GOOSE LAKE – A smaller meet and warm weather made for fast times on Thursday night as Northeast hosted their cross country meet on their school grounds in Goose Lake.
Joining the Rebels were local teams Camanche and Prince of Peace.
The Rebel ladies had a nice day on their home course. Coming in second place was Cenady Soenksen.
Just a bit behind her were Jeorgia Neumann and Natalie Krogman who finished fourth and fifth.
“Our coach wants us to finish bang, bang, bang, bang,” Neumann said. “We try our best to do that. We talk to each other while we run, we tell each other to keep pushing it. If one of us is feeling good about the race then we usually all are.”
Grace Ketelsen came in seventh to wrap up top ten finishes for the Rebels.
“We practice on this,” Neumann said. “It’s easy for us to know where the hole are, where the easy turns are and we run the course every day. It’s fun to run on our home course.”
Picking up a sixth place finish was Gretchyn Fairlie from Camanche, an underclassman for the Storm.
“I got a faster time and I think I felt really good,” Fairlie said. “It was a little warm but I really focused on trying to get past a couple people from Northeast. I think that really motivated me, along with working on my breathing more.”
Ravae Ball picked up a top ten finish as well. It was a good day for the young Storm team.
Head coach Erin Montgomery is hopeful that some of the higher places her young girls’ team saw at this smaller meet will give them some momentum going forward.
“It’s a big confidence booster,” Montgomery said. “We told them at the beginning, you have the opportunity to get top ten today. It doesn’t matter the size of the meet, it gave them confidence.”
Winning the boys’ race by a significant distance was Prince of Peace junior Marcus Blount. Blount cruised into the finish line well ahead of the runner up and under 18 minutes.
Blount also was happy to see some fast times from some of his teammates, all of whom are running varsity cross country for the very first time. Blount was a solo runner for the Irish last season.
It was an exciting opportunity for the Irish, who had some runner finish in the top half of the seven-team field. Teammate Eric Berry was able to sneak into the top ten finishers.
“I’m excited to see how we do as a team,” Blount said. “Last meet was at Iowa City Regina, and there were so many kids there. It’s nice with this smaller meet to see what we can do as a team.”
Blount started the race neck-and-neck with both Camanche’s Andrew Butt and Northeast’s Carter Jargo but started to pull away after the first mile.
Runner-up of the boys’ competition was Butt for the Storm. Camanche’s Lucas Goble also got a top ten finish on the day.
“I like this course, I’ve always liked it,” Butt said. “It’s a lot flatter than some of the other ones and I like finishing on the track.”
The Storm are headed to a large meet this weekend and were happy to see some PRs on Thursday in Goose Lake.
The Rebels didn’t have a bad day on their home course by any means. Coming in third place was Carter Jargo, who was right behind Blount and Butt for a lot of the race.
“The rest of my season has not been very good, but today something in my mind said that’s going to change,” Jargo said. “I just want to push myself and keep going forward.”
Crossing next was teammate Daniel Rowland, just behind Jargo in fourth place.
“We know this course considering we practice here and know the course,” Jargo said. “Something about it being our home meet really pushes all of us.”