Wildcats finish cross country season with a strong showing at state meet

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 11/11/21

Saturday’s Class 2 state cross country meet proved to be a memorable experience for the 12th-place Wildcats, which began Friday with a great send-off from the entire Linn student body. On …

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Wildcats finish cross country season with a strong showing at state meet

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Saturday’s Class 2 state cross country meet proved to be a memorable experience for the 12th-place Wildcats, which began Friday with a great send-off from the entire Linn student body. On Saturday, the team received a sheriff’s escort out of town with many parents and supporters cheering for the athletes as they drove past the square. 
“The support for our kids is remarkable, and it is wonderful as a coach to see this,” said Coach Robyn Baker.
Linn’s seven Wildcats were part of a group of 168 runners in a very fast race. 
“Gibson Tschappler ran a really nice race and was able to take a little time off his time from the last time he ran on this course,” said Baker as Tschappler finished 62nd in 18:10. “Gibson can be so consistent, and he just went out and ran his race and ended his senior season on a high.  We wish him the best as he finishes his senior year.”
Trenton Burnett started toward the front of the pack but unfortunately wasn’t able to stay up there until the finish as he ran a time of 18:26 for 76th place. “However, he had a great season, and I was happy he was able to end it on the state course,” Baker said.
John Schmidt (87, 18:35) has been a strong runner this year, and he was able to end his season with an improved time from his last run at Gans Creek. “I am so glad he is coming back next year as a senior,” said Baker. “He is going to be a great leader.”
Rhett Robinson had his best race of the season, turning in a time of 19:26 for 126th place. “That is what we have been working on all year,” said Baker. “It was nice to see him end with such a great race, I know he will come back even stronger next year.”
Bobby Winkelman (128, 19:26) came in very close to Robinson. “I’ve said it many times, but he has been a great addition to our team,” Baker noted. “He pushes the other runners and comes out to compete in each race.  Although he didn’t improve his time from our last race on this course he did run a nice race, and I am confident this state meet was a good learning experience for him.”
Hank Klouzek seemed to struggle a little getting going in this race, but he always has a push at the end and this race was no exception as he placed 135th in 19:40. “He will continue to get stronger, and I am excited to have him back next year with his determination and leadership,” said Baker.
Bryer Baker (147, 20:03) had a good race to end his senior season. “He is also a consistent runner and has been fun to watch for the last four years,” said Baker. “The competition at the state meet pushed him and he had a nice finish.”

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