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After Bix miscue, Tope takes home Newell trophy
NEWELL TROPHY

After Bix miscue, Tope takes home Newell trophy

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With so many runners participating in the Quad-City Times Bix 7, it's inevitable that from time to time, mistakes might be made.

So, while Karson Sommer walked away Saturday morning as the winner of the Gregg Newell Award as the fastest male finisher from the Quad-Cities, by mid-afternoon, the trumpet trophy ended up with Mason Tope.

Sommer, a Pleasant Valley grad from Bettendorf, finished the race in 36 minutes, 24 seconds, which was originally thought to be the top Q-C time, but after the race was long over, results showed Tope, a Davenport Central grad as finishing eight seconds quicker.

Once made aware, Bix officials looked into the situation, ultimately rectifying the result.

"We kind of have egg on our face," assistant race director Dan Breidinger said. "We just grabbed the wrong guy at the finish line without realizing that Mason had beaten him.''

Breidinger said he got in touch with Sommer on Saturday afternoon and told him.

"He took it real well, took it like a man," Breidinger said. "He understood we made a mistake.''

Though Sommer didn't retain the title, his Bix finish is a strong return after his freshman year at the University of Iowa.

Sommer battled a heel spur in his left foot and didn't run the Bix last summer, and without full training, wasn't at his top for last year's cross country season.

With a full summer and a strong Bix under his belt, he has high hopes for this fall.

"Last summer, I was just sort of sitting around, trying to go 5 miles a day," he said. "It definitely gives me a lot of confidence that I can do really well. I also think a lot of my teammates have been doing the same training as me so I think they will run really well this season also."

Tope won the high school challenge in 2014, and his time gives another fresh outlook to the Newell Award. Ethan Adlfinger from Milan won last year after the five years prior had been split between Alleman grad Tim Hird and Pleasant Valley grad Charlie Paul.

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