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Boys cross country: Freshman helps Newman boys win regional

Comets get the Knack

Published: Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 10:15 p.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013 10:22 p.m. CDT
(Phyllis Fargher/Shaw Media)
Newman junior Bryson Reyes (196) runs alongside Rock Falls sophomore Seth Williams during the 1A Bureau Valley Regional on Saturday at Bureau Valley Junior High. The Comets won the title, edging the Rockets by eight points.

WALNUT – Newman has a knack for coming up big in boys cross country races.

In the Class 1A Bureau Valley Regional on Saturday, the Comets won, in part, because they had a Knack.

K.C. Knack, a freshman making his debut in the varsity lineup, finished fifth among Newman runners and helped his team amass 56 points, eight fewer than runner-up Rock Falls. Annawan-Wethersfield (76), Bureau Valley (88) and Galva (96) rounded out the top five squads.

On Wednesday, Newman coach Val Gassman informed Knack he’d be in the lineup as a replacement for Quincy Coomes, who has a bout of tendonitis in his left foot. Coomes is normally the Comets’ No. 3 or No. 4 runner.

Knack finished 25th in a 73-runner field with a time of 18:01, fifth in the lineup behind Bryson Reyes (7th, 16:44), Drew Rosengren (8th, 16:58), Chris Ahlers (9th, 17:03) and Micah Trancoso (16th, 17:35).

“I was really happy with the way I ran,” Knack said. “I just ran as fast as I could.”

It was Newman’s second regional title, the other coming in 2009 – when it won a Class 1A state title.

“They’re picking up each other, and they’re protecting each other,” Gassman said. “That’s what makes it very special. They’re not running as individuals – they’re running as one.”

Rock Falls freshman Brayden Hamblen was second with a time of 16:06. Annawan-Wethersfield junior Michael Cook won in 15:57.

“It was a really good run,” Hamblen said. “I got out pretty good, and I stayed up in front with the best runners. It was good overall.”

Seth Williams (5th, 16;25), Cayden Erickson (10th, 17:16), Kasey Anger (23rd, 17:52) and Jevon Hey (32nd, 18:23) rounded out the Rockets’ lineup. Hamblen is hopeful the team is capable of bigger and better things next week.

“I think we have the potential to beat [Newman],” Hamblen said. “They’re really good, so it’s going to be close at sectional. It’s going to be fun.”

For Bureau Valley, the top runners were Ryan Taylor (12th, 17:23), Daniel Trone (13th, 17:25) and Kane Eastwood (18th, 17:44).

There were just eight boys teams competing, and Erie-Prophetstown (6th, 140) and Amboy (7th, 179) each punched their tickets to next week’s Oregon Sectional.

Braedon Bonnell (11th, 17:18) and Lucas White (21st, 17:46) led the way for the Panthers, while Skylar Wheeler (31st, 18:18) and Ben Hosto (35th, 18:35) paced the Clippers.

Advancing individuals included Eastland’s Cooper Pauley (14th, 17:28) and Ohio’s Johnathon Schulte (34th, 18:35).

Top 3 teams

1. Newman, 2. Rock Falls, 3. Annawan-Wethersfield 76

Top individual: Michael Cook, A-W, 15:57

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