Press Staff Report
DECORAH — When Center Point-Urbana prodigy distance runner Adrianna Katcher won her first cross country state title in 2016, she held off Charles City’s McKayla Cole, who placed second in her final race as a Comet before getting a jump start on her academic and athletic career at Northern Iowa.
Katcher defended her title at the 2017 state CC championships, but now she has another Comet on her tail.
In the early stages of the Decorah Relays on Thursday, Katcher was engaged in what became a two-person 3,000-meter race after a couple of laps around the track with Comet freshman Kiki Connell.
At the aforementioned 2017 state CC championships, Connell placed sixth despite running most of the race without a shoe.
Running against Katcher again in Decorah, Connell managed to keep both of her running shoes on throughout the duration, and remained relatively close to Katcher, who led the entire way on way to winning with a first-place time of 10 minutes, 40.24 seconds — Katcher would later win the 1,500 race.
Connell placed second with a time of 10:44.53, earning 8 points for the Comets, who finished eighth amid the 14-team field with 37 points.
The hosting Vikings won the meet with 120 team points, followed by Wahlert (108) and Dubuque Senior (73) to round out the top three.
Charles City senior Sadie Ruzicka, a multiple state qualifier for the Comets, led the team with 10 points scored.
In the long jump, Ruzicka placed fourth with a leap of 15 feet, 3.5 inches; and in the 110-hurdles, Ruzicka placed fourth with a time of 17.29 seconds.
Ruzicka was the anchor of Charles City’s 4-by-100 shuttle hurdle relay team with Tayler Schmidt, Alex Litterer and Lynn Hoeft, which placed second with a time of 1:10.26 — about a second behind winners Decorah.
With a fifth-place showing in the 100 hurdles, Schmidt scored 4 points for the Comets, as did senior Sydney Loeckle, who placed third in the discus with a throw of 103 feet, even.
Charles City’s 4-by-800 relay team of Sami Heyer, Whitney Martin, Gillian King and Mackenzie Bilharz scored 4 points with a fourth-place time of 10:39.86; and the Comet 1,600 distance relay team of Payton Reams, Makenna Davis, Adison Olson and Marty Hagarty scored 2 points with a fifth-place time of 4:50.20.