Prep boys cross country: Marquette rookie Rieboldt takes another title, wins county meet

MARQUETTE – Cross country runner Cole Rieboldt had good reason Thursday to turn in the fastest time at the Marquette County Meet.

The Marquette Senior High School runner had to get ready to play in his school’s soccer match with Iron Mountain just 90 minutes later.

“I might be able to make warmups (for the soccer match),” the senior said after winning the boys’ county title in 16 minutes, 48 seconds. “I might be a little sore, though.”

He beat runner-up and MSHS teammate Lance Rambo by 28 seconds and third-place finisher Logan Zueger by 1:12. Rambo came in at 17:16, Zueger at 17:59.

Grant Johnson of Negaunee finished fourth (18:19), while Skyler Dakota of Westwood was fifth (18:33).

“I’m pleased, but I had a 5:30 in the first mile,” Rieboldt said. “I was slow there. But on the hilly stuff (later on), I pretty much sprinted.

“I didn’t look back (at Rambo) because I didn’t know if he was right on me or not.”

Rambo said he and Rieboldt got separated at about the two-mile mark on a 3.1-mile Kaufman Sports Complex course designed by head coaches Dale Phillips of MSHS and Bill Sved of North Star Academy especially for Thursday’s race.

“I’m not very good at trail running and Cole is,” Rambo said. “He just goes. He has a lot more energy than I do, I guess.”

The two combined with Zueger to lead the Redmen to the team crown with 20 points. Negaunee placed second with 53 and Gwinn third with 88.

Ishpeming (96), North Star (126) and Westwood (132) followed.

The win was Rieboldt’s third in as many races, which includes he and Rambo combining to capture the Marquette Relays title. It’s Rieboldt’s first year of cross country competition.

He decided to give cross country a try after running track for three years at MSHS.

“I want to be able to give college (track and field) teams my times from cross country,” he said, noting Lake Superior State and Grand Valley State have showed interest in his services.

“I like cross country more than track. There are fewer circles and more straightaways.”

Rieboldt said his strategy to date has been to get out front early and hold off all comers.

“I’m not patient enough running behind people,” he said.

Phillips has been impressed with Rieboldt’s contributions to date.

“What can you say?” he asked. “He’s a tremendous athlete. He just ran a 5-kilometer race and now he’s going to play soccer.

“He ran well today. But we got improved performances from a lot of kids. I’m pleased with how we’re coming along.”

John-Henry Kibit led North Star Academy in 19:25, Alex Anderson paced Gwinn with 19:33 and Kazmine Langness led Ishpeming with a 19:43.