Nathan Ford ran with the lead pack the entire race and finished fifth, his highest individual finish to date, as the Tanagers competed at Alcester-Hudson's cross country invitational meet Monday.
Ford's 17:26.10 in the 5K race marked his first time under 18:00 in his career. Will Card placed 17th in 18:28.29. Colin Olson, Jacob Ford and Joe Swanson, having all cut two minutes off their times in the past week, were next in line for the Tanagers � Olson at 20th in 18:41.08, Jacob Ford 22nd in 19:34.27 and Swanson 46th in 20:39.00. Alex Osborne placed 52nd in 22:33.95 in his first-ever varsity race.
The Tanagers were third among 10 teams with 36 points. Irene-Wakonda was team champ with 11, two points better than Parker.
In the girls' varsity 4K at Alcester, Morgan Hower placed 23rd in 18:39.05 and Britney Sweeney 41st in 23:03.19. In girls JV action Caitlin Britten was 17th in 17:01.31 and Heidi Osterberg 35th in 20:40.58.
Vermillion's Logan Peterson finished a strong second in 16:37.59 in the boys JV 3K contest. Owen Swallow and Matt Moore, in their best performances to date, placed 15th and 18th, respectively, in 18:04.17 and 19:08.44.
Coach Kelly Fischbach said her varsity girls ran very well at last Friday's Vermillion Invitational. Alyssa Soesbe, ninth in 17:23, was the Tanagers' best placing. Hower, 14th in 18:23 had her best performance in a couple of years, and Sophia Taggart and Britney Sweeney had great races in their first varsity competitions. Taggart was 19th in 18:54 and Sweeney 20th in 19:22. Jade Fostvedt improved her season's time to 20:28, good for 22nd place.
Nathan Ford took more than 30 seconds off his previous time on the same Don Baker course to place ninth in the boys varsity event in 18:25. Will Card improved his time to 19:16 for 13th place. Colin Olson and Jacob Ford both trimmed more than 1:15 off their times on that course to place 18th and 20th, respectively, in 19:44 and 20:00. Regan Bye was 23rd in 22:14, almost 1:30 better than his time in the previous meet. Nate Svendsen was 24th in 22:21 and Joe Swanson 26th in 22:49 in their first varsity races.
Jon Rosales and Logan Peterson took home medals in the JV boys race, Rosales running in 16:20 for sixth and Peterson 16:32 for ninth. Owen Swallow improved to 17:16 for 14th, and Matt Moore was 22nd in 18:02.
With the season at the halfway point, the Tanagers run next at the Lennox Invitational next Friday.