Prep Girls Cross Country

Kurfman nearly leads wire-to-wire, defends Running Raider title

Quincy High's Lydia Kurfman's first place finish of the Running Raider at South Park on Tuesday, Sep. 11, 2018. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
Jake Shane 1|
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 12, 2018 12:05 am

QUINCY -- Lydia Kurfman has been bothered by a head cold the last few days, but it's been clearing up.

"I've had a snotty nose. It's kind of gross. I wasn't breathing as well as I'd like to," said Kurfman, a senior on the Quincy High School girls cross country team.

Kurfman could breathe easily as she dominated the field in Tuesday's 17th annual QND Running Raider Invitational in Quincy's South Park. She led for all but the opening moments of the race and repeated as race champion in a time of 19 minutes, 17 seconds.

Kurfman becomes the first girl to win the race in consecutive years since Liberty's Katelyn Robbins won in 2015 and 2016.

"I wasn't really worried about time because the course is tougher, and it's pretty hot out," she said.

Kurfman was 23 seconds faster than Jacksonville Routt's Kirsten Huffman, and her lead was never challenged.

Pleasant Plains' Caroline Jachino had the quick start out of the block, but by the first half-mile, Kurfman had already taken the lead. As the race progressed, her lead expanded.

"I like to lead from the start because it helps my confidence," Kurfman said. "I know I won't die off because I can hold that pace."

Kurfman won't give up a lead, either.

"She's such a dominant and strong runner that when she gets up in that position, she won't let herself fall back," QHS coach Matt McClelland said. "At least not with out a heck of a fight. She kind of hits cruise control."

QHS finished third in the team standings with 97 points. Pleasant Plains won the title with 38 points.

Marion County freshman Delaney Straus finished fourth in 20:21. Straus won last year's Running Raider at the middle school level, and she was eager to see how she fared in her first varsity race.

"I tried to stay calm in the box, but it's obviously still a lot more to handle," Straus said. "I was shooting for top 10 and definitely impressed with how well I handled it."

Liberty's Carrie Balzer placed seventh in 20:48, and West Hancock's Zarra Humphry was ninth in 20:57. Clark County's Grace Buschling and Sierra Stewart finished 11th and 12th, respectively. South Shelby's Meredith O'Neal took 20th.

Team Standings

Pleasant Plains 38, Bowling Green 93, Quincy 97, Centralia 121, Maomb 123, Moberly 154, West Hancock 207, Kirksville 223, QND 231, Troy Buchanan 248, Marion County 281, Clopton 308, Beardstown 337, Monmouth-Roseville 343

Top 20 Individuals

Lydia Kurfman, QHS, 19:17

Kirsten Huffman, Routt, 19:40

Caroline Jachino, Pleasant Plains, 19:47

Delaney Straus, Marion County, 20:21

Bernadette Tournoux, Pleasant Plains, 20:25

Maya Stovall, Macomb, 20:34

Carrie Balzer, Liberty, 20:48

Kate Klott, Bowling Green, 20:53

Zarra Humphry, West Hancock, 20:57

Schyler Angell, Centralia, 21:00

Grace Buschling, Clark County, 21:10

Sierra Stewart, Clark County, 21:14

Tessla Ellis, Riverton, 21:23

Brigid Tournoux, Pleasant Plains, 21:29

Isabella Ross, Moberly, 21:32

Abigail Bouranev, Lutheran, 21:42

Izzy Dossett, Pleasant Plains, 21:42

Madison Utterback, Pleasant Plains, 21:52

Camy Grote, Bowling Green, 21:55

Meredith O'Neal, South Shelby, 21:56