North teams compete in national XC meet; Kiesler named All-American

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Columbus North’s boys and girls cross-country seasons didn’t end with the state meet on Oct. 29.

Since then, several Bull Dog runners competed in the Nike Cross Midwest Regional in Terre Haute, and seniors Julia Kiesler and Mateo Mendez ran in the Mideast Cross Country Championships in Kettering Ohio. Then on Saturday, 22 North girls and 18 boys competed in the Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championship in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Bull Dogs, competing as Columbus Thorn, competed in two girls races, finishing 14th in the Gold (elite) event and fifth in the Silver race. The boys took 17th in the Gold race, ninth in the Bronze event and second in the Blue race.

Kiesler was the top finisher from Indiana in the Girls Gold race, placing fifth in 17 minutes, 48.0 seconds for 5,000 meters (3.1 miles) to earn first-team All-America honors.

“She ran phenomenal,” North girls coach Rick Sluder said. “To be first-team All-American is really cool. She ran amazing.”

Columbus North runners pose for a photo following the Girls Gold race in Saturday’s Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championship in Huntsville, Alabama. Team members were, from left, Julia Kiesler, Kyleigh Wolf, Sydney Morlok, Brianna Newell, Jessica Meza and Ellen White.

Submitted photo

Brianna Newell took 96th in 19:27.8, while Sydney Morlok was 182nd (20:38.5), Ellen White 194th (20:48.2), Kyleigh Wolf 206th (21:10.7) and Jessica Meza 259th (23:46.0).

Columbus North girls coach Rick Sluder, in blue, talks to runners, from left, Mateo Mendez, Sam Hobbeheydar, Kellen Hottell (hidden), Adler Larson, Will Russell and Clayton Guthrie following the Boys Gold race at Saturday’s Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championship in Huntsville, Alabama.

Submitted photo

In the Boys Gold race, Mateo Mendez led North with an 83rd-place finish in 16:04.1. Will Russell took 110th in 16:15.0, while Clayton Guthrie was 166th (16:37.7), Kellen Hottell 212th (17:08.8), Sam Hobbeheydar 248th (17:39.0), Adler Larson 259th (17:57.0) and Neal White 277th (19:10.6).

Lana Wisler led the Bull Dogs in the Girls Silver race with a 165th-place finish in 20:50.7. Sierra Newell was 205th (21:28.3), Kenzie Pendleton 211th (21:41.3), Macy Eaton 224th (22:09.5), Maggie Russell 238th (22:40.0), Sylvia Sasse 246th (23:01.0), Claire Wisler 250th (23:02.5), Emily Titus 252nd (23:09.1), Kenzie Meyer 256th (23:14.4), Lydia Weed 259th (23:24.7), Caylyn Pruitt 268th (23:42.7) and Maia Jamieson 297th (27:14.2).

Charlie Smith finished 110th in 17:03.3 to lead North in the Boys Broze race. Jonny Klaus was 144th (17:29.4), Logan Vanzant 157th (17:39.7), Denton Sluder 165th (17:46.6), Luke Chandler 215th (18:34.2) and Leyton Hottell 232nd (18:59.9).

For the Bull Dog team that was runner-up in the Boys Blue race, Cole Stevens finished 178th in 18::08.5, while Rogelio Reyes was 183rd (18:15.6), Samuel Steinmetz 196th (18:52.4), Drew Jacobi 209th (19:29.7), Damien Dixon 210th (19:32.6), Benjamin Psota 224th (20:09.8), Jack Cooper 229th (20:29.0), Fisher Mantooth 235th (20:54.5) and Elijah Psota 247th (21:30.3).

While several of the North runners posted personal-best times in last year’s RunningLane nationals, this year’s times were a little slower across the board after rain on Friday led to a muddy and slippery course.

“It was sloppy, but it was fun,” Sluder said. “They competed well and overall showed our program as somebody who could compete nationally, and that’s really fantastic.”