It’s pretty easy to win a cross country meet if your top runners take the first five places in the whole field, and your next two are among the top eight.

Take that scenario and apply it to the Maquoketa Valley boys team to explain their first-place finish at the MFL MarMac Invitational Sept. 5. The Wildcats’ total team points, 15, the lowest any team can score at a meet, topped runner-up Clayton Ridge by 56 points. Clayton Ridge was second with 71, followed by MFL 81, Central Elkader 91 and Postville 118. Both East Buchanan and Kee entered incomplete teams.

Chance Downs paced the field with a first-place time of 18:09, followed by teammates Nolan Ries 18:15, Cy Huber 18:29, Preston Roling 18:43 and Michael Schaul 18:46. Mason Lubben was seventh with 19:13 and Derek Mensen eighth with 19:17.

“We were so pleased with the effort from both the girls and boys teams,” MV assistant coach Sara Dever said.

“The boys were a real treat to watch compete. Their chemistry is evident in the way they run. For much of the second half of the race, our top three ran right together in a tight line. Chance Downs lead the way, followed by Nolan Ries and Cy Huber. Downs ended up winning the race at MFL for the third time in a row. Nolan placed second, Cy was third, Preston Roling was fourth, Michael Schaul was fifth, Mason Lubben was seventh, and Derek Mensen was eighth.

“Not only did all of our varsity runners place in the top-10 and earn medals, but this team achieved a perfect score of 15 points. It was a great day for the Wildcats,” she added.

The girls were third in their field with 90 points, trailing Kee (26) and Central Elkader (41). Fourth went to MFL with 96, followed by Clayton Ridge 101. Postville entered an incomplete team.

Leading the team was Jaiden Porter in seventh (23:02), followed by Emma Doyl ninth (23:11), Kriya Atwell 18th (25:45), Reece Mensen 27th (29:56) and Jordan Hogan 29th (30:22). Annie Trenkamp was 31st (33:48).

“Senior Jaiden Porter led the way for the girls in her first cross country meet. She placed seventh and earned a medal. Emma Doyl was right behind her in ninth place, also earning a medal. Kriya Atwell ran about three minutes faster on that course than she did last year. Jordan Hogan, Reece Mensen, and Annie Trenkamp also ran hard,” Dever said.

Two Wildcats ran in the boys JV race and finished one-two: Landin Frasher in 21:33 and Brock Trenkamp 23:16.