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The Gazette KCRG
Posted October 8, 2011
Mees races to Marion record; Benzing breaks her own

TROY MILLS — Lukas Mees has backed off a bit from his training.

He’s not slacking. He’s tapering.

Mees broke¬†the Marion High School boys’ cross country record Saturday morning at the North Linn Invitational cross country meet.

Detroyed it, even.

Lukas Mees

Mees was timed in 15 minutes, 47 seconds. That’s 27 seconds faster than the old Marion record (set by Colin Langfitt in 2006) and 29 seconds swifter than his closest competitor Saturday (Brennan Bogart of Iowa City Regina).

“It’s the taper,” Mees said of his recent mileage reduction. “We’re not working quite as hard in practice now. I felt fast today, very strong.”

Each of the four crown jewels of the meet — the boys’ and girls’ individual and team races — were won decisively.

Like Mees, Solon’s Lauren Benzing was a comfortable individual champ. And like Mees, she established a new personal record. She finished in 14:21, with a victory margin of 43 seconds.

“It was a fast course and the weather was gorgeous,” Benzing said. “I was trying to run a controlled race the first half-mile, then build through the rest of the race.”

Benzing paced Solon’s girls to an easy team win. The Lady Spartans scored 34 points. Williamsburg was second with 66, followed by Benton Community (119).

The second-ranked team in Class 3A, Solon pushed four runners into the top 10. Alex Smith was third, Tayvia Hansen ninth, Leah Adams 10th.

Led by a 3-4-5 finish by Michael Melchert, Ben Ahlrich and J.J. Frawley, Class 2A No. 1 Monticello had its way with the boys’ field. The Panthers tallied 40 points, followed by Marion (71) and Iowa City Regina (87).

Monticello’s top five runners has a 47-second spread from front to back.

“I knew if we could be around 45 seconds, we would be a tough team to beat,” said Monticello Coach Dan Sauser. “We’ve had three consistent runners up front, and our 4 through 7 runners have developed quite nicely.

“I think we’re more balanced that our (state-championship) team of 2007.”

Both Mees and Benzing surged to the front of the pack quickly and steadily built a healthy margin.

“I kept the pace, and nobody else could handle it,” Mees said.

Arden Betzer of Springville-Central City was the girls’ runner-up, in 15:04.¬†

NORTH LINN INVITATIONAL

At Troy Mills

GIRLS RESULTS

Teams — 1. Solon 34, 2. Williamsburg 66, 3. Benton Community 119, 4. Iowa City Regina 128, 5. North Linn 155, 6. Mount Pleasant 157, 7. Monticello 188, 8. Edgewood-Colesburg 211, 9. Marion 258, 10. Mid-Prairie 271, 11. Starmont 298, 12. Vinton-Shellsburg 328, 13. Independence 362, 14. Valley Community 370.

Individuals — 1. Lauren Benzing (Sol), 14:21; 2. Arden Betzer (Springville-Central City), 15:04; 3. Alex Smith (Sol), 15:26; 4. Mariah Kauder (Cascade), 15:32; 5. Nicole Miller (NL), 15:34; 6. Natasha Bruer (Wmsbg), 15:34; 7. Sofia Chmaruk (Mid-P), 15:39; 8. Madison Weekly (BC), 15:56; 9. Tayvia Hansen (Sol), 16:00; 10. Leah Adams (Sol), 16:02; 11. Ashley Mills (BC), 16:08; 12. Miranda Hammes (BC), 16:12; 13. Shannon Mullnix (Wmsbg), 16:16; 14. Olivia Reicks (Turkey Valley), 16:16; 15. Kira Savage (Wmsbg), 16:19.

BOYS RESULTS

Teams — 1. Monticello 40, 2. Marion 71, 3. Iowa City Regina 87, 4. Solon 123, 5. Vinton-Shellsburg 156, 6. Tipton 158, 7. Mid-Prairie 182, 8. Center Point-Urbana 204, 9. Cascade 231, 10. Williamsburg 273, 11. Dyersville Beckman 279, 12. Starmont 362, 13. Benton Community 386, 14. Mount Pleasant 394, 15. Valley Community 440, 16. Independence 453, 17. Maquoketa Valley 512, 18. HLV 516.

Individuals — 1. Lukas Mees (Mar), 15:47; 2. Brennan Bogert (ICR), 16:16; 3. Michael Melchert (Monti), 16:17; 4. Ben Ahlrich (Monti), 16:20; 5. J.J. Frawley (Monti), 16:27; 6. David Crompton (ICR), 16:28; 7. Wyatt Lyons (VS), 16:34; 8. Jason McVay (Alburnett), 16:35; 9. Josh Yeager (CPU), 16:38; 10. Peter Schwartz (Mid-P), 16:42; 11. Greg Sam (Mar), 16:43; 12. Cole Kuethe (Mar), 16:44; 13. Tiler Streets (Monti), 16:50; 14. Michael Marshall (CPU), 16:51; 15. Turner Wentzien (Sol), 16:59.

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