Cross Country

Returning state champion Morgan Casey of Northeast has the course to herself on her way to winning the girls race Tuesday at the Schoolhouse Open cross country meet at Emma Young Park in Clinton.

The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

CLINTON — She whipped around the final turn, out in front, her usual spot.

That's not what had onlookers talking.

Those bordering the bedazzled final straightaway buzzed and chuckled in amazement upon looking behind Northeast/East Central cross country runner Morgan Casey. A second-place runner didn't emerge for almost a minute.

The defending Iowa Class 2A state champion sent a message Tuesday at the Schoolhouse Open: She might be better than ever.

“I had a faster time here today than what I ran here last year in October,” said Casey, who completed the 4,000-meter race at Emma Young Park in a course personal-best 14 minutes, 53 seconds. “That means I'm a month ahead of schedule.”

Casey finished 1 minute, 7 seconds before Davenport Central's Becca Wilder.

Clinton's Grace Shemwell placed third at 16:12.7, Prince of Peace's Audrey Griffin finished fourth at 16:21.5, Camanche's Lorena Temple ran a 17:00.8 to finish seventh and Price of Peace's Katie Isenhour placed ninth at 17:05.2.

Camanche senior Codie Adams placed third in the boys 5,000-meter race, running a solid 17:15.3.

“A lot of teams from our conference were here,” Adams said. “Today you could get a pretty good idea where you stack up.”

Central DeWitt's Ryan Hamby finished fourth at 17:35.7, Clinton's Evan Tuisl ran a 17:40.2 for seventh place and Northeast's Matt Bowman placed ninth with a 17:51.7.

Casey, who lost just one race last season on the way to her state title, scurried to an early lead after 100 meters and never looked back.

The senior opened a 14-second lead at the 1-mile marker. Casey's edge stretched to 27 seconds at the next mile mark, and as she zipped around the final turn near the back baseball fields, she had put the closest competitor 59 seconds in her rearview.

“When you ask her to do something, she does more,” Northeast/East Central coach Pat Healy said. “In fact, sometimes she does too much. You have to tell her no or else she'll be gassed. That's how hard she works.”

At an event stuffed with talented runners, Casey's performance stole the show.

“She's obviously a mentally strong, physically strong young lady,” Clinton coach Wes Golden said. “She dominates every time she goes out there. Those are the kind of kids you wish you had, and every once in a while you get one. She's just an awesome runner.”

Casey insisted she doesn't feel pressure to repeat as a state champ.

No, not pressure. She has another word for it.

“I just call it motivation more than anything,” Casey said, “because I want to get that again. That last year was the time of my life.”

Adams, who finished 13th at last year’s 2A state meet, ran third for almost the entire race. He trailed Senior Dubuque's Ty WIttman and Kody Fitzjerrels by only 1.5 seconds after the first mile and 3.5 seconds at the 2-mile marker. But he experienced fatigue on the back stretch, where Wittman and Kitzjerrels pulled away.

“My legs were starting to give out a little bit,” Adams said. “I didn't really know much about those guys, but they ran a good race.”

Nonetheless, the senior lived up to his billing as the runner to beat this season in the BIg East Conference.

“In most races we run, he's going to be up with the leaders,” Camanche coach Mark Metzger said. “We're looking for him to lead us, and we're also looking for him to win a few of these races this year, as well.”

The Schoolhouse Open, which featured 11 schools, offered area teams a measuring stick, a chance to set the tone for the 2009 season.

“It's about finding out where you're at,” Golden said. “Kids worked hard over the summer, and it lets us see what's paid off. Where are we at? That's what a day like this is all about.”



2009 SCHOOLHOUSE OPEN

Tuesday

Emma Young Park (Clinton)

Boys results

Individual leaders — 1. Ty Wittman (Senior Dubuque) 16:47; 2. Kody Fitzjerrels (Senior Dubuque) 16:56.2; 3. Codie Adams (Camanche) 17:15.3; 4. Ryan Hamby (Central DeWitt) 17:35.7; 5. Alex Trujillo (Davenport Central) 17:35.8; 6. Zack Coiner (Davenport Assumption) 17:37.6; 7. Evan Tuisl (Clinton) 17:40.2; 8. Andrew Brimeyer (Senior Dubuque) 17:46.3; 9. Matt Bowman (Northeast) 17:51.7; 10. Nathan Thiessen (Davenport North) 17:54.5.

CAMANCHE — 3. Adams, 39. Kevin Carrington 19:35.2, 54. Patrick Knapp 20:09.5, 84. Kevin Beardslee 22:32.6, 86. Luke Snodgrass 22:37.7, 93. Lee Barker 24:07.9.

CENTRAL DEWITT — 4. Hamby, 11. Zimmer 18:00.3, 19. Niemann 18:39.1, 24. Barnes 19:04.2, 34. Jewell 19:25.3, 49. Boesch 19:59.9; 55. Block 20:13.0; 64. McAleer 20:38.2; 72. Hance 21:10.2; 76. VanDoormaal 21:19.9; 82. Buttars 22:23.1; 90. Schmidt 23:44.5; 98. Kelly 25:28.0; 99. Lancaster 25:35.1; 100. Callender 25:39.4.

CLINTON — 7. Tuisl, 18. RG Genko 18:37.2; 20. Andrew Tuisl 18:39.5; 57. Franklin Bark 20:15.3; 70. Nick Dash 21:01.3, 85. Dexter Klaes 22:34.9; 94. Kyle Norman 24:10.2.

NORTHEAST — 9. Bowman, 23. Seth Mommsen 18:59.8; 25. Connor Soenksen 19:07.5; 68. Matt Cain 20:55.8; 71. Alec Gluesing 21:07.0; 73. Erick Anderson 21:12.7.

PRESTON — 28. Zach Henningsen 19:11.4.

PRINCE OF PEACE — 30. Eric Sikkema 19:15.9; 59. Anthony Sinn 20:23.3; 61. Isaac Jankowski 20:24.5; 67. Kevin Schnier 20:54.3; 80. Sean WIlliams 22:02.6; 101. Ben Reynolds 26:08.9.

Girls results

individual leaders — 1. Morgan Casey (Northeast/East Central) 14:53.0; 2. Becca Wilder (Davenport Central) 16:03.7; 3. Grace Shemwell (Clinton) 16:12.7; 4. Audrey Griffin (Prince of Peace) 16:21.5; 5. Nabor (North Scott) 16:47.4; 6. Hannah Adams (Davenport Assumption) 17:00.1; 7. Lorena Temple (Camanche) 17:00.8; 8. Katie Corlett (Davenport Central) 17:02.3; 9. Katie Isenhour (Prince of Peace) 17:05.2.

CAMANCHE — 7. Temple; 90. Claire Costello 22:40.5.

CENTRAL DEWITT — 14. Smith 17:26.4; 27. Kruse 18:22.0; 33. Demmon 18:34.3; 40. Davis 19:09.3; 44. Kreiter 19:15.3; 47. Drury 19:30.6; 51. Keitel 19:51.6; 53. Vorwald 19:56.8; 65. Hunter 20:25.5; 66. Stofer 20:27.1; 67. Cheney 20:28.9; 68. Poell 20:29.1; 72. Stocker 20:47.3; 87. Machovec 22:13.4; 88. Benson 22:17.8; 89. Geise 22:21.6; 101. Dierickx 23:51.7; 102. Donovan 23:51.7; 103. Stofer 20:27.1; 111. Niemann 24:28.8; 114. Saunders 25:17.4; 116. Dorpinghaus 26:37.1; 117. Duffy 26:54.3.

CLINTON — 3. Shemwell; 43. Marston 19:12.0; 105. Jergenson 24:00.4.

NORTHEAST/EAST CENTRAL — 1. Casey; 41. Nichole Gruhn 19:10.0; 52. Whitney Rorah 19:54.8; 76. Carly Bormann 21:03.2; 95. Jade Schroeder 23:10.2; 100. Sharyl Murphy 23:49.9.

PRESTON — 19. Jalynn Tebbe 18:03.4; 21. Nicole Trenkamp 18:06.2.

PRINCE OF PEACE — 4. Griffin; 9. Isenhour; 22. Chrissy Kokjohn 18:08.5; 69. Jill Crigger 20:34.5.

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