Schellhorn is MFL MarMac’s first cross country race winner in almost 20 years

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MFL MarMac sophomore Jacob Schellhorn won the team’s home cross country meet at Tri City Golf Course on Sept. 1, marking the first time since 2003 that a Bulldog runner has taken the top spot at any event. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

The MFL MarMac girls country team placed fourth overall at the Sept. 1 meet at Tri City. Cora Keehner was the top individual finisher, in ninth.

Will Koether posted a time under 20 minutes and placed within the top 20.

Evelyn Ruff worked her way to 13th place in the meet at Tri City.

Tucker Ruff raced to 18th place at the MFL MarMac Invitational.

Clare Grau finished 16th in the Sept. 1 meet, making her one of three Bulldog girls to place within the top 20.

Emma Koether crossed the line 21st.

Mariah Moser rounded out the girls' scores in 29th place.

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

MFL MarMac sophomore Jacob Schellhorn won the team’s home cross country meet at Tri City Golf Course on Sept. 1, marking the first time since 2003 that a Bulldog runner has taken the top spot at any event.

 

Schellhorn did it with a personal best time of 16:44, well ahead of second place Keaton Reimer from Clayton Ridge, who crossed the line at 17:03.

 

“I didn’t think he would go under what he did the other day, running on hills, and beat it by almost 25 seconds,” said head coach Eric Koenig, referencing Schellhorn’s 17:09, second-place performance at Ed-Co the week prior.

 

The accomplishment was exciting for Schellhorn—who said the win “kind of hasn’t settled in yet”—especially since he’d never run at Tri City before. MFL MarMac middle school runners don’t compete on the hilly Luana course, and Schellhorn was injured for the meet last year.

 

“It’s a hard course...I knew this was going to test me,” he said. “I didn’t really know what to expect, just to come in and run hard. There was one part where I came around a corner and looked back to see what I had, and I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve got this easy.’ That’s always a nice feeling, where you don’t have to go for it at the end and beat them sprinting.”

 

Although MFL MarMac athletes don’t prepare for the race at Tri City on the course itself, the team’s practice regimen is preparation enough.

 

“We run hills every day, so this isn’t anything new,” Koenig explained. “We have to run four hills on our course, but I make them run 10 in practice. I don’t think, mentally, it messed with him at all.”

 

Schellhorn felt his added strength has also made a difference in early season success.

 

“I think I’ve gained like 15 pounds since last year,” he said. “Getting up the hills a lot faster is a big part.”

 

The win, following a near win over a runner from Starmont/West Central that is one of the top-ranked individuals in Class 2A, makes Schellhorn an athlete to beat in northeast Iowa.

 

“It puts me on the map,” Schellhorn said.

 

Along with the sophomore’s performance, two other Bulldog boys put in under-20-minute times on Sept. 1. Senior Will Koether placed 17th at 19:43, followed closely by sophomore Tucker Ruff, whose 19:46 was good for 18th. 

 

“That’s an improvement already from last year,” said Koenig of those times.

 

Sophomore Logan Ross rounded out the MFL MarMac field in 42nd place. 

 

Due to injuries, the Bulldogs were not able to post a team score. Clayton Ridge placed first, with 47 points, followed by North Fayette Valley at 52.

 

The MFL MarMac girls also achieved success last week, highlighted by three top-20 finishes. Freshman Cora Keehner’s 23:23 effort put her ninth, while sophomore Evelyn Ruff crossed 13th in 24:09. Junior Clare Grau was a close 16th, at 24:38.

 

“Cora was at least a minute faster” than the previous week, according to Koenig. “Evelyn had a good, strong race, a strong finish. She really picked it up there at the end.”

 

Freshman Emma Koether placed just outside the top 20, in 21st, and fellow freshman Mariah Moser was 29th. Junior Kaylee Nuehring finished 39th.

 

A score of 83 put the Bulldog girls fourth as a team, behind NFV with 29, Central with 43 and Prairie du Chien with 70. 

 

“From a team perspective, I thought the girls did really well,” Koenig said.

 

This week’s schedule for both teams includes meets at Clayton Ridge on Sept. 6 and NFV on Sept. 8.

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