BY PCC STAFF
KEOSAUQUA – Holy Trinity Catholic’s Matt Hellige turned in a 17:31 5K to win the Van Buren Cross-Country Invitational on Tuesday, a full 13 seconds ahead of Winfield-Mt. Union’s Brody Barton as Holy Trinity took first place in the Class 1A meet.
Hellige, just a sophomore at HTC, is also ranked 30th in the first Iowa Association of Track Coaches 2017 poll from Class 1A in the state. He finished just two seconds off the pace of Fairfield’s Mark Diers, the Class 2A winner who pulled a 17:29.
HTC Head Coach Matt Mohrfeld said he expected that Hellige was mentioned among the state’s best.
“That’s no surprise. When you turn in 17s you’re going to get some attention,” Mohrfeld said. “He’s a good solid 30 seconds faster this year. Matt just ran a real smart race and ran his own race. He got his own pace and kept and then stretched it.”
Following Hellige, Blake Crabtree came in 8th-place overall and second for HTC with a 19:04 time. Jacob Mohrfeld finished third for the Crusaders with a time of 19:27 good for 11th overall and Ben Abolt ran a 19:35 to round out the top four finishers for the blue boys.
“When you run four runners under 20 minutes you can win events,” Mohrfeld said. “We had times over times from last year. Blake took off a couple minutes, Jacob was three minutes faster and then Abolt came on strong.
Adam Rauenbuehler was next for HTC at 20:12 good for 22nd overall, Brant Holtkamp ran a 20:45 and Sam Avery ran a 21:10. Other times for HTC runners included Chandler Rung 21:28, Josh Bau 23:39, Wyatt Hellman 24:36, and Kyle Sheets 24:40.
“Those guys just went out to win it,” Mohrfeld said. “Blake managed his first mile stronger this time than in Keokuk. Jacob and Ben Abolt were virtually in the same pace and held up pretty well.”
In the junior high match, Phillip Goldie took first place for the second straight meet with a 7:39 in the 1.5 mile race. The varsity runners go 5K.
“For a young guy, he ran a very smart race,” Mohrfeld said. “Two guys got out in front of him early and he didn’t get stupid and about how half way through they didn’t have much left on him.”
Other junior high finishers for HTC included: Mickey DiPrima at 8:45, Tyler Snaadt 8:55, Michael Hellman 9:16, and Nikolas Fullenkamp 10:12.
The Crusaders lace up again on Sept. 14th for the Fort Madison Invite at Rodeo Park. That is a junior high, junior varsity and varsity run beginning at 4:30 p.m.