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Saturday, January 18, 2020
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Metro Sports Report

Galbraith 4th, Linn-Mar duo 3rd at state

There was both heartbreak and elation Saturday for local players in the finals of the Class 2A boys state tennis tournament.

Giant slayer Riley Galbraith of Kennedy, who had knocked off the second-seed in singles competition on Friday, lost a grueling semifinal match that started at 10 a.m. outdoors at Veterans Memorial Tennis Center and finished at 3:30 p.m. indoors at the Coe College Clark Racquet Center.

In between was a 2 1/2-hour rain delay before afternoon play was moved to Coe and the Westfield Tennis Center.

With less than an hour’s rest following the three-set marathon with singles runner-up Naveen Nath of Des Moines Roosevelt, Galbraith then lost another slugfest to friend and nemesis Kyle Appel of Iowa City West to finish in fourth place.

The only bright spot in an otherwise gloomy day for the Kennedy junior was that the Cougar soccer team with which he normally plays advanced to the state tournament with a 1-0 victory over Cedar Falls.

Galbraith watched part of the soccer game from his car at Kingston Stadium as rain drenched the nearby tennis courts.

Meanwhile, the Linn-Mar doubles duo of Tyler McCann and Gavin Young rebounded from a loss to the eventual state champions from Des Moines Roosevelt to capture third place in the tournament.

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Cougars reach state tourney, aim higher

The No. 7 Kennedy boys soccer team was relatively subdued after its 1-0 victory over ninth-ranked Cedar Falls on Saturday at Kingston Stadium, especially considering that the win put Kennedy into the state tournament for the second year in a row.

Perhaps the Cougars (14-5) were subdued because they were recovering from a hard fought game against a conference foe. Or maybe it was because they have bigger goals yet to accomplish this season.

“It is something that we have wanted since the beginning of the season,” said junior midfielder Gabe Christianson. “Our (ultimate) goal is to win state so we are that much closer.”

The Cougars didn’t waste much time celebrating, but instead began to focus on the next step towards obtaining that state championship.

“Now that we have gotten down there, the task is to win that first night,” said co-coach Steve Robertson. “We need to win that first night and come back ready to play two more games.”

The Cougars are seeded eighth in the state tournament. They play top-seeded West Des Moines Valley (20-1) in a first-round state tournament game June 2 at 5 p.m. at Cownie Park in Des Moines. Kennedy was beaten by Valley, 2-1, on April 15 in their only meeting of the season.

 

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Late game flair sends Warriors to state soccer

The fifth-ranked Washington boys soccer team has had quite the flair for the dramatic in the substate tournament.

The Warriors took a scoreless tie into the final 10 minutes of regulation again in the Class 3A substate final, and again the Warriors used some late offense to get the win. Washington (16-3) advanced to the state tournament with a 2-0 victory over No. 13 Waterloo West (11-9) Saturday at Kingston Stadium.

“I think the kids wanted me to turn gray quick,” Washington Coach J.P. Graham joked after the game. “Waiting for the kids to score these last couple games is killing me.”

The Warriors finally gave their coach a reason to relax a little bit in the 73rd minute when the Waterloo West keeper fouled Kimu Kasha in the box and sophomore Austin Bergstrom took the penalty kick.

“We have had Austin take the last three or four and he has been solid every time,” Graham said. “He is left footed and that throws some keepers off, and he has probably got the best touch on the team. He is confident right now and you go with whoever feels good.”

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Xavier sidelines Marion in substate final

Four different Saints scored goals and No. 1 Xavier downed Marion, 4-0, Saturday afternoon in a Class 2A boys soccer substate final at Xavier.

Defending state champion Xavier (14-2-1) advances to the state tournament as the top seed. The Saints will play eighth-seeded Clear Creek Amana (12-4) in Thursday's quarterfinals at 2:30 p.m. at Cownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines.

Chris Kapfer and Tim Bouchard scored goals about five minutes apart in the first half to stake Xavier to a 2-0 lead. Chad Gilmer and Michael Tessmer added goals in the second half.

The Saints played without senior Zach Smith, who is out for the season because of a knee injury. Smith led the Saints in scoring and assists during the regular season with 12 and 10, respectively. He was named the Mississippi Valley Conference Valley Division boys soccer athlete of the year earlier Saturday.

Marion closed out one of the most successful boys soccer seasons in school history at 13-3.

 

 

Christensen ties Kennedy HR record

Austin Christensen tied the Cedar Rapids Kennedy record for career home runs Saturday and pitched a 1-hitter as the top-ranked Cougars spanked Burlington, 15-0, in four innings at Kennedy Field.

Christensen smacked the 25th homer of his career with a three-shot in the first inning, matching the school mark set by Tony Booth from 1987-90.

Christensen already holds the Kennedy career records for doubles (43) and RBIs (132).

"That's pretty incredible. I'm really happy about it," Christensen said. "There have been so many incredible players come through this school throughout the years, and to just have my name even in the same sentence with them is really nice."

Christensen collected a two-run double in the second inning and finished 2-for-3 with five RBIs.

Christensen, now a senior, has been an all-state player since his freshman year at Kennedy. He owns three career school records and is pursuing several others.

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Page 1456 of 1546

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