CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Anna Hostetler worries that her younger sister, Marie, will catch her on the cross country course someday. Saturday was not that day.
Anna Hostetler claimed first place here at the Cedar Rapids Prairie Invitational in a time of 18:25. Marie Hostetler (18:28) was close behind for second. Linn-Mar freshman Micah Poellet (19:18) captured third place in his first varsity race.
Cedar Falls took the team title with 60 points. Linn-Mar placed second with 90 and Waukee ended up third with 93.
The Hostetler sisters, like they often do in cross country and track distance races, pushed each other around the course Saturday. There was a large gap to the rest of the pack.
Anna, a senior, finished first during last fall's state cross country meet,. Marie, a sophomore, was right behind her for second.
It's interesting when your main competition is your sister. It's also a little scary.
"I get worried, yeah," Anna said. "She's good. She pushes me along. That's nice to have."
Marie, as she always does, tried to track down her big sister Saturday. She just couldn't squeeze by.
"Hopefully I'll catch her at some point," Marie said. "It seems like every time I try, she's not going to let me. She's stronger than me. She has more kick, more speed, which I need to work on."
Poellet set the pace early Saturday, running out to the lead and holding it for awhile. It's surprised Anna Hostetler.
"I didn't know how long it was going to last. I was like, OK. It's exciting to see that she's doing so well," Anna said.
Poellet knew she had her work cut out for her going against the experienced Hostetler sisters. She also knew she had nothing to lose by starting fast and seeing where it took her.
"I like to get out to a good start, a fast beginning," Poellet said.
Poellet said she began feeling fatigue during the middle of the second lap. The hilly course took it's toll on her.
"I expected it to be a little more flat but the little hills were kind of hard," she said.
The Hostetlers cruised over the terrain. Still, both were disappointed they didn't run under 18:00, although Anna did shave almost a minute off her time from last year on the course.
"There were some small hills that were tough. Going down(hill), too, it's tiring," she said.
Marie said: "I wasn't really happy with the time, but I felt like we pushed each other."
That's likely to continue this season. And that's fine with big sister, Anna.
"It's nice we can kind of share our thoughts from the race afterwards. It's fun. I wouldn't want to do this with anyone else. She's my best friend and it's exciting to have her with me," she said.