BETTENDORF — Kim Kaster didn’t get to break the news to her sister, but she couldn’t wait to tell her anyway. Two years after Kate Kaster finished fourth in the Iowa Class 4A girls cross country state meet, her sister gets the chance to run the same course.
“She said to go out and have fun,” Kim Kaster said of an earlier call to Kate. “I think Dad told her (how Kim did). I’ll call her later ... it will be awesome.”
The usually soft-spoken Clinton High junior was positively giddy Thursday after placing sixth in the state-qualifying meet at Crow Creek Park. She got in an early groove and ran in fifth or sixth place most of the 4,000-meter race.
“I’m just so excited right now,” she said. “I easily PRed (set a personal record). I was pretty confident the whole race.”
The excitement started before she even finished with a time of 15 minutes, 33 seconds.
“I was so excited (approaching the finish),” she said.”It was like, ‘I have to hold on at the end because that’s when people get me.’ “
Only Abby Sears of Bettendorf got her this time. The two had been running neck-and-neck heading up the final hill, and Sears moved ahead to take fifth in 15:22. But, since the top 10 finishers all advanced to state, that one spot didn’t matter.
Kaster, who placed 12th on the same course last week at the Mississippi Athletic Conference meet, said the key to the race came much earlier in the race.
“The start is what I changed — or maybe they didn’t go out as fast,” she said.
Clinton coach Wes Golden congratulated Kaster for utilizing strategy they discussed of getting above the No. 10 spot early in the race so it didn’t come down to a foot race at the end.