KHS XC GirlsTeam

Cross Country is a very grueling sport. You could not tell that when many of the KHS runners hammed it up for a quick picture prior to the start of a recent race. Both Knoxville varsity teams were 3rd at the SCC Meet.

The Knoxville Panthers were 3rd at the South Central Conference Cross Country Meet held Tuesday, Oct. 15 in Osceola on a windy 60 degree afternoon.

Davis County, the No. 5 ranked team in Class 2A won the varsity girls portion of the meet with 28 points.

Albia, the No. 6 ranked team in Class 2A, won the boys’ team championship with 29 points.

Both of Knoxville’s varsity cross country teams fared well, finishing in third.

Varsity Girls

As she has done most of the season, freshman Norah Pearson, was the class of the SCC meet with a win in the 5K race with a clocking of 21:47.

Pearson sparked Coach Michael Splavec’s squad to third place at the league meet with 87 points.

Abbey Jackson was the second Panther to cross the finish line. Jackson was 19th overall with a run of 25:24.

Junior Tanna Dais was in 20th place at 25:28 followed by Charlie Vermeer in 21st at 25:42 and Olivia Maasdam rounded out the team scoring in 26th at 26:42.

Also running for Knoxville but not finishing in the team total for the day were Dani Johnston 27th at 26:42 and Sophie Murphy 31st at 28:13.

Earning All-SCC honors for Knoxville was Pearson, as the top 10 all earned that distinction for the day.

JV runners for the Panthers were Madelynn Liston, Claire Fay and Anna McDonald.

Varsity Boys

Knoxville was third in the SCC boys’ varsity team total in Osceola with 60 points.

The Panthers were clearly the third best team behind, Albia and Davis County, both ranked in the top 15 in Class 2A.

Earning All-SCC honors for the day for the Panthers were Jordan Bacon and Seth Walraven.

Bacon was the Panther leader in sixth place at 19:37 followed by Seth Walraven in 9th at 19:52.

The rest of the KHS scoring showed Ethan Murra in 12th at 20:04, Max Purvis 15th at 20:19 and Jonathan Watson 18th at 20:26.

Also running for KHS but not counting in the team total Tuesday were Trent Walraven in 20th at 20:28 and Kaden McGill 21st at 20:32.

Kenny Cronin of Davis County was the 5K winner at 18:04.

JV runners for the Panthers were Peter Picard, Carson Irving, Nash Linsley, Ethan Morgan, Gable Garcia, John Buttell, Andrew Jackson, Drake Marvelli, Mason Match and Emmett Schmidt.


Panther Coach Michael Splavec stated, “Blustery winds and chilly temps got the best of all the athletes today. Still had a great time and our athletes competed hard. Both boys and girls teams finished third.”

Up next for the team is the State Qualifying 3A Meet in Pella at Central College Oct. 24 starting at 4 p.m.

“We are looking forward to the challenge that meet brings every year, but we have ran well in Pella in the past and hope to do the same agan,” Splavec said.

Odds and Ends

Of Knoxville’s top seven female runners, two were seniors, Vermeer and Jackson, the rest are eligible to return to the team in 2020.

The KHS boys squad had three seniors among their first seven runners at the league meet, Bacon, Murra and Trent Walraven.

It is believed that Pearson’s conference championship run was the second for a Knoxville female runner since 1993 when Sharlet Bailey, a Twin Cedars student, won the league title for the Panthers. The KHS coach in 1993 was Randy Wilson.

SCC Meet

Varsity Girls1. Davis County 28, 2. Chariton 55, 3. Knoxville 87, 4. Albia 91, 5. EBF 124. Incomplete scores – Centerville and Clarke.

SCC Meet

Varsity Boys1. Albia 29, 2. Davis County 35, 3. Knoxville 60, 4. Chariton 131, 5. EBF 153, 6. Centerville 180, 7. Clarke 189.

Perry Bell can be reached at or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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