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Union XC makes strides at Vinton-Shellsburg Invitational

September 21, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

The Union cross country team competed in only their second meet of the season, showing improvements across the board as they continued to compete with strong regional teams and run towards their goals.

"Realistically, we know where we are at now," Parson said. "We set goals and had times improve from last week. I feel the weather helped a little bit being less humid. We are finally getting our legs under us. The first two meets are always tough mentally and physically, and the improvement today was encouraging."

The girls team placed eighth out of nine teams, but times improved for the varsity runners from last week's meet at Starmont. Madison Frush led the Union pack in 30th place with a time of 24 mins, notably followed closer this race by Emma Shirk in 37th with a time of 25:03 and Emma Carlson in 41st with a time of 25:17. Elle Hookham finished in 54th place with a time of 25:53, followed closely by Emily Miehe in 56th place with a time of 26:03. Alexa Weber finished in 62nd place with a time of 26:30.

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Lake LeBahn and Lane Hennings got off to strong starts as they placed 1st and 4th overall.

"The girls looked healthier, stronger today," Parson said. "I know Madi [Frush] struggled a little up front today during that second mile, but she continues to fight and we're close to reaching her goals. They all looked fresher today. Emma Shirk ran a great race today and said she felt great today. That's always encouraging to hear. The goal is to get more girls to say that."

The boys team finished third among ten teams behind a top finish by Lake LeBahn with 17:11, 36 seconds before the second place runner. Lane Hennings continued his strong start to the season placing 4th overall with a time of 18:16. Johnathan Bronner came in 23rd with a time of 20:09 before a gap with Keegan Block at 45th overall with a time of 21:11, Ryan Bowers in 48th with a time of 21:17, Grant Keegan right behind in 49th with a time of 21:21 and Gavin Moore in 52ndwith a time of 21:25.

"We closed the gap with the boys in this meet and the boys are looking good," Parson said. "We just have to get everyone healthy and consistent. Lane Hennings is running his ass off right now and I'm proud of him as a lead runner battling for top placings. We just have to get those three, four, five runners to close the gap more and reduce time. I don't want to say we're a state team, but given the right draw we can do that. Our goals are definitely loftier than in the past."

The next week and a half will be a busy one for the Knights as they compete at Jesup and Dunkerton on Tuesday and Thursday respectively, but first a meet at Grundy Center.

"Grundy Center is always a good place for us to run," Parson said. "Next week will be tough with a couple of meets and our big run from Dysart to La Porte for the homecoming game. The kids will log in a lot of miles and work, but it will be beneficial for us to peak at the end of the year."



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