GRINNELL — The Indian Hills men’s and women’s cross country teams saw a big improvement in times over the previous meet as the Warriors took part in the Les Duke Invitational, hosted by Grinnell College, on Saturday.
All but one of the IHCC runners was faster by at least a minute, and a couple of them by over 2.5 minutes, from the Dutch Invitational the previous week.
Leading the way for the IHCC women was Sarah Keith (Ottumwa), who finished in 36th place in 27:16 over the 6K course at Oakland Acres. That was Keith’s best time, by 1:23, of the fall.
Addison Kepner (Centerville) improved her time by 1:18, running 27:53. And Sage Richmond (Fairfield) made the biggest improvement for Indian Hills, lowering her time from the previous week by 2:10 and finishing three seconds behind Kepner in 27:56.
IHCC coach Jim Streeby pointed out that the womens’ previous best team average was 29:19 and they lowered that to 27:42 for this meet.
Eric Davis (Quincy, Ill.) again led the Warrior men, finishing in 55th place with a time of 29:10, 1:51 faster than his previous best.
Davis was followed closely by Colter Hentzel (Ft. Madison), who improved his time by 2:11, at 29:15. Ray Quiroz (Columbus Junction) was a little over a minute better in 30:31.
Hunter Wilz (Eddyville) made the biggest improvement on the squad, running 32:44, or 2:48 faster than at Central. Austin Emry (Grinnell) made almost as big an improvement, lowering his previous best time by 2:27 and clocking a 33:32. Streeby said the results of the meet left him “speechless.”
“The men took their previous 8K average time down from 33:07 to 31:03 and the women improved by over a minute and a half,” said Streeby. “It was great weather, a good field of 14 teams and Indian Hills teams eager to run a strong race.”
The Warriors have two weeks off before the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational in Rock Island, Ill. and the IHCC coach says they will go back to work to continue to get stronger and faster.