Comets compete at NEIC indoor meet ahead of outdoor competition
By John Burbridge
DECORAH — Someday soon, spring will finally wrest the seasonal occupancy from the currently stubborn winter.
But even two days into the official change, local track and field athletes competed at room temperature just before heading outdoors.
The Northeast Iowa Conference held its semi-annual indoor meet at Luther College on Tuesday.
The Comets came to the meet with a skeleton crew with several key members not present due to extended spring-break vacations and trips abroad, and/or from being laid low with illnesses and injuries.
One Comet who was in the house was junior Keely Collins, a two-time state silver medalist in the Class 3A girls high jump.
Collins, who has Charles City’s all-time record in the girls HJ (5 feet, 6 inches), recorded the highest clear at Tuesday’s meet (5-02), ahead of Waukon’s Cameron Johnson and Waverly-Shell Rock’s Ramey Dahlquist, who both cleared 5-00 on their best jumps.
Comet junior Josiah Cunnings, who was a state-qualifier in both the high jump and long jump last year as a sophomore, was out of action at Luther College.
But Charles City did yield a medalist in the boys long jump event with junior Keenan Wiley placing second with a leap of 18 feet, 10 1/2 inches — Sam Roose of Waverly-Shell Rock won the event with a flight of 19-09 1/4 inches.
Wiley, who transferred to Charles City this school year, had recently received All-NEIC Boys Basketball honors after helping the Comets claim a share of the league title. His coaches say that he hasn’t been out for track since junior high.
Charles City boys had another silver medalist in the 1600 run with sophomore Xander Graeser placing second with a time of 4 minutes, 55.18 seconds behind Waukon senior and NEIC Cross Country Meet runner-up Nathan O’Neill (4:44.40).
Graeser, Wiley, Reed Peters and Nicholas Williams combined efforts to place second in the 4-by-400 (3:45.35) behind Decorah (3:37.71).
The Comet boys also fielded a pair of third-place relays with the 4-by-200 team of Jordan Young, Victor Ward, Reed Peters and John Bruening clocking in at 1:41.60 behind Crestwood (1:40.05) and Waverly-Shell Rock (1:39.59); and the 4-by-800 team of Kayden Kirby, Isaac Thompson, Noah Morris and Holden McInroy (9:41.12) finishing behind Decorah (9:10.24) and Waukon (8:52.86).
Charles City is due to compete in its first outdoor meet of the season next Thursday (March 30) at Waverly-Shell Rock.