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McCracken era begins for Iowa-Grant X-Country
Molly Lee (left) and Chakayla Stanek finished 68th and 67th respectively at Saturday's Darlington Invitational. - photo by photo by Tom Gunnell

DARLINGTON - First-year Iowa-Grant/Highland cross country coach Corey McCracken viewed Saturday’s Darlington Invitational as a stepping-stone for his young boys cross country team.

Freshman Jordan Jenks conquered the rain and the mud to finish 16th overall and lead the I-G boys’ varsity to a 10th place team finish in the 17-team field. The freshman finished the sloppy 5,000-meter course in 18 minutes and 15 seconds and earned the meet's Top Freshman Award.

Iowa-Grant junior Cody Wall finished 59th at 20:34, followed by Highland brothers Kyle Bomkamp (60th, 20:34) and Micah Bomkamp (64th, 21:03) and I-G sophomore Alex Pillow (72nd, 21:35).

"The conditions were rough, but the boys ran hard and hammered every hill," said coach McCracken. "With so many freshman on varsity and junior varsity, Saturday was a great stepping stone."

The Iowa-Grant/Highland boys’ team finished 10th with 271 points. Darlington outpointed runner-up Waukesha North to win the boys team title.

Despite missing four runners Saturday the Iowa-Grant/Highland girls also turned a fine team performance.

Lead by senior Grace Enloe (40th, 18:47) and Veronica Schaefer (51st, 19:32) the Lady Panthers finished 11th out of 17 teams with an aggregate score of 285.

Dodgeville/Mineral Point ran away from the girls’ field with two of the top three finishers in Hannah Owens (1st, 15:12) and Mary Hanson (3rd, 15:47). The Pointers scored 39 points to blow away runner-up Darlington (86) and third-place finisher Boscobel (91).

Christine Melby (59th, 20:07), Chakayla Stanek (67th, 20:37) and Molly Lee (68th, 20:53) rounded out I-G's girls’ score.

"I am very proud of the girls team. Even though they were missing four runners Saturday, they placed much better than Darlington last year," explained McCracken. "We even had some runners drop their times by two minutes or better from this race last year, even in the rain and mud."

The Iowa-Grant cross country teams will return to action this Saturday at the River Valley Invitational.


Darlington Invitational
(from Saturday, Sept. 3 @ Darlington)

Team Scores
- 1.Dodgeville/Mineral Point 39, 2.Darlington 86, 3.Boscobel 91, 4.Monreo 122, 5.Madison Edgewood 123, 6.Mt. Horeb 149, 7.Cashton 194, 8.Lancaster 212, 9.Belleville 259, 10.Pecatonica/Argyle 282, 11.Iowa-Grant/HIghland 285, 12.Southwestern/Cuba City 289, 13.Richland Center/Ithaca 298, 14.Riverdale 341, 15.Cassville inc., 15.St. Ambrose inc., 15.North Crawford inc.
Top Individuals - 1.Owens (Dodge-Point) 15:12, 2.Link (Mad. Edgewood) 15:43, 3.Hanson (Dodge-Point) 15:47, 4.Davis (Mad. Edgewood) 15:59, 5.Foley (Boscobel) 16:21.
Iowa-Grant/Highland (285) - 40.Grace Enloe 18:47, 51.Veronica Schaefer 19:32, 59.Christine Melby 20:07, 67.Chakayla Stanek 20:37, 68.Molly Lee 20:53, 80.Leah Brennum 22:37, 82.Katrina Hale 22:56.
Team Scores - 1.Darlington 41, 2.Waukesha North 59, 3.Dodgeville/Mineral Point 90, 4.Boscobel 114, 5.Albany 155, 6.Mt. Horeb 191, 7.Monroe 196, 8.Lancaster 226, 9.Southwestern/Cuba City 228, 10.Iowa-Grant/Highland 271, 11.Belleveille 273, 12.Pecatonica/Argyle 305, 13.North Crawford 355, 14.Cashton inc., 14.Richland Center/Ithaca inc., 14.St. Ambrose inc., 14.Cassville inc.
Top Individuals - 1.T. Miehe (Darlington) 16:18, 2.Wunnicke (Dodge-Point) 16:21, 3.R. Mindham (Boscobel) 17:27, 4.Jodat (Waukesha North) 17:28, 5.Hottmann (Dodge-Point) 17:28.
Iowa-Grant/Highland (271) - 16.Jordan Jenks 18:15, 59.Cody Wall 20:34, 60.Kyle Bomkamp 20:34, 64.Micah Bomkamp 21:03, 72.Alex Pillow 21:25, 73.Tad Spurley 21:26, 75.Charles Connolly 21:51.