“I go with the crowd and everything,” Kaczinski said. “I could hear them cheering him on, and he’s a good runner. Toward the end of the race people were telling me he was gaining on me. I don’t know if they were saying that to get me to run faster, but it’s always in the back of my mind that I need to keep pushing.”
He finished in 16:33.34, shaving 16 seconds off his mark set at Schoolhouse. Meyer finished at 16:51.09 for second place. More than a minute later, Camanche’s Jeremiah Jones crossed the finish line in third at 18:19.14.
It was an eventful week for Jones, who has missed most cross country practices this year for football practices. He was first appreciative of Indians football coach Steve Dougherty for letting him come to the meet on the eve of a football Friday.
“It was all up to him,” Jones said. “We go to (Center-Point Urbana) tomorrow and it was all his decision.”
Jones had his sights set on finishing in the top 10. He felt “blessed” after finishing behind only Meyer and Kaczinski.
“I’m a bit of a stats guy,” he said. “I looked to see who would place high up here, and I knew it would be Eli and Andrew, obviously.”
As with the girls race, the boys meet was top-heavy with Northeast runners. Hunter Bielenberg, Nick Kennicker and Brendon Butler were each top-12 finishers, allowing the Rebels to beat out second-place Bellevue 40-60.
Team standings — 1. Northeast 21; 2. Maquoketa 57; 3. Easton Valley 80; 4. Marquette Catholic 83. Note — Prince of Peace, Calamus-Wheatland and Bellevue also participated but didn’t have enough runners for a team score.
Individual leaders — 1. Hannah Kilburg (NE) 16:22.27; 2. Jackie Kokjohn (PoP) 16:23.02; 3. Megan Slattery (CW) 17:06.06; 4. Madlin Kaczinski (NE) 17:18.77; 5. Aleenah Marcucci (NE) 17:34.52; 6. Meghan McLaughlin (EV) 18:06.06; 7. Janey Saunders (Maq) 18:07.51; 8. Kaitlynn Riley (NE) 18:10.71; 9. Molly Sieverding (MC) 18:22.32; 10. Ellie Burmahl (Maq) 18:23.59.