CAMBRIDGE — The Colo-NESCO boys’ cross country team produced one top-20 individual performance and the Royal girls had a runner finish in the top 30 at the Spartan Early Bird Invitational Aug. 23 at the Center Grove Orchard between Cambridge and Maxwell.
The Royal boys finished fifth with 100 points, coming in just 10 points in back of Collins-Maxwell. Ballard won the boys’ team title with 25 points and Baxter scored 72 points to edge GMG by one point for second.
Sophomore Chevy Dunlap turned in an impressive 20th-place performance as the top Royal runner. Dunlap completed the 5-kilometer race in 20 minutes, 29.8 seconds.
“I’m usually never this high up in the race,” Dunlap said. “But once I first started, I don’t know, it just didn’t feel as much of a heavy weight on my shoulders as it usually does.”
Dunlap’s career-best finish came on a course had not run on prior to the meet.
“It wasn’t bad,” Dunlap said. “There was quite a big hill that was quite stressful, but you just push hard to get up there.”
Ryan Wonders ran a 32nd-place time of 21:51.7, Jacob Reischauer finished 36th in 22:03.0, Ben Rouse took 40th in 22:32.9 and Luke Hill came in 45th with a 23:07.0 showing as the other Royal runners to score points. Alex Rouse placed 55th in 26:28.9 and Scott Miller 59th in 26:46.2 for Colo-NESCO.
GMG’s Jackson Edens ran a 16:54.3 to win the boys’ race and Baxter’s Logan Berg took second in 17:10.1.
In the girls’ competition, Colo-NESCO placed sixth with 167 points. Ballard, the No. 10 team in Class 3A, blew away the field with 18 points, Baxter, the No. 15 1A team, edged Collins-Maxwell by three points for second with a score of 63, Colfax-Mingo came in fourth with 120 points and GMG also scored 120 points to place fifth.
Faith Vincent had the fastest time for the Colo-NESCO girls. Taking over for Alexis Britten in the lead spot for the Royal girls, Vincent completed the 5-kilometer race in 25:32.7 to end up 28th.
“It’s a lot different being the lead runner without Alexis,” Vincent said. “It was a new course for me and the whole team. A lot of loops, and you’ve got to keep thinking about where you’re going the whole time. It was a little tough for the first meet, but it felt good.”
The Royal girls only had four other runners compete. Jenna Banks took 42nd in 28:46.7, Emily Brinkman 48th in 31:01.5, freshman Emma Cerka 51st in 35:41.2 and freshman Mea Skinner 53rd with a 38:15.1 showing.
“I know for the freshmen it’s hard transitioning from the 2-mile to the 3-mile,” Vincent said. “We do a lot of team runs together just to keep encouraging them, so that way we can stay together and push each other all together.”
Ballard’s Ellie Twedt won the girls’ individual championship in 20:20.3 and her teammate Caitlin Maher took second in 21:20.1.
Final team scores
Girls: 1. Ballard 18 points, 2. Baxter 63, 3. Collins-Maxwell 66, 4. Colfax-Mingo 120, 5. GMG 120, 6. Colo-NESCO 167.
Boys: 1. Ballard 25 points, 2. Baxter 72, 3. GMG 73, 4. Collins-Maxwell 90, 5. Colo-NESCO 100.
Individual results (5-kilometer) - Colo-NESCO
Girls: 28. Faith Vincent, 25:32.7; 42. Jenna Banks, 28:46.7; 48. Emily Brinkman, 31:01.5; 51. Emma Cerka, 35:41.2; 53. Mea Skinner, 38;15.1.
Boys: 20. Chevy Dunlap, 20:29.8; 32. Ryan Wonders, 21:51.7; 36. Jacob Reischauer, 22:03.0; 40. Ben Rouse, 22:32.9; 45. Luke Hill, 23:07.0; 55. Alex Rouse, 26:28.9; 59. Scott Miller, 26:46.2.