Posted on

Comets Kiki Connell, Xander Graeser win NEIC XC titles

Comets Kiki Connell, Xander Graeser win NEIC XC titles
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City senior Kiki Connell managed to distance herself from a competitive field on the way to winning her second-straight Northeast Iowa Conference Cross Country title.

By John Burbridge

sports@charlescitypress.com

CRESCO — It was a race Kiki Connell ran in her head as well as in her dreams during the days and nights leading up to Tuesday’s Northeast Iowa Conference Cross Country Meet at Cresco Country Club.

There was a reason for there being a lot on Charles City senior’s mind — or actually two reasons.

Those being Waverly-Shell Rock senior Emma Hoins and Decorah sophomore Rebecca Anderson.

Hoins, who has beaten Connell in distance races before, and Anderson have both posted among the fastest 5K times in the state. During a blistering fast meet at Oelwein’s Hickory Grove Golf Course in early September, Anderson broke 18 minutes (17:59) and Hoins ran an 18:18, ranking them fourth and eighth, respectively, among the fastest girls times recorded this season.

Connell is also ranked (14th) as her 18:33 first-place time recorded at Fox Ridge Golf Course in Dike last week was 3 seconds shy of her personal and Charles City school records.

A mile into the NEIC’s girls varsity race, the aforementioned three runners began to distance themselves from the pack.

Connell and Hoins were running side-by-side while Anderson was lurking several yards behind seemingly on the verge of making a move.

But it was Connell who made the move.

“It was a mental game out there,” Connell said. “It was who was going to make the first move.

“At the two-mile mark it clicked for me and kept on clicking.”

Connell seized the lead for good and never looked back … though she had to look up at the almost brutally placed hill that served as the course’s homestretch.

“I never ran this course before so that was the first time I faced that hill,” said Connell, who won her second-straight NEIC title with a time of 19:11 on a “long” 5K course.

“But when you have the finish line in your sight, it doesn’t matter if you’re going uphill or downhill … or it doesn’t matter for me.”

Hoins finished second with a time of 19:27; Anderson was third (19:35).

Decorah, which placed five runners in the top 13, won the meet with a team score of 45 points.

Waverly-Shell Rock edged Charles City by 1 point (60-61) for second place.

With Connell, the Comets had three runners attain all-conference honors by way of finishing in the Top 15. They include junior Lydia Staudt, who left nothing on the course while finishing fifth with a time of 21:57; and senior Brianna Ross (11th, 22:10).

Charles City senior Libbie McKeag just missed all-conference honors with a 16th-place time of 22:24.

Lauren Staudt was the Comets’ fifth runner in with a 28th-place time of 23:42.

In the boys varsity race, Decorah’s Brady Hogan and Noah Lovelace placed first and second with respective times of 17:08 and 17:47 while leading Decorah to a NEIC title — the Vikings’ 25 team points placed them well ahead of runner-up Waverly-Shell Rock (52).

Charles City placed seventh among the seven-team field. The Comets were once again led by consistent senior Alex Bauer (18th, 18:52).

Zach Graeser (29th, 19:25), Jared Johnson (33rd, 19:29), Isaac Thompson (36th, 19:52) and Malcolm Lopez (42nd, 20:31) rounded out the team scoring for the Comets.

* At the conclusion of the NEIC Junior High Boys Race, they were trying to talk Charles City eighth-grader Xander Graeser out of “retirement”.

Graeser had completed an undefeated season with a first-place time of 12:34 on a two-mile course that — like for the subsequent 5K high school races — was long.

“I felt good, but I could have run better,” Graeser said.

Officially, that was Graeser’s last cross country race of his junior high/middle school career. He wasn’t sure about competing in a subsequent non-sanctioned state junior high school race, though someone reminded him he was already signed up.

But if Graeser doesn’t feel a need to prolong his junior high cross country career, it may be because he’s anxious about the pending start of his high school career.

“I believe I’m ready to run in high school,” he said.

Nick Williams was the next runner in for Charles City in the JH boys race with a third-place time of 13:04.

“I usually finish second behind Xander,” said Williams, as the teammates were split by Crestwood Middle School’s Knute Rogne (12:53).

Charles City placed third (73) behind Decorah (40) and Waukon (71) in the JH boys race.

In the JH girls race, Decorah won with 36 team points.

Northeast Iowa Conference
Cross Country Meet

Oct. 13

AT CRESCO COUNTRY CLUB

Girls Varsity 5K

Team Final Standings

1. Decorah 45, 2. Waverly-Shell Rock 60, 3. Charles City 61, 4. Crestwood 110, 5. Waukon 123, 6. New Hampton 141, 7. Oelwein 166

Top 15 (All-Conference)

1. Kiki Connell (CC) 19:11, 2. Emma Hoins (WSR) 19:27, 3. Rebecca Anderson (D) 19:35, 4. Sydney Bochmann (WSR) 21:07, 5. Lydia Staudt (CC) 21:45, 6. Ali Russler (NH) 21:56, 7. Kyleigh Foster (Cr) 21:57, 8. Sam See (D) 21:59.5, 9. Leila Johnson (D) 21:59.6, 10. Brenna Bodensteiner (WSR) 22:02, 11. Brianna Ross (CC) 22:10, 12. Madison Tollefson (D) 22:10.6, 13. Taryn Sanderman (D) 22:11, 14. Emily Jackson (NH) 22:16, 15. Libbie Gearhart (O) 22:22.

CHARLES CITY — 1. Connell, 5. Staudt, 11. Ross, 16. Libbie McKeag 22:24, 28. Lauren Staudt 23:42, 34. Lydia Thompson 24:16, 41. Rylie Patrie 25:17.

Boys Varsity 5K

Team Final Standings

1. Decorah 25, 2. Waverly-Shell Rock 52, 3. Waukon 100, 4. Crestwood 113, 5. New Hampton 118, 6. Oelwein 152, 7. Charles City 158

Top 15 (All-Conference)

1. Brady Hogan (D) 17:08, 2. Noah Lovelace (D) 17:47.4, 3. Dylan Usher (NH) 17:47.7, 4. Andrew Cummer (WSR) 17:50, 5. Arlo Hayes (D) 17:51, 6. Nick Kepford (WSR) 17:59, 7. Hogan Smith (D) 18:00.5, 8. Ethyn Chestnut (WSR) 18:00.9, 9. Brenna Sauser (O) 18:05, 10. Larson Shockey (D) 18:07, 11. Izaak Eichinger (D) 18:10, 12. Ray Gearhart (O) 18:11, 13. Nathan O’Neill (W) 18:12, 14. Justin Nibaur (Cr) 18:13, 15. Caleb Hoins (WSR) 18:14.

CHARLES CITY — 18. Alex Bauder 18:42, 29. Zach Graeser 19:25, 33. Jared Johnson 19:29, 36. Isaac Thompson 19:52, 42. Malcolm Lopez 20:31, 44. Clayton Rand 20:42, 47. Keetan Kirby 21:02

Girls Junior Varsity 5K

Team Final Standings

1. Decorah 15, 2. Waverly-Shell Rock 69, 3. Charles City 79, 4. Waukon 92, 5. Crestwood 114

Top 15

1. Rachel Bower (D) 23:03, 2. Brielle Buresh (D) 23:20, 3. Brynn Storhoff (D) 23:38, 4. Kathryn Kelly (D) 23:39, 5. Abby Bolson (D) 23:47, 6. Danielle Losen (D) 23:48, 7. Mya Numedahl (D) 24:00, 8. Mairi Sessions (D) 24:02, 9. Ali Christensen (WSR) 24:07, 10. Claire Schutte (D) 24:27, 11. Maggie Kane (D) 24:33, 12. Grace Brynsaas (D) 24:42, 13. Naomi Simon (D) 24:42, 14. Carley Steiret (WSR) 24:44, 15. Skylar Garrett (W) 24:45.

CHARLES CITY — 17. Natalie White 25:14, 20. Claire Eckenrod 25:22, 28. Maya Bruening 25:52, 33. Lilly Luft 26:02, 34. Maggie Boss 26:04.

Boys Junior Varsity 5K

Team Final Standings

1. Decorah 15, 2. Waukon 80, 3. Charles City 92, 4. Crestwood 113, 5. Waverly-Shell Rock 120, 6. Oelwein 144, 7. New Hampton 169

Top 15

1. Bennett Schutte (D) 18:24, 2. August Witt (D) 18:37, 3. Adrian Huang (D) 19:30, 4. Jake Magner (D) 19:45, 5. Tate Schissel (D) 19:50, 6. Drew Berns (D) 19:51, 7. Dane Cole (D) 19:54, 8. Landan Folkedahl 20:02, 9. Nate Keenan (W) 20:10, 10. Josh Keenan 20:21, 11. Bradyn Hook (D) 20:23, 12. Benjamin Driscoll (O) 20:33, 13. Tyler Irwin (D) 20:36, 14. Bradley Sage (WSR) 20:48, 15. James Groux (D) 20:49.

CHARLES CITY — 16. Drew Staudt 20:50, 17. Lukas Vance 20:53, 27. Jacob Vais 21:22, 30. Avery Shoeck 21:28, 44. Jermaine Dizon 22:16.

Girls Junior High 2M

Team Final Standings

1. Decorah 36, 2. New Hampton 70, 3. Crestwood 73, 4. Waverly-Shell Rock 75, 5. Oelwein 124, 6. Charles City 138

Top 15

1. Jenna Bahe (O) 14:35, 2. Anastasia Simon (D) 14:43, 3. Jaylee Vobr (Cr) 14:47, 4. Emma Smith (WSR) 15:15, 5. Natalie Nosbisch (NH) 15:24, 6. Ava Johnson (Cr) 15:24, 7. Amelia Roe (D) 15:26, 8. Stella Pole (D) 15:46, 9. Lily Sandhorst (D) 15:54, 10. Deborah Hougen (D) 15:57, 11. McKenzie Riley (D) 16:04, 12. Addison Lukes-Smith (D) 16:11, 13. Nora Lesmeister (D) 16:12, 14. Olivia Eichenberger (NH) 16:18, 15. Natalie Goodner (D) 16:20.

CHARLES CITY — 30. Emma Prichard 17:30, 31. Natalie King 17:31, 35. Kaity Heckers 18:01, 41. Isabella Fisher 18:25, 52. Elizabeth Field 19:31.

Boys Junior High 2M

Team Final Standings

1. Decorah 40, 2. Waukon 71, 3. Charles City 73, 4. Crestwood 84, 5. Waverly-Shell Rock 123, 6. Oelwein 159, 7. New Hampton 175

Top 15

1. Xander Graeser (CC) 12:34, 2. Knute Rogne (Cr) 12:53, 3. Nick Williams (CC) 13:04, 4. Ethan Gibbs (W) 13:13, 5. Caleb Helgerson (W) 13:20, 6. Grant Zilka (D) 13:24, 7. Davis Coppola (D) 13:26, 8. Riley Berns (D) 13:27, 9. D’Mitry Lesser (D) 13:37, 10. Kyle Pattison (D) 13:39, 11. Reid Berns (D) 13:39, 12. Isaac Reisinger (W) 13:42, 13. Tommy Hammel (D) 13:56, 14. Jaxon Millage (Cr) 14:03, 15. Colton O’Neill (W) 14:04.

CHARLES CITY — 1. Graeser, 3. Williams, 16. Holden McInroy 14:09, 32. St. Pierre Muamba 15:12, 36. Jase Anderson 15:22.

Share
LATEST NEWS