QUINCY -- Delaney Straus likes the course at South Park.
The Marion County sophomore cross country runner had her second top-five finish in the varsity girls side of Quincy Notre Dame's Running Raider Invitational on Tuesday by placing second, and she was the middle school champion her eighth-grade year.
Straus had to do it a little differently this time around, however, as the race was shortened to 2 miles due to excessive heat.
"I usually try to be top five at 2 miles, but obviously that wasn't a thing at this race so I had to make sure I was top five pretty early on," she said.
By the midway point, it was down to a two-person race between Straus and Caroline Jachino from Pleasant Plains. While Straus continued to put distance between herself and the rest of the field, she couldn't quite make up space on Jachino, who has committed to run at Creighton.
"At first, I thought I might be able to go get her, but she never did slow down," Straus said.
Jachino turned in a time of 12 minutes, 22 seconds to take first, and Straus crossed the line in 12:36, nine seconds faster than the third-place finisher.
"At first, I was a little upset that I wasn't first," Straus said. "I was upset and I didn't get it, but looking back on it and looking at the time, I'm really pleased with it and I think it will really improve my 3-mile time."
Quincy High School freshman Alexandria Meyers made a splash in her first race in her home town, finishing seventh in 13:25, although she would have preferred to run the full race.
"I had to pick up the pace a little bit because I was losing a mile, and I usually use that to my advantage," Meyers said.
Meyers was in a chase pack behind Straus before the two leaders pulled away.
"There was a moment where I had my eyes on her," Meyers said of Straus. "My goal was to try to get up to her, but hills."
QHS coach Matt McClelland said as Meyers gets her legs under her this season she will get her chance to run with the lead pack.
"She has to learn how to run a high school race, how to compete against these high school girls, and once you learn how to compete against them, she is going to be just fine moving down the road," McClelland said.
Blue Devils sophomore Anna Schuering finished just outside the top 10, coming in 12th with a 13:44. As a team, QHS was third with a 106.
Clark County came in fourth with a 148, led by sophomore Grace Buschling's fifth-place time of 13:07.
Claudia Nichols had a top-10 placement as well, coming in ninth for Hannibal with a 13:41, and the Monroe City duo of Bailey Hays and Emmalee Williams came in 13th and 15th, respectively.
Pleasant Plains won the team title with an 89 and Centralia was second with a 100.
Pleasant Plains 89, Centralia 100, QHS 106, Clark County 148, Moberly 155, Macomb 164, Monroe city 172, Kirksville 183, QND 185, Marion County 245, Hannibal 252, Palmyra 261, Troy Buchanan 263, Beardstown 350, Highland 355.
Top 20 Individuals
Caroline Jachino, Pleasant Plains, 12:22
Delaney Straus, Marion County, 12:36
Jozelynn Bostick, Centralia, 12:45
Kirsten Huffman, Springfield, 13:00
Grace Buschling, Clark County, 13:07
Isabella Ross, Moberly, 13:13
Alexandria Meyers, QHS, 13:25
Tessla Ellis, Riverton, 13:31
Claudia Nichols, Hannibal, 13:41
Abigail Bouravnev, Springfield, 13:44
Anna Rivera, Moberly, 13:44
Anna Schuering, QHS, 13:44
Bailey Hays, Monroe City, 13:46
Megan Derrick, Pleasant Plains, 13:49
Emmalee Williams, Monroe City, 13:54
Mara Davis, Centralia, 14:04
Lauren Reid, Palmyra, 14:05
Stacia Marshall, Troy Buchanan, 14:05
Khyliegh Diggs, Macomb, 14:07
Schyler Angell, Centralia, 14:09