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Mount Ayr cross country has found success early in the season witih the girls taking first place at the Maryville Spoofhound Invitational after impressive runs by MaKenna Jones (4th), Karly Elwood (5th), Karlie Larsen (10th) Natalie Schaefer (19th) and Taylor Clymer (24th).
The Raiderettes finished first overall, ahead of Chillicothe and Savannah.
Jones finished the course in a time of 24:43, ahead of new teammate and breakout 800 meter track star Karly Elwood who ran a 24:49.
Larsen finished in a time time of 25:40, Schaefer in a time of 27:19 and Clymer with a time of 28:10.
The junior varsity Raiderettes were headed by Aubree Clark who finished the two-mile course in a time of 18:05, Kyleigh Conklin fourth with a time of 19:14, Andrea Sickels seventh with a time of 22:49 and Lilly Fuller finished eighth with a time of 35:46.
The Raiders, short on numbers, will not be posting team scores this season and will be running for individual times.
Freshman Raider, Adan Trujillo finished the course 16th overall with a time of 21:11, followed by Will Newton in 24th with a time of 24:05.
In the junior varsity race, Ashtyn Benesh finished fifth with a time of 15:27.
“With August 23 being the first day we had every member at practice on the same day, we weren’t sure what to expect running our first meet eight days later,” said coach Dustin Larsen. “With that being said, we saw great efforts on the first night, a night which the heat and humidity caught up to several runners in the field.”
The Raider and Raiderette runners traveled to Corydon for the Wayne Invitational on September 2.
The Raiderettes finished fourth overall, but every girls on the team beat their course time compared to last year.
“We learned real quick that we won’t have to travel very far this year to run into some stiff competition on the girls side,” said coach Larsen. “With cooler temps and cloud cover, we ran considerably faster times than at Maryville and it was good to see the girls compete throughout the race.”
MaKenna Jones was first to cross the line for the Raiderettes, finishing in a time of 23:07 and in 14th place.
Karlie Larsen finished 20th overall with a time of 23:43, Natalie Schaefer finished 29th with a time of 25:04, Lauren Triggs finished 28th with a time of 25:41, Kyliegh Conklin finished 49th with a time of 27:08, Aubree Clark finished 50th with a time of 27:17, Taylor Clymer finished 53rd with a time of 27:39 and Andrea Sickels finished 65th with a time of 31:00.
The Raiders saw Will Newton and Ashtyn Benesh beat their times from last year as well, while newcomer Adan Trujillo broke the 20 minute mark for the first time in his career, finishing the course first for the Raiders in 28th place with a time of 19:52.
Will Newton finished 41st with a time of 21:14 and Ashtyn Benesh finished 82nd with a time of 24:37.
“Just like the girls side, the boys found out there is plenty of solid competition within 60 miles of us,” said coach Larsen. “Central Decatur’s boys are going to be a really tough team for area teams to beat this year.”