Riley opens season with top-ten finish for IHCC men's cross country team

Conner Riley heads into the final mile of the men’s cross-country race on the way to a ninth-place finish at the Region XI Time Trials for the Indian Hills Warriors earlier this season at Cedar Creek Golf Course in Ottumwa. Riley set a new school record on Saturday at the John Kurtt Invitational in Waverly, finishing the 5K race in 16:13.

WAVERLY – Conner Riley set a new school record for the best time produced in a men’s cross country race on Saturday for the Indian Hills Warriors.

The former Ottumwa High School standout highlighted IHCC’s appearance at the John Kurtt Invitational. As one of four Warrior runner who challenged the 5K course in the meet hosted by Wartburg College, Riley finished 12th overall in a time of 16:13.

“Conner’s time was over 45 seconds faster than his previous showing at the Region XI Time Trial two weeks earlier,” said Indian Hills running coach Brent Ewing. “Conner showed up ready for a challenge. Although it was a small field, he took advantage of the fast pace set by the Wartburg runners. He definitely has a lot of momentum right now.”

Crossing the line second for the Warriors was Ethan Mesenbrink in 16:55. Mesenbrink also dropped considerable time from his season opener, finishing 24th overall.

Former East Marshall High School teammates Cade Curphy and Seth Kilborn, rounded out the IHCC participants in the men’s race. Curphy had an impressive 50-second improvement from two weeks prior, running 17:50, good for 38th place. Kilborn was right behind in 17:59, just two places back.

Sophomores Halley Wilmes and Morgan Lawson had among the best performances of their careers at Indian Hills as they took part in the John Kurtt Invitational for the Warrior women’s cross-country team.

Wilmes was just two seconds away from her lifetime best, finishing 31st overall in 22:49. Lawson was right behind in 32nd place with a personal best time of 23:05.

“Before the race we told Halley and Morgan that the course was running fast,” Ewing said. “They knew they had an opportunity to post some quick marks and they didn’t shy away. They’re gaining more and more confidence as the weeks go by.”

The Warriors will head to Joplin, Missouri for their next meet on Saturday, Sept. 21, to compete in the prestigious Southern Stampede hosted by Missouri Southern. Indian Hills will have an opportunity to race against some of the best two-year schools in the nation at the event’s 30th anniversary.

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