Cross country: MLA girls edge Arrows at Windom
WINDOM — In a very closely-contested varsity girls’ race at the Eagle Invitational high school cross country meet Monday at the Windom Golf Course, Mountain Lake Area edged Pipestone Area by a mere two points, 78-80, for the team championship.
Later, Redwood Valley put all five of its scoring runners among the top 14 and breezed to the boys’ team title with a low score of 35.
The Cardinals also had both individual champions as junior Kayla Huhnerkoch pulled away early and won the girls’ race with a 4,000-meter time of 14:29.
RV senior Ryan Phillips broke away midway through the boys’ 5,000-meter run and clocked a first-place time of 16:36.
The Cardinals’ Wesley Peyert (fifth, 17:36), Alex Amunrud (sixth, 17:46), Marshall Quast (10th, 18:19) and Josiah Passe (14th, 18:26) also all placed among the top-15 medalists in a large field of 115 finishers, representing 11 teams.
Pipestone Area eighth-grader Michael Suda clocked a second-place time of 17:06 in the boys’ race, followed in the top five by Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial’s John Roth (17:13), Tracy-Milroy-Balaton’s Matt Lavoy (17:24) and Peyert.
Other area runners who claimed medals were Windom’s Clay Elness (11th, 18:19), Southwestern United’s Logan Knutson (13th, 18:23) and PA’s Alex Abrahamson (15th, 18:28).
LC-WM was second in the boys’ standings with 78 points, followed by PA (85), St. James (122), Windom (139), T-M-B (146), Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s (171), Springfield/Cedar Mountain (184) and Mountain Lake Area (188). Both SWU and Southwest Christian were incomplete.
The top five teams in the girls’ meet were separated by just 26 points, as SESM was a close third with 83 points, followed by RV (92) and T-M-B (104). LC-WM was sixth with a score of 117, followed by Windom (152), St. James (177) and S/CM (221).
SWU and SWC were also incomplete in the varsity girls’ standings.
Although SWU was incomplete, the Wildcats did have the second and third place individual finishers as eighth-graders Rachel Salentiny (15:25) and MaKayla Edwards (15:38) both ran fine races from beginning to end.
MLA’s Whitney Klassen (15:41), Windom’s Christianna Green (15:41) and T-M-B’s Cassandra Hook (15:41) each had strong finishing kicks and claimed individual places four, five and six, respectively.
Other area girls who earned medals were MLA’s Lydia Hildebrandt (10th, 15:57), PA’s Angel Martins (11th, 16:02), PA’s Livia Wallace (13th, 16:25) and MLA’s Liana Blomgren (14th, 16:25).
After discounting the runners from incomplete teams, MLA’s top five in the team scoring placed 2-8-12-23-33, while PA’s top five were 9-11-17-21-22 and SESM’s scoring runners finished 6-15-16-20-26.
Southwest Christian dominated the 1,600-meter girls’ junior high meet, putting six runners among the top 12, including individual winner Anika Brands (6:57). Emily Nerem (third, 7:08), Kailyn Jasper (fourth, 7:11), Jessa Nibblelink (ninth, 7:21) and Paige Van Dyke (10th, 7:24) also earned individual top-10 awards for the Eagles, while T-M-B’s Brooke Christian (sixth, 7:14), Windom’s Mia Hockel (seventh, 7:17) and SWU’s Cheyenne Schaffer (eighth, 7:18) were other girls from the area who placed in the top 10.
Windom’s boys, paced by Dawson Smith (fifth, 6:22) and AJ Fauglid (ninth, 6:26), won the junior high team title, while MLA’s Reynaldo Capetillo (first, 6:00) and Ryan Blomgren (third, 6:13), SWU’s Brett Mueller (sixth, 6:23), PA’s Cole Zepheir (seventh, 6:25) and Tristen Pals (eighth, 6:25) and SWU’s Ben Sheldahl (10th, 6:27) were other area runners finishing among the top 10.