Clinton got its cross country season off to a bang Tuesday at the season-opening Clinton Quad.
Kate Kaster won the girls race in 15 minute, 35.44 seconds, while Emmanuel Marcos-Teles won the boys race in 17:35.00, giving Clinton the championship in both races.
“It was a good start,” Clinton coach Wes Golden said. “I think we’re about where we expected and in some cases better. That’s awesome.”
Prince of Peace’s Audrey Griffin finished second in the girls race in 16:13.94. Jackie Kokjohn finished sixth and Lauren Pittman grabbed 10th for the Irish.
“Audrey had a really good run for the girls,” Prince of Peace coach Dave Lawrence said. “The rest of our girls did all right. Lauren was probably a surprise, getting 10th.”
Mariah Casey grabbed third and Emily Franks placed fifth for Northeast.
“Mariah slipped a couple times, but she ran a nice race,” Northeast coach Pat Healy said. “Emily is going to get better as she heals up (from an injury during the track season). We’ve got two outstanding runners, and the other group is going to develop. I think we’re going to be awful strong as a team, if we can keep healthy.”
One of the things about this season-opening race is team scores aren’t kept, so the pressure is off the runners.
“We like this meet — no pressure, no team scores,” Lawrence said. “The main thing was to relax and enjoy the first race of the year. We have a lot of improving to do, but we had a few kids with some really good runs today.”
Healy said he was pleased with some of his first-time runners.
“We had three of them (Josye Kaczinski, Markel Mommsen and Cara Soenksen) where this was their first time out,” he said. “They finished ninth, 14th and 18th, so they were running pretty well as a group. They’re just going to get better.”
Kaster was dominating in the season-opener, winning the race by more than 38 seconds.
“It’s good competition here,” Healy said. “Kate is a nice runner to run against. It gives us a measure of knowing where our runners are when we can see that next to her. That means we’ve got a long way to go, but we’ll be there by the end of the season. You don’t want to be there at the beginning. You want to be there at the end.”
Clinton also had Kim Kaster place in the top 10 and Meggie Buikema grabbed 11th for the River Queens.
“Kim Kaster, Kate’s little sister, as a freshman, she really ran a nice race,” Golden said. “We’ve had Kate Kaster and Meggie Buikema. Those are our seniors. They’ve been here a long time, so they ran kind of what we expected.”
Another plus of this race is to get a taste of competition for the runners.
“They’ve been at it already for two weeks of practice,” Healy said. “It’s nice to get them running against somebody beside yourself. It gives the girls an idea of where they’re at. They’re working a little harder actually in a race than you can get them to work at practice. They’re pushing themselves. Now, they’ll come back to practice knowing they’ve got to do a little bit more.”
On the boys side, Marcos-Teles finished more than 41 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Eli Kaczinski of Northeast.
Connor Soenksen placed third and Brendon Butler grabbed sixth for the Rebels, who were without top runner Matt Bowman, who is dealing with tendinitis.
Golden said he was pleased with some of his new runners.
“Every year I think about a kid who is new to this sport and you think about them and you just have a feeling,” Golden said. “John Gunderson and Nathan Schroeder, both of those kids, are kids that right know I’m pretty excited to see them. Neither of them have done this before. They came out and they both were in the top seven on the team, which is fantastic. That’s good news for us.”
Cole Stuedemann, Hunter Genco and Jeremy Mooney placed in the top nine for the River Kings.
“I tell them there’s no pressure,” Golden said. “It’s just go out and see what you can do. This is kind of our benchmark. It lets us take the next week or two weeks of training and lets us put things in place from here.”
Individual winner — Kate Kaster (Clinton) 15:35.44.
CAMANCHE — 4. Lorena Temple 17:15.54; 8. Nicole Nielson 18:18.54; 20. Tonya Klone 22:08.65; 21. Courtney Martens 23:10.11.
CLINTON — 1. Kate Kaster 15:35.44; 7. Kim Kaster 18:08.16; 11. Meggie Buikema 18:45.74; 17. Shelby Weets 20:03.99; 19. Brittany Lehman 21:12.31; 22. Libby Mumm 24:18.87.
NORTHEAST — 3. Mariah Casey 16:42.19; 5. Emily Franks 17:21.63; 9. Josye Kaczinski 18:26.79; 12. Kaitlynn Riley 18:57.99; 14. Markel Mommsen 19:20.97; 18. Cara Soenksen 20:10.69.
PRINCE OF PEACE — 2. Audrey Griffin 16:13.94; 6. Jackie Kokjohn 17:39.03; 10. Lauren Pittman 18:30.65; 13. Anna Yackshaw 19:07.36; 15. Alyssa Sikkema 19:38.29; 16. Andrea Aquilani 19:49.60.
Individual winner — Emmanuel Marcos-Teles (Clinton) 17:35.00.
CAMANCHE — 22. Brycen Dolan 21:56.10; 23. Kyle Gifford 22:02.55; 34. Sam Wolf 24:26.20; 41. Drake Sachsenmaier 36:47.88.
CLINTON — 1. Marcos-Teles 17:35.00; 4. Cole Stuedemann 19:39.96; 8. Hunter Genco 20:03.35; 9. Jeremy Mooney 20:08.34; 10. John Gunderson 20:25.68; 16. Nathan Schroeder 20:58.71; 17. Matt Boyd 21:11.52; 19. Tyler Hemingway 21:14.10; 20. Nolan Kenney 21:17.42; 21. Bret Determan 21:33.31; 29. Curtis Ilg 23:07.62; 30. Carson Peck 23:16.50; 31. Travis Swick 23:22.38; 33. Bryce Mooney 24:14.02; 35. Jared Cannon 24:50.27; 36. Brandon Burkhart 25:53.83; 38. Daniel Shaw 27:33.34; 39. Jeremy Regenwether 27:37.70.
NORTHEAST — 2. Eli Kaczinski 18:16.05; 3. Connor Soenksen 18:59.14; 6. Brendon Butler 19:49.59; 11. Jorvik Harris 20:30.33; 12. Hunter Bielenberg 20:46.29; 13. Nick Anderson 20:47.17; 15. Christian Knutsen 20:53.53; 24. Alex Sellnau 22:06.43; 25. Tyler Schoon 22:17.59; 26. Nick Sellnau 22:32.16; 28. Steven Flesch 23:02.88; 40. Jason Kuhse 27:53.27.
PRINCE OF PEACE — 5. Joe Schnier 19:45.27; 7. Dermot Bly 20:01.03; 14. Andrew Jacobs 20:53.00; 18. Jacob Lemkuhl 21:13.05; 27. Caleb Kitteringham 22:53.28; 32. Jacob Jankowski 24:01.47; 37. Ethan Ford 26:17.79.