Johnny Fuller and the Glenwood boys cross country team took advantage of its home course last Tuesday for a first-place finish at the 35th Co-Ed Ram Cross Country Meet at Glenwood Lake Park.
Fuller led Glenwood with a course and school-record time of 15:32 and four other Ram runners in the top 10 to sweep the individual and team titles. Glenwood's 29 points were 83 better than distant runner-up Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln.
Fuller's time is also currently top in the state in any class this season, said Glenwood boys coach Todd Peverill.
“It's a fabulous start,” said Peverill. “I wasn't expecting it but I'll take it.”
In addition to Fuller's top showing, teammate Kyle Wheeler was fifth (16:53), Mark Abrams was sixth (16:59), Jakob Rhodes was seventh (17:17) and Jordan Krug was 10th (17:30). Other Ram place winners were Trenton McNeel in 20th place with a time of 17:54 and Taylor Williams in 55th with a 20:08.
Peverill said the home course dominance was a little bit of two things: hard off-season running by most of his team in preparation for the season and a familiarity of the course they've run hundreds of times.
“Everybody but Kyle (Wheeler) did a lot of training this summer,” said Peverill. “We had four kids run a half-marathon up at Okoboji this summer and do very well there. So they've been training hard. Kyle played baseball this summer, he didn't get as much training as the others but to be fifth without it, that's a pretty good start.”
Peverill said Fuller's 15:32 time was the school's first ever sub-16 minute time since the state expanded cross country to the 5K format more than a decade ago.
“He just pulled away. He had a mission. He was going for a school record. Before the race we talked about it and I wanted the team, two through seven, to run in a tight pack and let Johnny go after the record and boy did they stay together,” said Peverill. “They stayed together, they pulled each other through. It was a solid performance.”
In addition to sweeping the varsity boys meet, the junior varsity and middle school teams also swept the individual and team titles. James Fuller was the middle school individual champion and Alex Neff was the junior varsity champion.
On the girls side Harlan won the team title with three runners in the top 10.
Atlantic's Ali Krogman was the individual champion, out pacing Shenandoah's Alexis Saner 15:45 to 16:28.
The Glenwood girls were paced by the 18th place showing of Kayla Anderson. Anderson finished with a time of 17:43.
Other place winners for Glenwood were Brooke Peckham in 23rd (18:06). Ashley Nolan in 33rd place (18:39), Laura Chekal in 44th (19:10), Emily Robinson in 52nd (19:52), Katie Sladovnik in 54th (20:21) and Mary Beth Shanker in 58th (20:57).