Newton boys win division title in St. Louis

Sep. 11—ST. LOUIS — Newton head boys' cross country coach Steve Weeks has been waiting for that one meet where his entire varsity squad runs at or near their best this fall.

That may not have been the case on Friday, but the Cardinals gave their best performance of the season so far and it resulted in a division championship at the Forest Park Cross Country Festival.

All seven varsity runners were in the top 30 and three were in the first 11 positions as Newton scored 66 points at the top of the White Division standings.

"Well, this race was a bit of an improvement from our last visit two years ago," Weeks said. "This year, the boys won their division of 28 teams where they finished 19 out of 20 teams in another division two years ago.

"Moving down from the most competitive heat and huge improvements in times as a team led to a pretty special trip."

Javin Doland

The runner-up was Pekin, which scored 93 points. The rest of the top five included Warrenton High School (104), Belleville Catholic (108) and Oak Ridge High School (111). There were 16 full squads in the division.

The top 30 finishers in each 5K race earned medals. That included Newton's Javin Doland, Landon Menninga, Jesus Murillo, Asher Wood, Presley Arnold, Lance Zaabel and Christian Buchli.

Doland was fifth overall with a time of 17 minutes, 34.2 seconds. Menninga (17:48.7) and Murillo (17:55.6) also broke 18 minutes in seventh and 11th, respectively.

Wood placed 21st in 18:36.3 and the final scoring runner was Arnold (18:40) in 22nd.

Zaabel (18:41.5) and Buchli (18:51.5) were non-scoring varsity runners in 25th and 27th, respectively.

Conner McPartlin (19:50.3), Noah Tremel (21:38) and Colin Cummins (23:21) also competed and placed 46th, 90th and 108th, respectively.

Landon Menninga

"The trip was an absolute blast," Weeks said. "This race saw everyone post their best time of the year so far and several set personal records. To have the entire team race so well, and then to be rewarded with a trophy was just the best way to cap it all off."

Warrenton High School's Phillip Kackley won the boys' 5K race in 16:56.4. Pekin's Brady McWhirter was the runner-up in 17:13.8.

Pekin is ranked No. 8 in Class 1A in Iowa, while McWhirter is currently ranked 13th individually.