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Comet boys fall short of third XC meet win in a row with 4th-place showing in Algona

By John Burbridge

ALGONA — Fresh off their second meet win in a row, the Charles City Comet boys went for the trifecta Monday at the Algona Cross Country Invitational.

But after a spirited performance at the Sam Iverson Invitational at Grundy Center just four nights before where nearly all of the Comet scoring runners recorded personal-records, things didn’t go quite as well in Algona.

“Certainly not what we had hoped for the team finish tonight,” said Comet boys head coach Ryan Rahmiller after his team placed fourth amid the 19-team field with 167 team points behind Clear Lake (70 pts.), Okoboji (110) and Mason City (117).

“We missed on an opportunity to compete well on a warm night in Algona. We’re a young team and we will learn from this.”

Scoring for the Comets were senior Jacob Vais (10th, 18 minutes, 15 seconds 5K time), freshman Nick Williams (23rd, 18:38), sophomore Isaac Thompson (33rd, 19:05), senior Malcolm Lopez (44th, 19:42) and senior Jared Johnson (57th, 20:03).

“I was proud of the way (Vais) ran his race tonight,” said Rahmiller, who also praised ninth-grader Williams for stepping up to fill the No. 2 spot for the Comets.

Rounding out the Top 7 for the Comets were senior Clayton Rand (66th, 20:26) and freshman Xander Graeser (73rd, 20:46).

“Xander had an off night, which happens in distance running. ” Rahmiller said of Graeser, who bettered a personal-record 5K time by more than 30 seconds during the race at Grundy Center.

“We will diagnosis, get some rest, and he’ll be back,” said Rahmiller, who also added,  “We are looking forward to competing at Dike New Hartford next Tuesday (Oct. 5).”

Forest City senior Joey Hovinga won the boys varsity race with a time of 17:15.

In the girls varsity race, Charles City placed fifth out of 12 teams with 137 team points behind Spencer (46), St. Edmond (87), Clear Lake (101) and Okoboji (133).

Comet senior Lydia Staudt had her best placement finish of the season (6th) with a season-best time of 21:21.

The next Comets in were junior Harper McInroy and sophomore Lauren Staudt, who were bang-bang respective 24th- and 25th-place finishers with un-split times of 23:08; junior Olivia Litterer (47th, 24:13); junior Natalie White (56th, 24:31); junior Claire Eckenrod (64th, 25:08; and junior Cloey Usher (75th, 26:47).

Algona junior Moriah Knapp won the girls varsity race with a time of 19:51.

Spencer freshman Peyton Morey (20:09) and senior Brenna Fisher (20:54) helped the Tigers claim the team title with their 2-3 finishes.

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