October is the perfect month for a cross country runner to reel off a winning streak.
A strong week has allowed Calamus-Wheatland senior Chase Knoche to start one.
In the span of four days, Knoche raced to a pair of titles, including an impressive victory at Thursday’s Jim Hetrick Invitational hosted by Central DeWitt.
Facing an 18-team field that included 11 3A and 4A squads, Knoche crossed the finish line eight seconds ahead of everyone else in 16:32 to become the second Warriors individual champion in the past three years (Hunter Rickels was the titlist in 2018) at the race.
And Knoche was not the only area champion at the meet as the Northeast boys and girls teams swept the small schools team titles.
Behind a 25th-place finish by senior Thomas Machande and two other runners in the top 50, the Rebels boys held off Camanche, 26-31.
Cal-Wheat just missed having a pair of runners in the top 10 as fellow senior Magnus Sands took 11th overall with his clocking of 17:35.
Machande was the next area boys finisher in 18:00 to wrap up the top 25, while Central DeWitt freshman Ben Zimmer was 30th with his clocking of 18:24.
Just six seconds separated Northeast seniors Jace Rathje and Nathan Ketelsen, who finished 44th and 47th, respectively, with times of 18:43 and 18:49. Also, finishing in 18:49 — one-hundredths of a second before Ketelsen in 46th — was Warriors senior Seth Beuthien.
Zeb Cox chipped in a 59th-place finish for Northeast in 19:21, while freshman Carson Burken wrapped up the Rebels’ team score with a clocking of 20:20, good for 74th (fellow freshman Carver Lange was just one spot and one second back, while Joe Hasken took 83rd in 21:00).
Junior Jackson Kutka provided a 61st-place finish for the Sabers, posting a time of 19:23. Freshman Kole Dunsworth was six spots back with his time of 19:55, while senior Wyatt Sailer (79th in 20:35) and junior Jack Dollar (81st in 20:43) capped off the Sabers’ team score of 255, good for 10th in the big school division. Hunter Manatt added an 85th-place time of 21:05, while Blake Gerard was 87th in 21:33.
The Northeast girls had three of the first five finishers among the small schools to topple Prince of Peace, 26-29.
Sophomore Cenady Soenksen led the way, finishing an area-best 20th with her clocking of 21:48.
Fellow sophomore Grace Ketelsen joined her in the top 25, taking 24th in 21:58, while Faith Ketelsen was just one spot out of the top 30 with her 31st-place clocking of 22:30.
Freshman Emma Krogman and junior Annika Regenwether wrapped up the victory with times of 26:03 and 26:17, respectively, while Paige Holst clocked in at 31:36 and Emma Ketelsen, 32:45.
The hosting Sabers were 11th in the big school team race with 268 points, while producing the race’s best spread — less than two minutes separated the Sabers’ five scoring runners.
Sophomore Reagan Hofer led the way, taking 52nd in 23:40. Senior Madi McAvan added a 60th-place finish of 24:16, while just five seconds back of her in 62nd was freshman Hannah Peters.
Sophomore Alexis VanZee finished right at 25:00 to take 72nd overall, while fellow sophomore Soren Maricle wrapped up the Sabers’ team score with her 80th-place time of 25:21.
Senior Annabelle Schneider was just four spots back in 84th with her time of 25:44 and she was followed closely by Cal-Wheat senior Emma Bopp, who clocked in at 25:50.
Warriors third at Marquette Invite
Knoche opened his week with a comfortable victory at the Marquette Invitational at Bellevue.
The Warriors senior clocked in at 16:25 — his second-fastest time of the season — to top the rest of the field by 25 seconds.
Cal-Wheat, meanwhile, used Knoche’s title and two other top-12 finishes to take third in the team race with 75 points. That was just 13 back of runner-up Southwestern/Cuba City/Benton (Wisconsin) as Dubuque Wahlert cruised to the team crown with 26 points.
Sands joined Knoche in the top five, finishing right at fifth with a time of 17:27, while Beuthien was 12th in the race with his clocking of 18:39.
Freshmen Jackson Riedesel and Austin Sedgwick, meanwhile, wrapped up the Warriors’ team finish. Riedesel was 25th in 21:05, while Sedgwick took 39th in 24:14.
Bopp earned a top 25 finish in the girls race, taking 25th with her clocking of 26:54.