While fall is volleyball big time for her older sister Savannah Meyer and her mom Bree Meyer, for Charlotte Meyer, hitting a ball around in the confines of a 60 x 30-foot gym floor is not strenuous enough.
Instead, she likes running an intense mile or two, head-to-head with other runners, on prairie-grass-lined trails and hilly golf courses.
“I like competing against other people,” said the seventh grader, who is in her first year of running cross country.
And she’s pretty good at it. In her junior-high bracket, Meyer is usually among the first ones across the finish line.
Last Friday, racing on Loyola hill in a 2.8 K (1.7 miles), Meyer (above) finished first among the 15 girl runners. Her 12:18.08 time was less than 4 seconds behind the top junior high boy, who, along with 19 others, was running at the same time as the girls.
But Meyer really stood out in the crowd at the Gerry Smith Invitational meet, held on the Montgomery National Golf Course eight days earlier. There, her 2.5 K time of 9:56 was good for gold in a herd of 114 girl runners, and she led her team to respectful second-place finish among the seven middle school teams competing.
Also running the 2.8 K at Loyola for the girls was Kenzie Kortuem, who finished eighth with a 15:27.04 and Reece Nelson for the boys, who finished fifth with a 12:58.18.
Running the 5K at Loyola, the Loyola/Cleveland varsity boys bested the six other teams with a score of 32 to easily win the meet. There were 75 runners, and the winning time was 16:27.11.
The Crusader top five were Soren Kelly (second, 16:40.55), Sam Vetter (sixth, 17:30.11), Nathan Strobel (seventh, 17:43.84), Kyle Zimmerman (eighth, 18:01.81) and TJ Waldron (ninth, 18:04.02).
While Waldron’s time was his PR, and over a minute less than his best time last year, he was less than thrilled about his finish.
“I’d rather be below 18. I should be below that by now.”
Waldron, who also participates in track in the spring, didn’t do a lot of running this summer until it started to wrap up. Mostly running in the cooler night air, he says it is hard to get motivated, but once he gets his shoes laced, he’s ready to go.
Elijah Mons was 51st (22:35.46) at Loyola, and Charlie Maxfield was 69th (27:01.65).
Running the 5K for the Crusader varsity girls at Loyola, Jewel Factor finished with a 25:46.99 for 40th of 58 runners. Teammates Valerie Quast was third (20:31.71), Molly Koester was 12th (22:40.99), Kirschner was 22nd (23:40.27), Lily Phillips was 26th (23:54.49), and Page Daley was 28th (24:26.93) for a team ranking of fifth among seven teams with 91 points. The fastest time was 19:52.40.
St. Peter was first (38), Sibley East was second (74), GFW was third (83), TCU was fourth (88), MCW was sixth (128), and NYA was seventh (173).
Also on the Montgomery course, Kelly was third of 202 runners in the boys 5K with a 16:29.09. Rounding out the Crusader top five, which finished in third place among 26 teams, was Vetter (34th, 17:46.27), Zimmerman (37th, 17:49.31), Waldron (46th, 18:02.96) and Strobel (53rd, 18:11.99).
With 52 points, Belle Plaine won the boys varsity race. Minnehaha Academy was second, with 138, 28 fewer points than Loyola/Cleveland.
Mons finished 182nd in that race with a 22:04.79, and Maxfield finished 200th with a 27:53.26.
On the girls side in Monty, Factor was 137th of 168 runners with a 25:22.40 finish. The winning time was 16:14.81.
Kortuem was 38th in the 2.5 K middle school run at Montgomery with a 11:52.69 finish. With a 10:44.29 finish, Nelson was 41st among the 127 middle school boys. The winning time in that 2.5 K was 8:58.84.
At the NYA Lyons meet in Norwood on September 12, the varsity boys were third of 23 teams. Kelly was sixth of the 165 runners (16:41.7), Vetter was 14th (17:17.3), Zimmerman was 21st (17:26.4), Strobel was 42nd (17:53.2), and Waldron was 58th (18:19.6). The winner crossed the finish line in 16:02.89.
Pushing the top five along were Andrew Buboltz (80th, 18:55.6) and Mitchell Buboltz (92nd, 19:25.8).
Mons was 42nd of 150 runners in the JV 5 K race with a 21:40.1. The winning time was 17:19.55. The Crusader JV team took seventh place of 13 schools.
With a 25:36.86 finish, Factor was 100th of 134 runners in Norwood. The winning time was 17:58.49. The Crusaders didn’t have enough for a team, but Molly Koester was 46th (22:09.66), and Cora Koester was 130th (20:32.86).
Meyer was fifth among 93 in the junior high mile race with a 6:22.49. The winning time was 5:51.93. With a 6:36. 58, Nelson was 56th of 112 runners in the junior high boys mile. The winning time was 5:28.23.
The Loyola/Cleveland cross-country teams competed at New Richland on Tuesday (September 19) and return to action on October 5th with a trip to Sleepy Eye.
TJ Waldron at the 3-mile mark on Loyola Hill.
Elijah Mons (left) approaches the mile mark at the Loyola invite.
Nathan Strobel at the Loyola invite.
Charlie Maxfield makes his way around the Loyola trail.
Reece Nelson on the Loyola track.
Kenzie Kortuem during the Loyola meet.