After a tough meet at Darlington on Saturday, the North Crawford cross country teams traveled to Westby for an 18-team invitational meet that proved to be just as tough.
Stepping up to the challenge was foreign exchange student Nina Zastrow who finished the three-mile race in fourth place in an outstanding time of 20:35. Close behind was teammate captain Willa Dworshack, who finished in 16th position in a great time of 21:55. There were 96 varsity runners in the race. Next for the Trojans was Sophomore Ahmae Varnes-Epstein who finished in 73rd place with a time of 27:26 followed by fellow foreign exchange student Lucia Duex in 87th with a time of 29:43. Haven Varnes-Epstein finished her final varsity race in 96th place with a time of 37:51.
On the boys side, junior captain Jacob Bransky put on a stellar performance in his race. Taking the first mile a bit lighter than normal proved to be to his benefit at the end of the race. He crossed the one-mile mark at a time of 5:56 which is typically 20 seconds slower that he normally does. This strategy pays off for Jacob as he crossed the first mile in 36th place, but continued to get stronger throughout the race. He maintained the pace and was at 12:16 after two miles and was gaining strength while other runners showed fatigue. Bransky finished the race in 14th place in a great time of 18:17 out of 146 runners. Next for the Trojans was Brady Allbaugh who finished in 49th place in a time of 19:36. Allbaugh competed in just his second race after suffering a knee injury during a varsity football game just two weeks ago and continues to get stronger. Next for North Crawford was teammate sophomore Dylan Ghormley who is looking stronger every race. Dylan ended in 87th place in a time of 21:16. Next was Jack Polensky who finished in 119th in a time of 23:25.
“These athletes are getting stronger with every race and are pushing themselves to the limit,” coach Mike Allbaugh said after the race. “Though we struggle with numbers, we have no lack of heart. We host our own meet on Tuesday, Sept. 16 on a very difficult course, so it will be fun to see how they perform.”