ROCHELLE, Ill. — Running the longer Illinois distance didn’t bother Clinton’s Kim Kaster at all Thursday afternoon.
Kaster won the girls Rochelle European Invitational, a 3-mile race hosted by Rochelle High School, in 20 minutes, 23.6 seconds on a humid, 90-degree day at Skare State Park.
Running a full varsity team for the first time this fall, the River Queens placed third in the nine-team event.
“Kim Kaster raced very smartly, and it paid off in her finish,” Clinton coach Wes Golden said. “It is nice to get her first win of the season under her belt. She sure earned it.
“The girls team ran together for the first time and placed third out of nine teams. That is a wonderful team place for their first team finish of the season. I am proud of the girls’ effort.”
Clinton’s boys took second in the team standings, with four of its runners finishing between fifth and 11th.
Noah Buikema led the River Kings, taking fifth on the 3-mile course in 18:30.8. Michael Peters was two places back in 18:35.4, while Jonathan Facio placed 10th and Jace Houzenga took 11th.
“They competed very well, as they have begun to set goals and realize that they can achieve them,” Golden said. “A second-place finish as a team is a great improvement, and they have taken the work of running as a pack very seriously and are working toward that end.”
The Rochelle meet is unique in that it uses a European style course with the runners crossing a creek several times and negotiating hay bails. The 3-mile length also is different for Clinton, as girls in Iowa run 4,000 meters (2.485 miles) and boys run 5,000 meters (3.107 miles).
“This (race) brings new challenges, but the runners enjoy them,” Golden said.
ROCHELLE EUROPEAN INVITATIONAL
Skare State Park, Rochelle, Ill.
CLINTON — 1. Kim Kaster 20:23.6; 14. Griffin Rasche 25.09.3; 20. Emily Bradley 27:24.5; 21. Amber Buer 27:46.7; 28. Lillian Gabel 30:28.7; 29. Samantha Wohlstadter 30:29.0.
CLINTON — 5. Noah Buikema 18:30.8; 7. Michael Peters 18:35.4; 10. Jonathan Facio 18:53.9; 11. Jace Houzenga 19:03.3; 16. Ryan Day 19:38.2; 21. Todd Broadrick 20:09.9; 22. Andre Dunlap 20:12.6; 24. Bryce Mooney 30:31.2; 26. Josh Hill 21:22.5; 29. Curtis Ilg 21:52.2; 31. Tallin Shelley 21:55.3; 32. Jeremy Regenwether 22:13.4; 34. Daniel Shaw 22:28.2; 36. Carson Peck 22:42.2; 40. Taylor Murray 22:47.3; 41. Aaron Stumbaugh 23:36.2.