Wildcats gain experience on state course

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 9/30/21

The Gans Creek Classic again provided an interesting and challenging race for Linn runners on Saturday. 

“They had just run some great races at Belle on Thursday, and I encouraged them …

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Wildcats gain experience on state course

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The Gans Creek Classic again provided an interesting and challenging race for Linn runners on Saturday. 

“They had just run some great races at Belle on Thursday, and I encouraged them to enjoy this race and check out the state course,” said Coach Robyn Baker. “However, as competitive as they are, they went out and ran amazing races and most had personal record times. Gans Creek is a fast course, so that helped, but the will to be successful was definitely present.”

The Lady Cats ran the first race of the day, and they had some fog and over 220 runners to battle. 

Myra Baker wanted to get a feel for the state course again and competed well, finishing 29th in 21:32. “She was able to work her way into the top part of the pack, and stayed there for most of the race,” said Coach Baker. “Though she didn’t finish with a medal in the top 25, she bettered her time from the state meet last year and looked strong throughout the race.”

Ramsie Tschappler was also back on the course after running at the state meet last year and earned 44th for her run of 22:22. “She ran a quick race and stayed consistent with her times throughout each 1,000 meters,” Baker noted. “I am excited to see her compete each race. Erika Platt (80, 23:37) just continues to run well each race. She is getting stronger and more sure of herself each time, and this was a nice race for her.”  

Reagan Klouzek seemed to get her running legs under her for this race, which was good to see as she posted a time of 24:11 for 100th place. “Her middle race was her best, so I hope we can build from that throughout practices and our conference race this week,” said Baker. “Ellie Monnette (105, 24:18) continues to take my words to heart and is so coachable. We talk about finding that teammate and letting them help you through the race, and she did that by sticking close to Reagan. Her time on this quick course was great, and I hope to see her on it again to see how she could do.”

Marissa Gehlert (180, 27:15) had her best race yet. “She seemed to feel good afterwards, which is always good to see,” said Baker. “She was also consistent through the middle part of the race, and we will work to keep that up throughout the race and have a bit of a kick at the end. Annaliese Bowser (196, 28:23) had a really nice race and continues to impress me with her push and drive. She always has a busy week with cross country and softball and still ran her best race yet.”

Linn’s boys’ team had the opportunity to race in the blue division, which provided a bigger (289 runners) and faster race than the white division. However, like the girls they all brought their competitive nature and ran fast and personal best races.  

Trenton Burnett broke 18 minutes, which has been his goal every race, clocking a 17:52 for 67th place. “He started out in the front of the pack, and though he wasn’t able to medal, I believe he got a good feel for the state meet course, and competed very well with some tough competition.”

Linn’s next four runners each broke 19 minutes, and continued to look strong at the end of the race, Baker noted. 

Gibson Tschappler (113, 18:21) moved up well throughout the race, and stepped up to the competition. “He is getting so much stronger each race, and seemed comfortable on the course,” said Baker. “Bobby Winkelman (155, 18:44) had a goal to break into 18 minutes, and he did is with some room to spare. He does so well in a race, and managed to keep a fairly consistent pace through the race. We need to continue to work on that last mile, but it will happen I am sure.”  

John Schmidt (162, 18:49) and Bryer Baker (173, 18:57) did well as Linn’s fourth and fifth runners. “John has been working hard at practice and he also really stepped up to the competition in this race as well,” said Baker. “Bryer is getting stronger with each race, and it is nice to see him getting his racing legs back.”

Hank Klouzek (no time available) started out really well, and had a little trouble keeping up with the quick pace he set, Baker said. “However, he ended the race well, and we will work on that middle race throughout this week,” she added. “Jason Powers (238, 19:55) had a really good race at Belle on Thursday, and continued that at Gans Creek. He ran his best race yet, and was able to finish as our seventh runner.”

Rhett Robinson was battling sinus problems, and struggled through the race, finishing in 270th place in a time of 21:01. “Hopefully he can get some rest, and I know he will be back to his competitive self quickly,” said  Baker.

 

Zachary Thiel-Henson (289, 29:03) is still figuring out racing, but was able to get a personal best time and seemed to enjoy his race on the state course, the coach added.

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