The West Delaware boys’ cross country team opened its season with an eighth-place finish in the Oelwein Invitational run at Hickory Grove Golf Course, Aug. 31.

The Hawks tallied 225 points and were led by Zach Wenger’s time of 19:39, good for 25th.

Evan Kartman finished 38th in 20:18. Next came Braden Wenger, 45th (20:41), Nick Mensen 48th (21:02) and Ashton Chesmore 69th (21:57). Gabe Quint was 70th, clocking in at 22:00.

Decorah won the team championship with 56 points, while Center Point-Urbana was second with 76 and Jesup third with 91. Next came Oelwein (99), Denver (105), Starmont (167), North Linn (220), West Delaware, Sumner-Fredricksburg (247), Dunkerton (262), Edgewood-Colesburg (302), Columbus Catholic (308), Beckman Catholic (337), Wapsie Valley (366) and Union (367).

Coach Dale Meyer said for many of his runners, it was their first official timed 5K. “They are still trying to figure out a competitive race pace,” he explained. “We had some great competition for varsity spots. I’m anxious to see how our mindset and performance improves each week. Many of them had great parts of a race. They just need to put it all together.”

The West Delaware JV team finished fourth with 112 points. Leading the way was Alex Steffen, running 21:24 and finishing 16th. He was followed by Nolan Mensen, whose 21:41 was good for 20th. Jase Turnis was 22nd in 21:58, while Dominic Mastin ran 22:14 and finished 26th. Landyn Powers claimed 28th in 22:17.

Other Hawk runners and their times: Ethan Hoefer (22:19), Ashton Fangman (22:45), Owen Neuhaus (23:08), Adam Cook (23:51), Zach O’Rear (23:52), Quinn Ronnenberg (23:55), Ethan Grawe (24:39), Landen Palmer (25:25), Gil Johnson (25:31), Wes Duggan (27:10) and Wyatt Willey (29:00).