Warriors run to title at Comet Invite

Calamus-Wheatland junior Chase Knoche runs between the top two ranked runners in Class 2A — No. 2 Brady Greibel of Bellevue and No. 1 Dylan Darsidan of Camanche — during Tuesday’s Comet Invitational. Pushed by the two highly-ranked foes, Knoche finished third overall in a personal-best time of 16:28. With all of their state veterans finishing for the first time this fall, the Warriors won the team crown with 45 points.

BELLEVUE — At full strength for the first time, the Calamus-Wheatland boys cross country team took advantage of a fast course at Tuesday’s Comet Invitational.

Competing a day later, due to the weekend’s heavy rains, the Warriors had all five of its state meet veterans produce season-best times to bring home the team title with 45 points.

That was 14 points better than Camanche, while Northeast used five season-bests of its own to top the hosting Comets for third with 82 points (Bellevue was fourth with 102).

Cal-Wheat junior Chase Knoche led the way, breaking 17 minutes for the second time this season with a personal-best 16:28 to take third behind the two top-ranked runners in Class 2A (No. 1 Dylan Darsidan of Camanche won the meet in 16:18, while No. 2 Brady Griebel was second in 16:20).

Joining Knoche in the top 10 and just missing his own spot in the top five was Cal-Wheat senior Chandler Gannon, who was sixth overall in 17:40 (his first time under 18 minutes this fall).

Fellow senior Brett McCartt was 11th in a personal-best time of 17:58 and he was followed close behind by junior Magnus Sands, who shined in his return to the lineup with a 12th-place clocking of 18:04.

Junior Seth Beuthien wrapped up the Warriors’ victory, taking 16th in a personal-best 18:40 (Beuthien would have provided the third-best time to every team in the field except Camanche).

The next runner across the finish line after Knoche was Northeast senior Andrew Hilgendorf, who finished right at 17:00 — the second-fastest time of his career.

Rebels junior Thomas Machande broke 18 minutes for the first time in his career to join Hilgendorf in the top 10 with a 10th-place clocking of 17:57.

Junior Jace Rathje added a 20th-place time of 19:01 — his season-best — while fellow junior Joe Hasken was 25th in 19:17 and senior Chad Williams was just two spots back with his time of 19:34 (both were season-bests).

Freshman Daniel Rowland added a clocking of 20:19 to finish 33rd, while Jarod Berggren was 57th in 23:54.

The Northeast girls also saw a big drop in their times.

Freshman Cenady Soenksen dropped under 21 minutes for the first time in her young prep career, taking second to Marquette Catholic’s Halle Kilburg with a time of 20:33.

Fellow freshman Grace Ketelsen dropped more than a minute from her previous-best time in her sixth-place finish of 22:15.

Natalie Krogman made an even bigger drop, taking 18th in 24:43, while junior Emma Ketelsen ran her best time of the season — 33:31 — to finish 40th.

The Rebels had the top two finishers in the junior varsity girls race as well with Annika Regenwether winning in 24:46 and Emi Feller taking second in 25:56 (Cal-Wheat junior Emma Bopp was seventh in a career-best 29:18).

Both the Rebels and Warriors had two runners in the top 10 in the boys JV race.

Just a single second separated Cal-Wheat junior Eduardo Carriegas and Northeast senior Riley Anderson, who finished second and third, respectively, in 21:25 and 21:26.

Cal-Wheat freshman Jacob Weih added a seventh-place time of 21:53, while Northeast junior Zebediah Cox was ninth in 22:05.