Comet Kiki Connell 6th at All-American XC Invite

Press photo by John Burbridge Charles City sophomore Kiki Connell crosses the finish line with a sixth-place 5K time of 19 minutes, 54 seconds during the girls varsity race at the Luther College All-American Cross Country Invitational on Saturday. It was Connell’s second-straight Top 10 finish at the race.
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City sophomore Kiki Connell crosses the finish line with a sixth-place 5K time of 19 minutes, 54 seconds during the girls varsity race at the Luther College All-American Cross Country Invitational on Saturday. It was Connell’s second-straight Top 10 finish at the race.
By John Burbridge sports@charlescitypress.com

DECORAH — While making a passing remark to several spectators at the 46th-annual Luther College All-American Invitational held Saturday in and around the campus, one of the visiting college runners said, “We run for the ‘Hill’ of it.”

They sure came to the right place. In Decorah, you can get a good quad workout just walking to the coffee shop due the city’s hilly terrain which includes the streets as well as running and biking trails.

For the middle school, high school and college meet that attracts teams and runners from at least four states, at least the weather wasn’t part of the challenge.

After a week of washed out and rescheduled meets, conditions snapped into ideal that morning and afternoon, with temperatures in the lower 70s graced by a pleasant breeze and just a trace of humidity.

Charles City participated in the boys and girls varsity and junior varsity 5K races.

For the second straight year, Comet sophomore Kiki Connell placed in the Top 10. With a time of 19 minutes, 54 seconds, Connell placed sixth to lead the Comets, which placed 11th amid a field of 26.

Senior Whitney Martin was the next Comet in with a 34th-place time of 21:10.

Other scoring runners for Charles City were senior Mariah McKenzie (22:21), junior Mackenzy Bilharz (22:52) and junior Mindi Neve (23:26).

Dubuque Senior, led by overall champion Claire Edmondson (19:03), placed first with 63 team points.

Charles City boys placed 15th amid 23 teams in the boys varsity race.

Comet senior Mason Deeter led the way with a 45th-place time of 18:14 followed by senior Nick Litterer (18:35), junior Hayden Pleggenkuhle (19:04), freshman Jacob Vais (19:06) and Luke Smith (19:23).

Cedar Rapids Prairie, led by overall champion Jack Pendergast (16:19), placed first with 54 team points.

Charles City placed 10th in the junior varsity girls race with sophomore Brianna Ross (24:27), junior Ingrid Hernandez (24:31), sophomore Rylie Patrie (24:34), Lydia Thompson (25:34) and Makenna Schmiedel (25:56) among the place-point finishers.

Charles City placed 9th in the junior varsity boys race with junior Isaac Jensen (19:44), junior Josiah Carr (19:57), freshman Jared Johnson (20:21), sophomore Owen Weber (20:23) and junior Bronson Forsyth (20:24) among the place-point finishers.

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