Clear Creek Amana seniors Luke Wingert and Wyatt Sedlacek. By Ryan Murken
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – The Clear Creek Amana boys cross country team is a close bunch.
The Clippers hang out together, they’ve built friendships, they push each other.
“The team competitiveness is really good but we get along really well,” Senior Wyatt Sedlacek explained. “We all like each other, we have a good time at practice and meets and we push each other.”
Monday the Clippers continued their season theme of transitioning that close team bond into close finishes.
Clear Creek Amana had four runners finish within 10 seconds of one another, all with top-21 finishes on its way to a third place team finish as the Solon Invitational at the Solon Nature and Recreation Area.
“Pack running is always good,” Clear Creek Amana senior Jack Wingert said. “It’s a really good strategy to use in that it really makes all five of your runners push each other and that friendly competition always helps the team out.”
Clear Creek Amana senior Luke Wingert
The Clippers were even closer than usual on Monday.
The top five Clear Creek Amana runners all placed between 15th and 23rd and were separated by 28 seconds.
“We don’t really have someone that is out in front,” Wingert said. “Most of us have been running together for a while now and it really helps to run next to each other.”
Sedlacek led the way for Clear Creek Amana finished 15th in 18:23 while Wingert right on his heels at 16th.
Freshman Nick O’Connor was 20th in 18:31 and sophomore Cole Liebe was just two seconds behind.
“We are trying to instill a little bit of healthy competition within the boys and I think it’s working,” Clear Creek Amana coach Ben Robison said. “The freshmen want to get better and the seniors don’t want to get beat by the freshman so it’s working really well right now.”
The pack running helped the Clippers to a third place team finish with 95 points.
Class 3A top-ranked Mount Vernon-Lisbon won the team title with 37 points while 2A No. 3 Mid-Prairie placed third with 81 points.
Host Solon was ninth with 216 points.
“They boys knew what they had to do they knew the guys they were supposed to race against and they went out and put themselves in front of the people they were supposed to,” Robison said. “I feel good, they responded well.”
The fifth Clipper finisher wasn’t far off his teammates.
Luke Winger was fifth in 18:51 on a day where temperatures approached 90 degrees.
“The great thing about pack running is when one guy maybe doesn’t have a great night there is another guy that can step right in,” Robison said. “The boys have done a really good job of that.
Jorel Justus finished 22nd in 18:48 to lead Solon while teammate Carl Richey was 25th in 18:58.
Team scores – 1. Mount Vernon-Lisbon 37; 2. Mid-Prairie 81; 3. Clear Creek Amana 95; 4. Davenport North 111; 5. Williamsburg 143; 6. Central DeWitt 150; 7. North Scott 168; 8. Tipton 191; 9. Solon 216; 10. Northeast 254.
Individual results – 1. Chase McLaughlin (MVL) 17:14; 2. Peyton Miller (MP) 17:20; 3. Zach Schocker (DN) 17:27; 4. Will Dehaan (CD) 17:28; 5. Floyd Evans (MP) 17:31; 66. Jack Young (MVL) 17:37; 7. Thatcher Krob (MVL) 17:40; 8. Wyatt Schmidt (NE) 17:46; 9. Jackson Schrock (NS) 17:51; 10. Ben Lamparek (Wil) 1752.
Clear Creek Amana (95) – 15. Wyatt Sedlacek 18:23; 16. Jack Wingert 18:23; 20. Nick O’Connor 18:31; 21. Cole Liebe 18:33; 23. Luke Wingert 18:51; 34. Ben Oxley 19:31; 55. Ben Szot 20:24.
Solon (216) – 22. Jorel Justus 18:48; 25. Carl Richey 18:58; 51. Tanner Larkey 20:07; 57. Kenji Fisher 20:46; 61. Luke Yetley 20:51; 62. Payton Philipp 20:52; 66. Christian Haight 21:24.