The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

High School Sports

November 4, 2013

Cross Country: Battle for top 10

FORT DODGE — Coming down the final straightaway hill toward the finish line, Northeast’s Eli Kaczinski felt a little help on his final push for a top-10 finish Saturday at the Iowa Class 2A boys cross country state meet.

“Right there in that moment I was kind of thinking about who I’m running for; I’m running for Jesus, and I think that’s what helped me,” he said. “I knew how bad I wanted it, too, and I think he just carried me through the last part of it.”

After passing Albia’s Colton Dorpinghaus, Kaczinski won a foot race to the finish against Haile Duden of Sioux Center and captured ninth place in the 5,000-meter race, his best finish in four trips to the state course at Kennedy Park.

Led by Kaczinski, the Rebels placed eighth in the team race with 215 points.

Kaczinski maintained a spot around the 10th-place mark the entire race. He said he went out faster than he wanted to — in part not to get boxed in behind traffic with 128 runners in the field — then found a pace he liked.

“There’s going to be all sorts of people who are going out really fast, so you need to make sure you know your competition and know who’s going to be able to maintain that fast speed throughout the race,” he said. “Probably at the one-mile mark, that’s where everyone starts getting in their place, and after that it’s kind of every man for themselves. After the one-mile mark, I think that’s where people really start to settle in.

“I wanted to hang on with the lead pack as long as possible, but once the race actually started, then I just knew I needed to stay as close to them and maintain as much contact as I can with them.”

He did change things up toward the latter portion of the race.

“The previous years on that hill over there after the two-mile mark, I’d kind of just go my same pace up it, but I made sure this time I picked up the pace and worked it a little better, and I think that was the only part I really changed about the race,” Kaczinski said.

His time changed, too. He ran the course in 16 minutes, 25.8 seconds, more than 23 seconds faster than his time a year ago. He improved his time each year.

Fellow senior Nick Anderson was the next Rebel across the finish line, taking 49th in 17:28.4.

Michael Melchert of team champion Monticello was the individual champion in 15:18.2, while Gilbert’s Thomas Pollard finished second for the second year in a row (15:20.2).

Kaczinski was one of four area runners to record a top-15 finish in the boys races. Bellevue’s Andrew Meyer had the best showing (fourth in Class 1A), while Kyle Marti of Central DeWitt placed 11th in 3A and Lucas Schmidt of Marquette Catholic came in 14th in 1A.

Marti covered the course in 16:31.0.

“I tried going a faster first mile, then a slower second and then I tried to pick it back up on the last mile,” Marti, a senior, said of his strategy. The fast start was partly out of necessity.

“There are so many guys, I didn’t want to get stuck behind some people that are slower the I am, so I tried to stay on the outside and get out fast,” he said. “Usually (the opening sprint) is only the first 50 meters, but (here) it’s 100.”

For a guy who often misses practices and some meets because of his work, though, there was little about which to complain.

“I miss a lot of practice,” said Marti, who works at Jorgie’s Bar and Grill in DeWitt as a cook. “I’ve got to work harder than everyone else each practice I go to because I’ve got to make up for the one I didn’t go to the last time.”

Meyer, a sophomore, jumped five spots, from ninth as a freshman to fourth this year. While he was happy with his placing, his time (16:43.5, 1.5 seconds faster than a year ago) was a bit disappointing.

“I thought I could do a lot better than that,” he said. “I was hoping to go under 16 today.”

Meyer was up toward the front for the whole meet and even led for a brief time.

“I wanted to really push myself,” he said. “I kept trying to get spurts throughout the race. I thought I did a pretty good job with that. There were a lot of good runners in this meet today.”

He said the 10 mph wind from the north might have factored in to making his time slower than he hoped.

“I tried to hide behind and draft a bit,” he said. “It definitely affected things a bit.”

Meyer credited his offseason training for allowing him to move up so much.

“My training was a lot harder this year,” he said. “I knew what to expect, kind of. I knew it would be a fast start and a fast finish, and I improved that a lot over the summer.”

Before he had even finished the race, he was thinking about the future.

“I have a lot more to do in the next years to improve,” said Meyer, who said winning the individual title was a realistic goal. “The first thing when I crossed the finish line, that’s what I thought about, ‘What can I do to improve myself?’ Obviously, coach and I will work on that. I have a lot to improve on for track, too. Hopefully, I’ll get a good winter in.”

Meyer led the Comets to a fifth-place finish in the team race with 170 points.

Schmidt, a junior, finished 14th in 17:04.4.

Only 10.5 seconds separated the second-place finisher from the fifth-place finisher. Meanwhile, senior Kyle Kehoe won the individual crown in 16:17.4 and led Denver to the team title with 89 points.

Boone teammates Chandler Austin (15:05.6) and Albert Meier (15:53.5) ran 1-2 for the second year in a row in Class 3A and led the Toreadors to the team title. Senior Josh Evans of Marion Linn-Mar won the 4A individual crown in 15:19.4, but Cedar Rapids Prairie put four runners in the top 11 to come away with the team title.

Text Only
High School Sports
  • Schreiber wins dual; Coppess 2nd at tri BETTENDORF -- To be the best, you have to beat the best. Brittany Coppess came close to doing that Tuesday at Hidden Hills Golf Course in a triangular meet between North Scott, Clinton and Pleasant Valley. Coppess finished with a nine-hole 42, 5 over

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23-14 1B-photo, ethan jones Jones has eyes set on prize FULTON, Ill. -- Ethan Jones has all the confidence that he can become the Three Rivers Conference Player of the Year in baseball. "I just need to work hard, show up everyday and just play the best that I can every game so I can help my team win," Jo

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lancers blank Queens, Kings CLINTON -- Chloe Gottschalk scored a hat trick to lead North Scott past Clinton 7-0 in girls soccer Tuesday night. Gina Matthys added a pair of goals, while Lindsay Gallens and Olivia Schmidt scored once apiece. Abby Nass played all 80 minutes in goa

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23-14 1B or 3B-Photo, Gateway B race Kings kick off big week at Gateway CLINTON -- It's not quite the state meet in terms of importance, but this week is right up there for the Clinton boys track and field team. Seniors Deshond Robinson and Nathan Harden were in top form Tuesday as they tuned up for the Drake Relays by h

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Welcome-back win CLINTON -- Scoring in every event, the Camanche boys track and field team presented coach Mark Metzger with a terrific "welcome back" gift Tuesday evening. The Indians piled up 171 points to win the Class B portion of the 94th annual Gateway Classic

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-22-14 2B-Photo, Fulton baseball Morrison wins twinbill at Fulton FULTON, Ill. -- As Fulton baseball coach Kyle Miller put it after losing both games to Morrison on Monday, the losses were tough to swallow, but all the Steamers could do afterward was tip their hats toward the Mustangs. Morrison won 1-0, then 11-4

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Irish's Evers second CLINTON -- Conner Evers pulled out his go-to motivation when struggling on the golf course. Not anything in his bag particularly, but a small booklet of pick-me-up quotes. He picked the right one, because Evers, a junior for Prince of Peace, finished

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-22-14 1B-Photo, Fulton softball Fillies take control vs. Fulton FULTON, Ill. -- While Fulton's softball team is figuring out the small things, Morrison is continuing its tear across the Three Rivers Conference. Morrison continued its dominant season Monday by defeating Fulton 9-0. Morrison scored in five of the s

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • E/P scores 15 in inning PROPHETSTOWN, Ill. -- Erie/Prophetstown was all business Saturday, taking care of Peru St. Bede by dominating in a doubleheader that lasted 9 1/2 innings. The Panthers won Game 1 13-2 by scoring four in the third inning, then five in the fifth inning

    April 21, 2014

  • Hot start, strong finish FULTON, Ill. -- A day after a struggle at the plate, Fulton found a dozen runs during the third game of the Fulton Invitational softball tournament against West Carroll to end the day. The game went four innings, and the Steamers used all four of the

    April 21, 2014

Sports Updates
Facebook