MONTICELLO — If there was ever a time to run a season-best this was it.
And the runners of the Central DeWitt boys and girls cross country teams did not disappoint.
Of the 14 Sabers that toed the starting line at Wednesday’s 3A state-qualifying meet at Monticello, 13 ran their fastest times of the fall (and the 14th had their second-fastest varsity clocking).
The fastest of Central DeWitt’s times at the meet came from freshman Ben Zimmer, who finished just nine spots away from a state bid as he took 24th overall with a clocking of 17:34.
Junior Jackson Kutka joined him in the top-50, finishing right at 50th while finishing under 19 minutes for the first time with his time of 18:40.
Junior Jack Dollar and senior Wyatt Sailer each finished in 19:56 — the former crossing the line first to take 65th and the latter 66th.
Just four seconds, meanwhile, separated the Sabers’ other three finishers. Senior Hunter Manatt led the parade taking 72nd in 20:33, freshman Kole Dunsworth followed in 73rd, while sophomore Thomas Fielding matched Dunsworth’s time of 20:37 and took 74th.
A pair of Central DeWitt girls finished under 23 minutes for the first time this fall.
Sophomore Reagan Hofer led the way, finishing 47th overall with her clocking of 22:48.
Ten seconds back of her in 51st was freshman Hannah Peters who followed up her first time under 24 minutes at the MAC meet by going under 23 minutes in 22:58.
Senior Madi McAvan ran her best time of the year, 23:10, to finish 59th and she was soon joined in short order by sophomore Soren Maricle and her 64th-place clocking of 23:33 and fellow senior Annabelle Schneider who took 70th in 23:57.
Sophomore Hannah Sunday and freshman Eliza Petersen, meanwhile, wrapped things up by both clocking in at 24:54 to finish 76th and 77th, respectively.