Spartan runners hold their own at Nevada Invite: C-M went up against several larger schools

Joe Randleman
Tri-County Times
Collins-Maxwell's Jacob Pierick (right) and Austin Hennick compete in a downpour during the varsity boys' race at the Nevada Invitational Monday at Hickory Grove near Nevada. The Spartan boys placed fifth out of 12 teams despite going up against several larger schools.

NEVADA - The Collins-Maxwell cross country teams got a good test against larger schools at the Nevada Invitational Monday at Hickory Grove.

The Spartan boys came in fifth out of 12 teams and the girls took sixth out of 12 schools on a rainy evening.  Collins-Maxwell is a Class 1A school and every team that finished better than the Spartans in each race was 2A or higher.

“It’s always fun to run this meet at Nevada against some of the best 2A and 3A schools,” Collins-Maxwell head cross country coach Jerry Meinerts said. “It's a chance to see how we stack up against these good teams.”

The Spartan boys scored 187 points and had two runners place in the top 20. North Polk, ranked third in 3A, dominated the boys’ race with 24 points, perennial 3A power Gilbert was second with 66, host school Nevada took third with 81 and East Marshall finished fourth with 122.

“Our boys’ team did a great job tonight against some really good 2A and 3A schools,” Meinerts said. “This was Ethan (Haus's) first time under 19 minutes this season.  It was also Austin (Hennick), Hunter (Lee), Marshall (Day) and Zach (Haus's) best times of the season.  Pretty good job on a slippery course.”

Kyle Vanderwal was the lead runner for the Collins-Maxwell boys with a 5-kilometer time of 18:31.98, which earned him 16th place. Ethan Haus came in 20th at 18:56.30.

Jacob Piecrick ran a 41st-place time of 19:54.28, Hennick placed 45th in 20:10.11 and Lee was 65th in 21:38.87. Day and Zach Haus clocked in at 23:32.58 and 25:26.25 to place 78th and 83rd respectively.

In the girls’ competition Collins-Maxwell scored 175 points to win a tiebreaker with West Marshall for seventh after having the faster sixth runner. Roland-Story, ranked eighth in 2A, won with 55 points, Gilbert was second with 73, North Polk - the No. 13 3A team - third with 83, Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR fourth with 126 and Nevada fifth with 133.

“I love the cooler temps to run in, but could have done without the rain,” Meinerts said.  It created some really sloppy conditions in some spots and I feel the kids could have ran even faster if the rain would have held off a couple of hours.  But everyone had to compete in it.  Six of our varsity girls still ran their best times of the season.”

Junior Alexis Houge said she was glad a downpour that happened during the boys’ race had subsided by the time the girls ran.

“We got lucky,” Houge said. “It stopped raining just as we were about to run. We got really fortunate with that.”

Houge said the team made the most of a tough situation brought on by the weather.

“I thought we did really well considering the circumstances,” Houge said. “He (Meinerts) told us to go out and run our race - don’t worry about the conditions too much. I think we did a really good job of going out and trying to PR while still being careful.”

Houge clocked in at 23:16.97 to place 29th. Morgan Day led Collins-Maxwell with a 26th-place time of 23:01.17.

Senior Morgan Day (74) led the Collins-Maxwell girls with a 26th-place finish at the Nevada Invitational Monday at Hickory Grove.

Avery Fricke completed the course in 23:56.13 to place 39th. Meyaurah Pratt was 40th in 23:58.52 and Erica Houge 44th in 24:16.07 to complete the scoring for the Spartan girls.

Karley Ruiz-Genovese came in just outside the scoring cut with a 45th-place time of 24:19.84. Ashlyn Davis was also close behind the scoring group with a 48th-place effort of 24:39.97.

North Polk’s Zach and Max Sporra were the first two runners to finish in the boys’ race and Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR’s Ellie Meyer won the girls’ race at Hickory Grove. 

Zach Sporra, ranked 20th in 3A, won the boys’ race in 16:41.06 and Max, rated 29th, clocked in at 16:45.17. Meyer, ranked fifth among 3A girls’ runners, clocked in at 19:11.71 to win the girls’ race by nearly 1 ½ minutes.

Final team scores

Girls: 1. Roland-Story 55 points, 2. Gilbert 73, 3. North Polk 83, 4. Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR 126, 5. Nevada 133, 6. Collins-Maxwell 175, 7. West Marshall 175, 8. South Hamilton 206, 9. East Marshall 229, 10. Baxter 245, 11. South Hardin 317, 12. Colo-NESCO 328.

Boys: 1. North Polk 24, 2. Gilbert 66, 3. Nevada 81, 4. East Marshall 122, 5. Collins-Maxwell 187, 6. South Hamilton 198, 7. South Hardin 202, 8. Colo-NESCO 213, 9. Roland-Story 219, 10. Iowa Falls-Alden/AGWSR 241; 11. BCLUW 244; 12. West Marshall 298.

Individual results (5-kilometer - Collins-Maxwell)

Girls: 26. Morgan Day, 23:01.17; 29. Alexis Houge, 23:16.97; 39. Avery Fricke, 23:56.13; 40. Meyaurah Pratt, 23:58.52; 44. Erica Houge, 24:16.07; 45. Karley Ruiz-Genovese, 24:19.84; 48. Ashlyn Davis, 24:39.97.

Boys: 16. Kyle Vanderwal, 18:31.98; 20. Ethan Haus, 18:56.30; 41. Jacob Pierick, 19:54.28; 45. Austin Hennick, 20:10.11; 65. Hunter Lee, 21:38.87; 78. Marshall Day, 23:32.58; 83. Zach Haus, 25:26.25.