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home : sports : sports Tuesday, May 24, 2016

10/12/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Area runners dominate girls race at Marquette Invite

By Ross Eberhart
Sports editor

If you wanted to find an Observer-area cross country runner during the girls race of Monday's Marquette Mohawk Invitational, the lead pack was the place to look.

Between Calamus-Wheatland junior Megan Slattery and a half-dozen Northeast Rebels, the area accounted for seven of the first 11 finishers in the event.

With all five of its runners landing in the top-10, Northeast easily repeated as the team champion with 27 points - six Rebels crossed the finish line before another team was able to have their third runner finish.

Durant was second with 36 points, while Easton Valley rounded out the top-three with 76 points.

No area runner had a better finish than Slattery, who posted her second-best time of the season - 16:16 - to take third overall (coincidentally, the junior's top clocking came in the other meet held in Bellevue).

Two spots behind Slattery was another junior, Northeast's Hannah Kilburg, who led a procession of Rebels with her time of 16:40.

Sophomore Aleenah Marcucci followed with her best time of the season, 17:04, to take sixth, while freshman Maddie Kaczinski was seventh overall in the race with a clocking of 17:18.

Easton Valley's Meghan McLaughlin ended the run of Rebels by taking eighth, but just behind her was Northeast junior Cara Soenksen, who started another succession of navy blue-clad finishers with her clocking of 17:47 - it was Soenksen's best time this season by more than 30 seconds.

Grabbing the final spot in the top-10 and finishing off the Rebels' team score was senior Kaitlynn Riley, who, like Soenksen, broke 18 minutes for the first time this season with a time of 17:57.

Eight seconds behind Riley was sophomore Alyssa Roth, whose clocking of 18:05 was also a season-best.

Giving Cal-Wheat a pair of finishers in the top-20 was Dana Koester, as the sophomore finished 19th overall in the race with a time of 19:16.

The Warriors' other two competitors - juniors Kailey Potter and Sierra Rodriguez - were not too far behind Koester with the former taking 21st in a time of 19:39 and the latter finishing just two seconds and one spot back.

The Rebels' final finisher proved to be sophomore Haley Bielenberg, who finished 34th overall with a time of 27:26.

The Northeast girls were not the area's only champions either as Rebel runner Eli Kaczinski continued his sterling senior campaign by winning his fourth individual title of the season.

Fellow senior Nick Anderson joined Kaczinski in the race's top-five, but it was not enough to extend the Rebels' run of team championships as Bellevue took top honors with 39 points.

The Rebels were just seven points back in second, while the host Mohawks took third with 71 points.

Kaczinski produced his second-best time of the season, 16:18, to finish seven seconds ahead of runner-up, Andrew Meyer of Bellevue.

Anderson, meanwhile, continued his progress after missing the early portion of the season due to injury. The senior took fourth overall with a time of 17:55 - nearly a minute better than the time of his previous outing at North Cedar.

Just missing out on his own spot in the top-10 was sophomore Jaden Butler, who finished 11th overall with a season-best clocking of 18:36.

The Rebels' other Butler, senior Brendon, added a 16th-place finish of 18:46, while teammate Christian Knutsen was just one spot and one second back (the junior's time was a season-best) to finish off the Rebels' team score.

The meet was one to remember for Cal-Wheat runners David Benischek, Jonathan Licht and Cole Moeller, who all posted season-best times.

Moeller led the way, taking 22nd overall with his time of 19:02. Benischek, meanwhile, cut off nearly a minute-and-a-half from his previous best to take 27th in 19:17.

Just two spots back of him was Licht, whose time of 19:25 was exactly one minute better than his clocking at the Warriors' previous meet at Western Dubuque.

Junior Hunter Bielenberg had a clocking of 18:58 for the Rebels - good for 20th overall - while Colton Galusha finished things off for Northeast with his 31st-place time of 19:55.

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