After two successful softball seasons, Arlington High School junior Keelianne Green switched sports and showed why Thursday during her cross-country debut.
The speedster dominated the Douglas County West Invite, besting last fall's fifth-place Class B state finisher by 29 seconds to claim first at Sycamore Farms in Waterloo. The Eagle's 5-kilometer time, 19:04.69, would have won the Class C state title by 14 seconds in 2020.
“Keeli ran an incredible race,” AHS coach Michaela Curran said. “She ran smart and controlled, and came out on top. I'm still just soaking in the excitement.”
The Eagles soaked in drizzle and mud during the season opener, but claimed a third-place finish behind Lincoln Pius X and Elkhorn North in the boys' team race. On the girls' side, Arlington took a fourth-place result.
“Overall, it's a great day to be an Eagle,” Curran said.
Behind Green, freshman Hailey O'Daniel made her own top-10 introduction to high school cross-country. The Arlington ninth-grader finished 10th with a time of 20:25.8, while Whitney Wollberg was 24th in 22:13.98. Brynn Eckhart was 26th, Kelise Cook-Krivohlavek was 30th and Brooke Hilgenkamp earned 36th.
On the boys' side, sophomore Nolan May notched a seventh-place finish in 17:00.06. Connor Flesner was 11th in 17:11.97 and Dallin Franzluebbers was 15th in 17:34.1. Kolby Tighe (27th), Barrett Nielsen (35th) and Luke Hammang (39th) also contributed in AHS' varsity lineup.
Arlington junior high runners started their season strong, too. Jack Blake, John Morrison, Luke Sharp and Ethan Hilgenkamp finished 2-3-4-5 in the boys' race, while Sofie Lewis led the Eagle girls with an eighth-place finish in the girls' race, which covered 2,400 meters.
Green and the Eagles next host their home race 5 p.m. Thursday at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Junior high races start at 4:10.