The Knoxville Panthers had one of their top performances of the year at the PCM Invitational held Thursday, Sept. 26 in Monroe at the Gateway Golf Course.
The Knoxville varsity boys’ cross country squad was third in the team race with 75 points. The Panthers trailed only Des Moines Christian with a near perfect score of 18 points and Davis County with 72.
Cody Smith of Des Moines Christian won the 5K varsity race with a clocking of 17:29.
Senior Jordan Bacon was the Knoxville leader with a run of 19:10 over the golf course facility.
Seth Walraven was the next Panther to cross the finish line. Seth was 13th with a time of 19:34.
Kaden McGill, a freshman, was a step back in 15th place at 19:35. Rounding out the Panther scoring for the day were Trent Walraven in 19th at 19:53 and Jonathan Watson 21st at 20:01.
Also racing for Coach Michael Splavec’s squad were Max Purvis in 26th at 20:09 and Joey Hembrook 29th at 20:14.
The Knoxville JV boys were also strong. They won the JV portion of the meet with 36 points with the Des Moines Christian Lions second with 39.
The KHS JV was paced by Emmett Schmidt in 3rd place at 20:22 and Ethan Murra in 4th at 20:25.
The rest of the Panther JV scoring for the day consisted of Peter Picard in 7th at 20:42, Carson Irving 9th at 20:59 and Gable Garcia 13th at 21:35.
Also racing but not counting in the team score were Ethan Morgan in 18th and John Buttell 21st.
Des Moines Roosevelt won the varsity girls rae with 28 points. Davis County and Panorama tied for second with 91 points, with the Mustangs getting the edge on the tie-breaker.
Knoxville was 7th with 165 points, right behind Twin Cedars in 6th place with 157 points.
The first three runners in the varsity race were all freshmen. The winner of the 5K was Arianna Jackson of Des Moines Roosevelt with a time of 19:52.
Knoxville’s Norah Pearson was runner-up with a time of 20:10 and Twin Cedars’ Rylee Dunkin third at 20:23.
Behind Pearson, the rest of the Panther scoring consisted of Jade Six in 37th at 25:08, Abbey Jackson 38th at 25:13, Charlie Vermeer 39th at 25:15 and Dani Johnston 49th at 26:07.
Also running for the Panthers, but not counting in the team total were Olivia Maasdam in 52nd place at 26:31 and Sophie Murphy 59th at 27:40.
The Panthers had three JV runners, Madelynn Liston 26th at 29:34, Anna McDonald 33rd and Claire Fay in 34th place.
Panther Coach Michael Splavec replied, “Absolutely beautiful night for running. Temperatures in the low 70s to start, and just dropped after that which was great. Girls ran well, and had great finishes which is a big improvement. Times weren’t where we would want them, but we have had a hard week and are ready to begin our taper into the championship meet season.”
He addeed, “Boys ran extremely well finishing 3rd place, only 3 points behind a very talented Davis County team. The boys really started out strong and maintained their pace throughout the race. We are, like the girls, looking forward to beginning to taper off as we get into championship season and having our legs feel fresh and ready to run even faster.”
The Panthers will compete at the Centerville Invitational Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 4:30 p.m.
The South Central Conference Meet is set for October 15 in Osceola starting at 4:30 p.m.
PCM InviteBoys Scoring1. D.M. Christian 18, 2. Davis County 72, 3. Knoxville 75, 4. Pella Christian 133, 5. PCM 139, 6. Colfax-Mingo 163, 7. Chariton 203, 8. Ankeny Christian Academy 222, 9. Hoover 230, 10. Panorama 231.
PCM InviteGirls Scoring1. Roosevelt 28, 2. Davis County 91, 3. Panorama 91, 4. Chariton 121, 5. PCM 140, 6. Twin Cedars 157, 7. Knoxville 165, 8. Des Moines Christian 221, 9. BGM 229, 10. Colfax-Mingo 230.