FT. DODGE — Winning does not necessarily mean finishing in first place. It also means getting the absolute best out of one’s self.
The Pekin girls finished ninth with 211 points in their 16th consecutive trip to state. Although a higher finish is always desired, the top five Panthers all ran a personal best.
Logan-Magnolia won with 112. Peyton Pogge won with a time of 18:45.4. Lily Fariss was the top Panther finisher, taking 28th.
The Panther boys finished 10th as a team with 227 points, but were just 18 points out of fifth in a team race that was tightly contested after the top four teams. Madrid won with 74.
Pekin’s Colten Glosser had experienced three years of the Class 1A state cross-country meet at Lakeside Municipal Gold Course with out medaling.
Saturday he earned that all-state medal with a 13th-place finish. The top 15 are all-state. Teammate Brady Millikin was sixth.
“I could tell this summer how much Colten wanted it because he did a lot more running than I did,” Millikin said. “He has put a lot of work and a lot of dedication into it. His goal all season wants to be all state and he got it.”
Glosser was announced as leading the race 3 minutes in to it but didn’t hear his name.
“I knew I was leading but that was not the plan,” he said. “I wanted to go out and be with the lead pack, but I did not want to lead. The two guys I expected to lead did not go out in front. They were hanging back the first mile. I kept waiting for someone to pass me. I didn’t think I was pushing it too crazy fast. My dad will probably get on me later for that. I wanted to come out and get a good first mile and then hang in there and I think that is what I did.”
Glosser had been pointing to this meet since offseason workouts began. His career at the state meet had been disappointing with finishes of 30th, 31st and 27th in his first three trips.
“With a mile to go I fell back to 17th, but then I told myself it was not going to happen to me again because it happened the past years,” he said. “I was in position to do it and I had not done it so today I had to do it and I did. What a relief.”
The course and the competition provide many tests.
“One thing about this place is you have to be mentally tough, or you won’t do well,” Glosser said. “I finally did it.”
preparation was the key for the Panthers.
“I really tried to push myself in the last part of the season,” Millikin said. “I would even do a little more after practice and then run on the weekends. Colton and I both did that and it paid off.”
Van Buren County’s Jonah Heckenberg finished 44th in 17:34 in his final high school race. Winfield-Mt. Union’s Brody Barton was 60th with a time of 17:52. WACO’s Jonah Egli was 92nd in 18:15.
Van Buren County’s Faith Neeley finished 48th. Highland’s Madison Thomann was 63rd with a time of 21:21.8. Hillcrest’s Leah Bontrager placed 67th in 21:22.8. All three were running at state for the second time.
Pekin girls (211) — 16. Lily Faiss 20:26.6, 21. Lauren Dersheid 20:38.9, 54. Sarah Eubanks 21:59.8, 58. Mia Clark 22:12.0, 62. Sabrina Reneker 22:16.4, 73. Emily Laumeyer 22:50.9, 83. Lilly Reneker 23:30.
Pekin boys — (227) 4. Brady Millikin 16:39, 9. Colten Glosser 16:47, 58. Tanner Conger 18:11, 70. Zack Wise 18:34, 86. Simeon Buie 19:14, 98. Gavin Brown 20:11, 102. Devin Fraise 21:15