The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

High School Sports

November 4, 2013

Cross Country: Kokjohn, Kaster satisfied with state

FORT DODGE — Jackie Kokjohn is quite familiar with the 4,000-meter girls cross country course at Kennedy Park. Kim Kaster wanted to use Saturday’s state meet as a way to get to know it.

Kaster turned in a time Kokjohn was hoping for, but both were satisfied with their performances.

Kaster, a junior at Clinton High School, placed 55th in the Class 4A state meet with a time of 15 minutes, 34 seconds, while Prince of Peace senior Kokjohn claimed 30th place in 16:02.1 in Class 1A.

“I wish I would have gotten a little faster of a time just to get a PR, but overall, I thought it was a good race,” said Kokjohn, whose personal record is 15:34.

It was Kokjohn’s fourth trip to the state meet, and she remained consistent on the course. She placed 31st in 16:07 as a freshman, was 26th in 15:42 as a sophomore and took 26th again last year in 15:45.

 “Coming to the course, I kind of know where to push myself, where the hills are,” she said. “I thought I had a pretty good start. I was able to get out and didn’t get stuck in the middle.”

Kaster wanted to use the race to familiarize herself with the course that she hopes to return to next year.

“I didn’t really envision the race; I just wanted to go out and see what it was like and then next year I’ll have a better idea of what to do,” she said. “I would just know the course better. Since it’s so flat and there (aren’t) many landmarks, its tough to know where I am the whole race.”

Despite not knowing the course well, she turned in a time that pleased her.

“My time seems to be about the same as last Thursday (15:33 at the state-qualifying meet), so I’m glad,” Kaster said. “The hills were what I went for since that’s my strength and our entire course is hills.”

Northeast was the only area girls team that qualified, and the Rebels came in 15th in Class 2A with 321 points.

Junior Hannah Kilburg, the team’s leader all season, turned in the top time again, 16:14.7, good for 36th place.

Gilbert, led by individual champion Grace Gibbons (14:28.6) won the 2A team title with 59 points.

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