Recent strong finishes have Pekin geared up for Conference meet

The Panthers and Lady Panthers are coming off some strong weeks of cross country competition and hope they can continue their strong push when then run in the SEISC meet in Columbus Junction on Oct 4. Pekin has won multiple meets this year, including their own meet at Waterworks Park in Fairfield on September 22.

Both boys’ and girls’ teams dominated in the grade race, leading to first place finishes and plenty of top individual placements. In total, the Panthers took home the hardware with 13 team points, holding off Davis County who scored 24 points and finished in second.

The Lady Panthers dominated the 12th grade girls’ competition, running the four fastest times and nearly making up half the field. Hollie Loper led the way by running a time of 23:08, followed by Kelly Myers (23:15), Hunter Lock (23:23) and Ayren Essary (23:36) to round out the top four. Katie Jones finished ninth with a time of 27:33 and Shannon Saeger took 11th behind a time of 28:41.

The 11th grade girls’ team followed suit by taking first place behind strong runs by Remi Duwa (20:31) who finished first and Cari Duwa (22:06) who finished third.

The Panther boys’ 11th graders also finished first, led by Colten Glosser who ran the fastest time of 17:00. Tanner Conger finished third with a time of 18:36 and Devin Fraise finished 10th behind a time of 21:11.

The Lady Panthers didn’t score any points from the 10th grade competition with Kaitlyn Glosser being the lone runner. She finished 10th with a time of 25:04.

Brady Millikin had another strong meet to lead the sophomore boys, finishing first in the field with a time of 17:14. Shortly behind him was Simeon Buie, finishing third with a time of 18:56. Kaden Pollock rounded out the group in 15th after running a time of 30:48.

The Lady Panthers dominated again with their youngest runners, taking the top six spots. Lauren Derscheid finished first with a time of 21:36 followed by Lily Fariss (21:59), Emily Laumeyer (22:07), Sarah Eubanks (22:37), Maddie Black (22:39) and Mia Clark (22:49). Taylor Sylvester also finished 12th for the freshman girls, running a time of 24:42.

The Pekin boys had a couple freshman runners as well with Zack Wise finishing seventh with a time of 18:54 and Chandler Stull taking 13th behind a time of 20:55.

“Their attitude and work ethic has been great,” Pekin coach Davis Eidahl said. “This is a sport where you have many things to learn and each meet we’re learning more.”

More recently, the Panthers were tested against some big competition on September 27 when they ran on the University of Iowa cross country course. Other teams in attendance included Iowa City, Bettendorf, Ottumwa and host Iowa City West.

“The boys and girls have been great trying to help each other out,” Eidahl said. “I like how both teams are looking ahead to the District meet while trying to improve each day.”

The Lady Panthers finished in sixth place with 135 points while the boys took seventh, finishing with 189 team points.

Pekin will face some more tough opponents when they try and make a run at winning the conference meet on October 4 at Columbus Junction.