CAIRO – One probably could not tell that Colin Appel was running on a hurt hamstring during the Heartland Athletic Conference Cross Country Meet.
The Grand Island Senior High junior was doing just that. Appel ran for the first time since hurting his hamstring at the UNK High School Invite Sept. 24 and showed no effects of it as he finished fifth in 16 minutes, 07.93 seconds Thursday at Centura Hills Country Club.
That effort, along with Machol Chol’s 14th-place finish (16:46.52), helped the Islander boys finish sixth with 159 points.
“(The hamstring) felt good,” Appel said. “It’s not back to 100 percent yet so we will have to see how it plays out but the hamstring felt fine during the race today.”
Fremont took the boys title with 27 points, while Lincoln East won the girls with 39 points. Fremont’s Daniel Aldaba won the boys race (15:40.99), while Lincoln North Star’s Jeralyn Poe was the girls champion (15:34.41).
Appel started well as he was in seventh place around the first-mile marker and held that spot until passing a few runners on the second lap and eventually finishing fifth.
“We were really careful with how we ran him in practice,” GISH boys coach Kevin Pfefferle said. “We still thought he had a great shot of placing. He got off to a strong start and that helped.”
Appel said he felt good during the race.
“I felt good going around that second loop and felt strong to put myself in position to do well,” Appel said.
Pfefferle said he was also pleased with Chol’s finish, as well as the other Islander boys, who were in a pack from finishing 45th to 54th.
“Machol did a great job as well. He passed a few guys near the end to finish 14th, which is good for him,” Pfefferle said. “As for everyone else, those are first-year runners. I’m not disappointed in how they ran as they ran close together all the way through the race.”
The Islander girls finished eighth with 184 points. Hailey Schmidt led Grand Island with a 28th-place finish (17:20.31), while Tera McVicker finished 33rd (17:39.01).
“I thought Hailey and Tera ran decent races for us,” Pfefferle said. “Everyone else did OK as we have some inexperience.”
Grand Island will compete in the Class A, District 2 Meet Thursday at Meadowlark Hills Golf Course in Kearney.
Heartland Athletic Conference Meet
Fremont 27, Lincoln Southwest 38, Lincoln Northeast 120, Lincoln East 121, Lincoln Southeast 134, Grand Island 159, Lincoln High 160, Lincoln North Star 190.
1, Danny Aldaba, Fremont, 15:40.99; 2, Trevor Wiegert, Fremont, 15:57.32; 3, Kris Grimes, Lincoln Southwest, 16:03.41; 4, Reid Shubert, Lincoln Southwest, 16:06.24; 5, Colin Appel, Grand Island, 16:07.93; Mason Brown, Fremont, 16:09.09; 7, Lucas Keifer, Lincoln Southwest, 16:19.77; 8, Arturo Garcia, Fremont, 16:21.95; 9, Andrew Arkebauer, Lincoln Southwest, 16:25.10; 10, Seth Nickolaison, Fremont, 16:29.43; 11, Frank Cuddy, Lincoln High, 16:32.12; 12, Josh Smrcina, Fremont, 16:34.09; 13, Jacob Klein, Fremont, 16:39.23; 14, Machol Chol, Grand Island, 16:46.52; 15, Linden Weitz, Lincoln Southwest, 16:46.77.
Other Grand Island runners: 45, Efrain Garcia Sanchez 18:32.41; 47, Kory Rial, 18:38.24; 48, Jesus Monter 18:40.40; 49, Brandon Trotter, 18:44.16; 54, Emmanuel Liban 19:41.01.
Lincoln East 39, Lincoln Southeast 50, Lincoln Southwest 76, Fremont 102, Lincoln Northeast 130, Lincoln North Star 173, Lincoln High 181, Grand Island 184.
1, Jeralyn Poe, Lincoln North Star, 15:34.41; 2, Alexis Altmaier, Lincoln East, 15:56.80; 3, Alana Sesow, Lincoln East, 16:03.73; 4, Corbin Ubben, Lincoln Southeast, 16:04.91; 5, Sydney Voss, Fremont, 16:08.34; 6, Kendra Schoening, Lincoln Northeast, 16:12.03; 7, Morgan Applegate, Lincoln East, 16:12.03; 8, Nicole Hamilton, Lincoln Southwest, 16:17.03; 9, Emmie Johnson, Lincoln East, 16:17.44; 10; Robin Rauner, Lincoln Southeast, 16:20.39; 11, Brook Benes, Lincoln Southeast, 16:22.46; 12, Anne Sophie Haeuser, Lincoln Southeast, 16:24.20; 13, Elsa Forsberg, Lincoln Southeast, 16:24.70; 14, Hannah Wolkenhauer, Lincoln Southwest, 16:31.37; 15, Kylie Gokie, Lincoln Southwest, 16:35.28.
Grand Island runners: 28, Hailey Schmidt 17:20.31; 33, Tera McVicker 17:39.01; 40, Natal Escalante Sandoval 18:02.66; 41, Elizabeth Waters 18:26.95; 42, Lauren Perkins 18:36.30; 49, Jane Werner 20:33.92;