IOWA CITY– With a slimmed down field, Solon’s boys and girls were second at the rescheduled Bob Brown Invitational cross country meet. Team results showed up pretty much the same, with Kennedy of Cedar Rapids, Solon and host Regina of Iowa City finishing 1-2-3 after the boys and girls races.
Lauren Benzing was the overall girls’ winner, stepping off the 4-kilometer course in 14:49, a 36-second margin over Kennedy’s Katie Wampole. Benzing is now the top-ranked Class 3A girls runner in the Iowa Association of Track Coaches (IATC) statewide poll. As a team, Solon’s girls bumped Wahlert of Dubuque and now claim the No. 1 team ranking in 3A, as well. Kennedy, ranked No. 10 in 4A, used its depth, though, crowding all five scoring runners into the top seven spots to capture the title in the four-team race with 21 points. Solon’s runner-up total was 46; with Regina at 76 and Wilton notching 110.
Leah Adams (16:07) and 14th-ranked Alex Smith(16:08) were ninth and 10th across the finish line, with teammates Bailey Kelsay 12th (16:24) and Abby Ashton 16th (16:40) to round out scoring for the Spartans. Close behind were Mallory Carr (17th, 16:49), Tarrah Wentzien (24th, 17:31) and Anna Kosek (25th, 17:35).
The boys race was a little tighter, with 10th-ranked Kennedy (31 points) taking the team title. However, Solon (54) and eighth-ranked 2A Regina (54) tied for the runner-up spot, pushing the scoring down to the sixth runner. Spartan Brent Kennicott’s 16th-place finish was better than Regina’s Nathan Shanks’ 25th, so Solon got the nod. West Liberty was fourth (111), with Wilton fifth (134).
Kennedy’s Trevor Oates, ranked 14th in Class 4A, was the meet champion, in 17:02 over the 5 kilometer Ashton course. Solon’s Turner Wentzien was the first Spartan across, in 17:58, taking sixth. Teammates Omar Longou (18:24), Chase Gross (18:34) and Zach Slusher (18:36) were 10-11-12 for Solon, with Michael Rundell (18:43) 15th to secure the tie ahead of Kennicott’s tiebreaker.
The next meet for both teams was scheduled for Sept. 19; the home Spartan Invitational.