The Benton Invitational was moved to Williamsburg last season due to the derecho and while the cross country meet was still not held in its usual spot in Atkins, the jr/sr high school grounds proved a suitable replacement for this year’s race.

“We’re just really happy to have a home meet,” coach Marty Thomae said. “This turned out better than expected with the course. We also finished just before it started to really get humid.”

The Benton girls finished third as a team in a combined varsity/jv race as sophomore Jaida Lyons finished third individually with a time of 20:45. Senior Abby Rinderknecht followed in 10th with a time of 22:00, junior Gwen King 15th with a time of 23:48, freshman Haiden Moore 20th with a time of 24:21 and sophomore Jessa DeMoss 24th with a time of 24:29.

“Our number three girl was out today, but a lot of kids improved their times,” Thomae said. “It was a great effort top to bottom. This was a good step going into next week.”

The Benton boys finished fourth overall behind a seventh place finish for junior Trey Schulte with a time of 18:26 after missing the first meet of the season. Sophomore Isaac Morris followed in 16th with a time of 19:02, senior Owen Sadler right behind him in 17th with a time of 19:03, senior Brady Osborn 28th with a time of 19:45 and junior Brandon Schultz 34th with a time of 20:11.

“I love having Trey back in the lineup and felt he ran better today than at Grinnell earlier this week,” Thomae said. “He was more competitive today, though maybe not happy with his time yet. The rest of the group is coming along. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but we’re excited about where this team is going.”

VS also competed in the Benton Invitational, the girls placing fifth and the boys fifth. Senior Charlee Johnson led the girls in 22nd with a time of 24:23 and Elijah Blix 14th with a time of 18:46 to finish first for the boys. VS will next compete at Starmont on Tuesday.

Benton will next compete at Cascade on Tuesday, where Thomae stated they’ll face different teams than usual ahead of the VS home meet on September 21.

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