A 10-day rest between competitions did not slow down Mid-Prairie as they walked, or rather ran, away from the Mt. Pleasant Invitational on Sept. 19 with the boys and girls small school division team …
A 10-day rest between competitions did not slow down Mid-Prairie as they walked, or rather ran, away from the Mt. Pleasant Invitational on Sept. 19 with the boys and girls small school division team titles in hand.
“Since we didn’t have a meet last week, we were able to have a really tough week of practice,” Mid-Prairie coach Jeremy Meyers said. “They did a great job of managing the extra fatigue and ran very smart, well-paced races and we were still able to come away with victories for both boys and girls teams.”
Five schools, including the Golden Hawks, competed with enough runners to qualify for team points in the small school division and the Mid-Prairie girls claimed the first-place trophy with an almost perfect score of 16.
“The girls team has been really fun to watch so far this season because we’ve had so many different girls running well and it’s impossible to predict what order they’ll finish in,” coach Meyers said.
Senior Danielle Hostetler, a three-time state champion, led the Hawks with a first-place finish of 19:12, her best time of the season.
Hostetler began the race trailing only one runner but about 800 meters into the race she was able to take the lead. Her lead only increased in length as the race went on and she crossed the finish line about 30 seconds faster than the next runner.
“Danielle does an excellent job of pushing the pace when she’s already out front. As a runner, it’s easier to push yourself when you have something to chase, or have someone close to you to race against,” coach Meyers said. “She runs the majority of her races well out in front of the pack and I’m always impressed with her ability to challenge herself to run faster when she’s out there without someone in front of her.”
Including Hostetler, the Hawks had seven runners finish within the top ten. The next top performance for Mid-Prairie belonged to freshman Brooklyn Stutzman, who earned up a runner-up finish of 21:02.
Claiming fourth and fifth place for the Hawks was seniors Phoebe Shetler and Greta Sieren. Finishing back-to-back Shetler ended the race with a time of 21:17 and Sieren completed the race with a time of 21:19.
“This week Phoebe Shetler had one of her better races of the season and that was exciting to see,” coach Meyers said. “We also had a couple of freshmen step up and run great races for us. Brooklyn Stutzman was our second overall runner and Kendal Landstrum broke into our top five for the first time ever.”
Freshman Kendal Lanstrum gave the Hawks an 8th place finish with a time of 22:02.
On the boys side Mid-Prairie claimed first place in the small school division, beating out eight other schools, with a team score of 50.
“I was really pleased with the way the boys ran. We were missing one of our top guys, so it was really good to see everyone else step up and run well for each other. We had a number of guys close to their season best times, so we’re really pleased with that.” coach Meyers said.
Junior Emmett Swartzentruber led the first-place boys team with a runner-up finish of 16:59. Owen Schmidgall of Mediapolis placed first with a time of 16:47.
Competing against some challenging competition, Swartzentruber ran a well-paced race and is one of three runners, among the small and large school divisions, to earn a sub 17-minute time.
“Emmett ran a really smart race as usual. He paces incredibly well and ran a very even race,” coach Meyers said. “There were some really fast boys at this race, the number 3 runner in 3A, number 3 in 2A, as well as a former state champion on the track. So, to finish top 3 in a field like that, you know he’s doing something.”
Also earning a top five finish was junior Preston Yutzy. Yutzy garnered a fourth-place finish of 17:35, his second best time of the season.
Freshman Max Swartzentruber fell just outside of the ten with an 11th place finish of 18:53. With near identical time sophomore Jesse Stultz and senior Jacob Donaldson finished in 16th and 17th place with times of 19:31.28 and 19:31.72 respectively.
“I can’t say enough about how well this group supports each other and cares about each other. They truly enjoy being around each other and want each other to do well,” coach Meyers said about the camaraderie among the runners on both teams.
“They know when it’s time to be serious and get work done, but as soon as the work is done, they are always laughing and joking around and find a way to find the positive in everything. It makes it easy to come to practice and embrace the hard work when you know all your teammates are going to be by your side. They are just a really fun group to be around.”
Girls Results (small school division)
1. Danielle Hostetler, Mid-Prairie, 19:12
2. Brooklyn Stutzman, Mid-Priaire, 21:01
4. Phoebe Shetler, Mid-Prairie, 21:17
5. Greta Sieren, Mid-Prairie, 21:19
8. Kendal Landstrum, Mid-Prairie, 22:02
9. Dessa Poll, Mid-Prairie, 22:17
10, Annika Poll, Mid-Prairie, 22:19
11. Abby Fleming, Mid-Prairie, 22:32
14. Kali Miller, Mid-Prairie, 23:16
22. Hannah Rodgers, Mid-Prairie, 24:50
38. Alaina Safly, Mid-Prairie, 27:10
42. Behla Schmidt, Mid-Prairie, 27:40
43. Emma Lueck, Mid-Prairie, 27:40
51. Marissa Parks, Mid-Prairie, 28:55
58. Samantha Wunderlich, Mid-Prairie, 32:44
Boys Results (small school division)
1. Owen Schmidgall, Mediapolis, 16:47
2. Emmett Swartzentruber, Mid-Prairie, 16:59
4. Preston Yutzy, Mid-Prairie. 17:35
11. Max Swartzentruber, Mid-Prairie, 18:53
16. Jesse Stultz, Mid-Prairie, 19:31
17. Jacob Donaldson, Mid-Prairie, 19:31
23. Daniel Rodgers, Mid-Prairie, 20:11