VAN HORNE — Just a business trip.

Benton Community junior sprinters Jacob Brecht and Aidan Thompson joked about their 100-meter dash being a business trip after placing first and third, respectively, during Monday’s season-opening Early Bird Invitational.

Brecht won in 11.87 seconds and Thompson was third in 12.67, sandwiching Center-Point-Urbana’s Aaron Kramer.

Brecht also won the 200 (23.22) as the Bobcats went 1-2 and the Bobcats picked up 131 points to win the meet. The Bobcats earned seven golds, led by Brecht’s pair, and three silvers in topping second-place Grinell (117) by 14 points.

“I wouldn’t say I expected to see winning it, per se, or getting a lot of 1s and 2s,” head coach Kory Windsor said. “But our guys performed as I hoped and that just happened to get them high placings.”

Sophomore Sam Wallace won the long jump and placed second in the 200. He, Brecht and Thompson also helped the 400 relay win and the sprint medley place second.

Aiden Harris (2:03.22) won the 800 and ran the lead leg of the 3,200 relay victors. Colin Buch (1:00.1) won the 400 hurdles and helped the 400 relay claim first. Buch also led off the 440 shuttle hurdle relay that was second only because of a spill from a clipped hurdle.

“It was nice to win it ... and I’m happy how our guys responded to the meet and were good teammates to each other,” Windsor said. “A lot of times when you do those little things, good things happen.

“Overall, we were just happy to get a meet in. This was the first outdoor event at the stadium all school year (because of the derecho), so that was good and fun for the kids.”

Benton girls rely on relays, hurdlers to pile up points

Bolstered by a couple handfuls of top-6 finishes, the Bobcats scored 81 points to tie for third with Grinnell at their home meet.

“We were pretty pleased,” head coach Marty Thomae said. “Early in the meet I could tell we had a bunch of nerves going on, kids were anxious. But I thought as the meet got further in, we started to become more competitive and loosen up a little bit.”

The bulk of Benton’s points came from its hurdles crew of Olivia Janss, Janelle Morris, Chloe Schultz and Jenna Twedt. The quartet accounted for 37 points between the shuttle hurdle relay, the 100 hurdles and 400 hurdles.

The relay team (Twedt, Morris, Schultz and Janss) placed runner-up in 1:19.35, an eighth of a second behind winner Mount Vernon. Twedt (19.98) and Schultz (20.55) were fourth and sixth in the 100 hurdles while Morris (1:20.21) and Janss (1:24.14) were second and third in the 400 hurdles.

“For as God-awful as the wind was, I was happy our hurdlers ran all their races well,” Thomae said. “Those kids are all young, so that was good to see.

“We’ve also got a couple hurdlers out with injury right now, and we hope to get them back soon.”

Jadia Lyons won the 1,500 run by more than five seconds (5:45.12) and the 400 (54.63) and 800 relays (1:57.53) each placed second. Hope Moore, Carlie Sims and Kynzie Vollbrecht ran both relays, while Shakayla Lamer led off the 400 and Delaney Lohrer ran in the 800 relay.

The 3,200 relay of Jaden Thys, Hailee Ricklefs, Abby Rinderknecht and Gwen King also placed second (12:03.65). The Bobcats were top-4 in the distance medley relay (third) and 1,600 relay (fourth). Lamer placed fourth in the long jump and Bailey Davis was fourth in the high jump.

“A lot of our relays included at least two underclassmen,” Thomae said. “It’s something we’re going to have to keep working on.”

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