The Albia Lady Dee cross country team continued to improve as a squad at the 16-team Centerville Invitational on Tuesday. Half of all the girls who ran for the squad were able to set new all time personal bests.
Leading the way with her seventh top five finish of the season (and fifth in a row) was junior Sherryl Mae Rowe.
In working her way to a fourth place finish she was able to break the 22 minute mark for only the second time in her career, and first time in two years, setting a new best mark of 21:43.
Not far off and finishing in 11th place, and breaking into the 22’s for the first time ever was Becca Pistek with a time of 22:23. “Great running up front from these two young ladies in the meet tonight,” said Coach Todd Ratliff. “They were able to work their way through the field of nearly 150 runners.”
Freshman Brooke Smith also would drop nearly a minute from her previous best and run a 24:28 to finish third for the Dees and 40th overall. “Brooke has been consistently getting faster, tonight’s drop was a big one. I’m very happy for her,” said Coach Ratliff.
Tahylor Terrell and Allison Major were able to work together throughout most of the meet and turn in times of 25:07 and 25:09 respectively as they finished the course in 49th and 50th place. “Allison has been strong all season and dropped two minutes and 26 seconds on the same course she ran last season while Tahylor set an all time 5K mark tonight,” said Coach Ratliff.
Sara Pistek and Emma Martin were able to approach the finishing push of the race together with finishes at 25:21 and 25:24. Sara would end up 55th with Emma 57th, in what is now her fastest race of her career. Ellie Martin would be close behind them with a time of 25:43 to take 63rd.
Lauren Bayer maintained her consistent running coming just five seconds from her best time in a finish of 27:02 for 89th place with Marrisa Terrell completing the course in 31:14, good enough for 121st in the field.
“I really like watching us work through the pack when there are large numbers of competitors in the field,” said the Coach. “I think our girls start out pretty smart, and give themselves a chance to move up as the race unfolds. A top four finish on the girls side is exactly where I think we should have been tonight and keeps us in the hunt for the conference crown next Tuesday at Clarke. It was a fun race to watch.”
Team scores on the evening were as follows: Oskaloosa 53, Davis County 103, Fort Madison 122, Albia 133, Centerville 147, Knoxville 148, Chariton 157, Kirksville, MO 195, Central Decatur 206, Colfax-Mingo 221, Eddyville Blakesburg Freemont 254, Keokuk, Melcher Dallas, Moravia, Pella Christian, and Twin Cedars. The Lady Dees extend their record to 78-20 on the season.