Newton boys tie for second, finish third at Oskaloosa Invite

·3 min read

Sep. 15—OSKALOOSA — The last time Newton's boys cross country team tied Pella Christian in a team race, the Cardinals came out on top.

On Tuesday, the two programs found themselves in another tie. And this time, the Eagles got the better of the sixth-score tiebreaker and finished second at the Oskaloosa Invitational.

Newton and Class 2A No. 11 Pella Christian both scored 75 points at Edmundson Park, but the Cardinals settled for third. Class 2A No. 9 Danville-New London won the team title with 51 points. Class 2A No. 15 Williamsburg also was in the field and finished fourth with 102 points.

The tiebreaker between Newton and Pella Christian came down the team's sixth runner.

"The boys varsity lost a tiebreaker to Pella Christian for second place, but the third-place finish is still one of the better places the Cardinals have earned for years," Newton head boys cross country coach Steve Weeks said. "This is the second time we've tied PC, with the last time the Cardinals winning the breaker."

The annual Oskaloosa Invitational featured 11 teams on the boys' side. Host Oskaloosa rounded out the top five with 108 points and the rest of the field featured Burlington (128), Albia (179), Knoxville (212), Davis County (238), Cedar Rapids Xavier (241) and Ottumwa (286).

The top 20 finishers in each varsity race earned medals. Pella Christian's Kaden Van Wyngarden won the boys' 5K race in 16 minutes, 54.1 seconds. Danville-New London's Rylan Martin was the runner-up in 17:05.5.

Van Wyngarden is ranked 14th in 2A and Martin is 15th in 2A.

Newton's top finishers were Landon Menninga and Leo Friedman, both of which earned medals in seventh and 12th place, respectively. The Cardinals' had four medalists in all.

"Jesus was our No. 6 guy, but he was two points behind PC's No. 6 guy. if any of the other five scorers for Newton just pass a single runner, then there's no need for a tiebreaker," Weeks said. "Ultimately the times were fantastic for as hilly as it was."

Menninga finished in 17:45.5 and Friedman crossed the finish line in 18:14.6. The other three scoring runners for Newton were Chistian Buchli (18:46.2) in 16th, Javin Doland (18:49) in 18th and Collin Buchli (18:59.2) in 22nd.

Jesus Murillo (19:41.7) and Asher Wood (20:41.9) were the two non-scoring runners in 41st and 63rd, respectively.

"Ultimately, times need to continue to trend down to the low-18s or better for all varsity runners as 3A teams have amazing times this year," Weeks said. "It seems with the growing popularity of the sport it continues to become more competitive. Another trip to state is possible, but it will take improvement from all, and a little luck in the qualifying field."

Notes: Newton's JV team placed fifth and Lance Zaabel was eighth in the race in 20:36.2. "The JV ran great as times continue to improve every week," Weeks said. "You can tell these guys feed of each other and motivate their teammates."