Johnston teams shine at Heartland Cross Country meet

Jessica McKee ’18 races ahead at the Heartland Classic Invite on September 16th. McKee finished 4th overall and was Johnston’s best runner with a time of 19:24.

Evan Newcomb, Staff Writer

The Johnston cross country teams competed in the Heartland Classic cross country invitational on Sept. 16. This meet is one of the biggest meets in the region and consists of some of the best cross country teams in Iowa and surrounding states. The girls were the more successful of the teams winning the carsity race and finishing 2nd and 3rd in the two JV races. The girls beat Dowling Catholic by 11 points with a score of 118 points. They were lead by Jessica McKee ‘18 and Brooke McKee ‘20 who finished 4th and 8th at the race with 19:24 and 19:39. They however were helped by a breakout performance by Lindsey Batkiewicz ‘19 who built on her great performance at Valley finishing 29th with a time of 20:32 and really cementing her spot as a top Varsity runner.

The boys also had quality races finishing 8th in varsity and 2nd and 1st in the two JV races. 8th looks bad for the team but they finished as the 3rd Iowa team and only finished 36 points behind Cedar Rapids Prairie who finished 7th overall. Top runner Tom Altier ‘18 had his best Race of the year since his injury finishing 32nd with a time of 16:55 while Luke Perman ‘19 also fared well finishing 39th with a time of 17:02. The boys have had some struggling runners over the past few weeks but they don’t need to worry when athletes like Aaron Koopal ‘18 are stepping up. “I’m usually the 7th runner and when we got to the hills on the course Jaschen said that I was in 3rd for the team and that really motivated me to do better on the hills,” Koopal said. Koopal finished 4th for his team and 67th overall with a time of 17:23.

The teams showed what they were made of at this meet and they both should be really motivated about the rest of the season to come.