Indians, Pioneers compete at Chris Smith Invite

Friday, September 19, 2014

Northwest Iowa cross country runners hit the links Thursday night, as Spirit Lake and Okoboji athletes competed with some of the area's finest at the Chris Smith Invitational hosted by Sioux Central.

Spirit Lake earned a pair of top-three placings, as the boys placed second behind Alta-Aurelia and the girls placed third.

"Congratulations to all of our teams on their great performances tonight," Spirit Lake coach Tim Heinitz said. "The girls picked up where they left off at Storm Lake and even had a better team meet tonight. Also, the boys ran much better as a team tonight."

The Okoboji girls edged Spirit Lake for second place in the varsity team standings, finishing just behind South Central Calhoun, while the boys team placed sixth overall.

"We have had a very difficult last seven days with a meet on Thursday, Saturday, and very hard practices on Monday and Tuesday of this week," Okoboji coach Royce Van Roekel said. "We have been working on some specific areas of our running and really pushed our athletes to the max this week. We told them all on Wednesday not to be surprised if their times are a little slower because of the hard work we put in the six days prior. We have to remember that we train for Nov. 1, and everything else is just daisies. This did not hinder too many of our runners, as they all ran with great confidence and were able to score well as a team against some of the other schools that were there."

PHOTO BY NATE SHAUGHNESSY Ryan Maris was the top finisher for the Spirit Lake boys Thursday, placing third overall in 17:57.

Maris paces Indian boys

Ryan Maris continued to be the top runner for the Spirit Lake boys Thursday night, as the senior placed third overall with a final time of 17 minutes, 57 seconds.

Alec Harrington followed in seventh place with a time of 18:06. Kyle Kueper palced 18th in 18:55. Jason Feather was 24th in 19:11. Jordan Steinle placed 32nd in 19:32. Hunter Davis was 34th in 19:40 and Matt Schmitz was 35th in 19:47.

PHOTO BY NATE SHAUGHNESSY Spirit Lake's Rebekah Olson fights through pain on her way to a 16th place finish.

O'Hagan leads Spirit Lake girls

Lucy O'Hagan once again had the top time for the Spirit Lake girls, earning a fourth place finish with a time of 17:28.

Emma Lux placed eighth in 17:49. Hazkhett Zeledon was 11th in 18:02. Maddie Richter was 14th in 18:08. Rebekah Olson placed 16th in 18:15. Meghan Wickham placed 18th in 18:28 and Krista Larson was 19th in 18:36.

PHOTO BY NATE SHAUGHNESSY Okoboji's Connery Sweeney finished three second off his personal best time at a meet hosted by Sioux Central.

Lineweaver paces Pioneer boys

Blake Lineweaver earned a top-five finish on Thursday, placing fourth overall with a final time of 17:47 to lead the Pioneers, but several Okoboji runners also had standout meets.

Ryan Chindlund ran a season best time of 18:51, good enough for 17th place.

Isaac Fritsch and Isaac Golke both ran all-time personal records, placing 47th and 60th overall in 20:35 and 21:47, respectively.

Connery Sweeney was just three seconds off his personal best time, placing 36th in 19:48.

Joseph Schmidt placed 57th in 21:28 and Thor Heimdal placed 62nd in 22:05.

"The boys varsity has continued to work hard and has been able to make us proud in their total commitment and effort each and every race day," Van Roekel said. "We as coaches, parents, friends, family, and community could not be more proud of our runners this week."

PHOTO BY NATE SHAUGHNESSY Olivia Albright (left) and Mari Stein (center) lead a pack of runners on Thursday.

Gibson, Stein lead Okoboji girls

Mallory Gibson and Mari Stein led the Okoboji girls to a runner-up team finish on Thursday, placing fifth and sixth in 17:38 and 17:48, respectively.

Cory Hoffman placed 10th in 18:02. Anna Seeger was 13th in 18:09. Olivia Albright was 17th in 18:25. Ali Goehring was 26th in 19:18 and Grace Goehring was 36th in 20:03.

"The girls varsity continues to shift and change as far as where our girls are finishing and I think this has been very good for them to experience," Van Roekel said. "It has pushed everybody to be better than what they were the previous week."

Boys team scores

Alta-Aurelia64
Spirit Lake68
S. Central Calhoun98
M-NW-W118
S. O'Brien127
Okoboji135
Ridge View153
HMS159
Pocahontas231
Cherokee281

Girls team scores

S. Central Calhoun45
Okoboji51
Spirit Lake53
Sheldon83
Alta- Aurlelia117
Sioux Central190
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