Snook, Keegan Burnett and Ellie Coyle ran in this race.

Despite suffering a severe side cramp through much of the race, Coyle lead the girls beginning to end, with her young teammate Kuchenbecker just a few seconds back fighting off each move made by a St. Francis runner. Coyle's 18:04 and Kuchenbecker's 18:43 times gave the girls first and second places in the girls' junior varsity.

Snook lead the Scottie boys across the finish line for the first time this year, clocking 18:28. Only a Red Cloud runner separated Burnett from Snook, as Burnett recorded an 18:43. Two more seconds saw Bartels in at 18:45. The Scotties earned 12th, 14th and 15th places among the boys. The boys's team earned third place with 32 points, behind Pine Ridge with 25 points and Crow Creek with 11 points.

Senior Kianna Knutson, junior Holly Iwan and sophomore Allison Pekron formed the Scottie girls' varsity team. Iwan went out hard, with Red Cloud's Myrian Rama. With Iwan focusing on her competition, she ran one of her best races ever, bettering her previous course best by 41 seconds and giving her second place with a time of 15:49. Knutson gave easily her best performance to date, placing eighth in her second attempt at the varsity level, clocking 17:43. Another Scottie showing great improvement, Pekron earned a new course best of 19:58, a 2:10 improvement, placing her 15th overall.

The girls placed third as a team behind St. Francis and Red Cloud.

The Philip boys ran as a varsity team for the first time this year. Seniors William Coyle, Marcus Martinez and Kelvin Ferguson were joined by freshmen Tristen Rush, Nelson Holman and Blake Martinez. Coyle, alongside a Red Cloud runner, led this race early with his teammates chosing a less intense mid-pack start. Coyle found himself battling a Wall senior runner through the later miles, and finished fourth overall in a time of 18:05, his course best by 60 seconds. Rush, in his first varsity race of 2011, gave easily his best performance as well, finishing just seven seconds behind his senior teammate, earning him fifth place and improving his course best by an amazing 1:58. Holman, stepping up to the varisty level for the first time, finished third among the Scotties and ninth overall in a time that matched our lead runners from 2010, 19:03. Showing improvement every week and running varsity for the first time in 2011, B. Martinez crossed the finish line just nine seconds behind Holman to place 10th and clock 19:12. Coming off of a hip injury in 2010, he made an improvement of 4:09.

M. Martinez, never having run this 5,000 meter course before, ran his best race of 2011, clocking 20:46 to place 15th. Ferguson out-ran a White River runner to place 23rd in a time of 24:52. The boys gave regional rival Wall a strong challenge at all stages of this race, placing second as a team with 18 points behind Wall's 12 points and ahead of Red Cloud's 27 points.

A strong performance by the Scotties overall as they set the stage for the Western Great Plains Conference meet in Wall, Wednesday, September 21.