The Albia Blue Demon cross country team continues to run with a purpose. Battling through the 19 mile per hour wind and the soft, hilly course, the team would score a remarkable 29 points for the team title. The squad was able to place five runners in the top 10, securing not only the win, but 50 percent of the first team all-conference spots.
“Our runners came into the meet knowing that we did not want to let this one slip away like it did last year,” said Coach Todd Ratliff. “They were focused and ready for the challenge tonight.”
Three Blue Demons would slide their way into the top five with Landon Noe finishing runner-up with a time of 18:34. In fourth place Brock Ratliff would run an 18:58 with Dawson Bonnett finishing 5th in 19:03. “The times reflect the weather tonight. The wind was brutal but these guys pushed through it,” said Coach Ratliff.
Also finishing in the top 10 for the Demons were the tandem of Barrett Bonnett and Cody Dalman who would complete the course in 19:46 and 19:53 in 8th and 10th place. “These seniors finished out their regular season running in the program in fine fashion. It was so much fun to watch them fight their way into the top 10 and keep it,” said Coach Ratliff.
Breaking the 21-minute mark on the night were Max Teno with a time of 20:13 in 14th place for an honorable mention all conference, and Michael Thomas would also gather honorable mention all conference honors with a 19th place finish in 20:27. CJ Ratliff would finish 23rd in 20:51.
In the 21s were John Pistek in 21:09 for 29th place, Gavin McMurray in 32nd in a time of 21:34, Adam Sheffield (35th) in 21:46 and Travis Sheffield (37th) in 21:48.
Eli Zanoni and Logan Stalzer would work together and finish in 45th and 46th place with times of 22:16 and 22:19 respectively. Austin Stanley would also be in the 22s with a time of 22:48 in 51st place.
David Thomas would run to a 23:16 in 62nd place with Elijah Smith finishing in 70th in 23:51. Steven Pemberton would finish his season with a 26:29 in 84th place with Caelen Robinson finishing in 27:54 for 88th and Wyatt McGee finishing out the race in 90th place in a time of 29:23.
“We ran well tonight. We worked hard to make moves when needed. I know that the seniors will have this memory as they leave the program at the end of the month. Very proud of everyone out their tonight.”
The scoring was as follows: Albia 29, Davis County 35, Knoxville 60, Chariton 131, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 153, Centerville 180, and Clarke 189. The Blue Demons finish an incredible regular season of running. Of the 108 teams that they raced against, they beat 104 for a regular season final record of 104-4.
They will next run the state qualifying meet in Panorama on Oct. 24.