PREP CROSS COUNTRY BOYS: Trojan boys finish third at SWC meet
By Les knutson
REDWOOD FALLS -- Putting a trio of runners among the top seven Tuesday, the Worthington Trojans ran strong in the Southwest Conference high school boys' cross country meet at the Redwood Falls Golf Course.
But, both the Marshall Tigers and host Redwood Valley Cardinals were even better, as Marshall had all five of its scoring runners finish in the top 12 (1-5-9-10-12) and won the league team title with a low score of 37 points.
Redwood Valley (2-4-8-15-17) edged the Trojans (3-6-7-14-18) by a mere two points, 46-48, for runner-up honors.
Luverne was a solid fourth with 96 points, followed by Windom (150), Pipestone Area (153) and Jackson County Central (176).
Leading Worthington to its third-place team finish was first-year senior Ethan Spittle, who ran near the front the entire way and placed third individually with a great time of 16 minutes and 43 seconds over the 5,000-meter course, which has its share of hills.
First-year junior Anthony Luft (sixth, 16:58) and freshman sensation Amanuel Fissiha (seventh, 17:02) also earned all-conference honors (top seven) Tuesday, while steady sophomore Matthew Jirele (14th, 17:30) claimed an honorable mention all-conference award.
Worthington's fifth finisher was senior veteran Gordy Moore, who ran one of the best races of his stellar career and claimed 18th with a fine time of 17:48.
"Gordy really stepped it up and ran hard," praised Worthington head coach Ken Henkels about Moore's performance. "It was a beautiful day, a little warm, but just a great day to be outside. Our guys really ran well -- we had three of the top seven -- and all five scorers among the first 18. You can't ask for much more.
"We were very close to Redwood, who has been a ways ahead of us every time we've run against them this season. Marshall just had a super day and was the best team Tuesday, but I was extremely happy with how our boys competed."
Worthington's sixth and seventh finishers were senior Ian Stewart (25th, 18:15) and sophomore Oliver Wolyniec (38th, 19:11), as all seven varsity runners were among the upper half of the total of 90 finishing runners in the combined varsity and junior varsity race.
Trojan senior Nathan Landwehr was running fifth for Worthington before dropping out after becoming ill just prior to reaching the two-mile mark.
Friedrichsen, Hess lead Luverne boys
Leading Luverne Tuesday were Josh Friedrichsen (11th, 17:20) and Cody Hess (13th, 17:25) who each earned league honorable mention honors (8-14), while Drew Weis (19th, 17:51), Ethan Marshall (26th, 18:20) and Scott Nelson (27th, 18:21) completed the scoring for the Cardinals.
Michael Suda (16th, 17:44) was the first finisher for Pipestone Area, while Peter Nasby (20th, 17:54) was JCC's lead runner.
Clay Elness (22nd, 18:10) and Ryan Helmoski (23rd, 18:11) were Windom's first two runners to enter the chute.
Marshall's Andrew Bell won the individual championship with a sparkling time of 16:22 and Redwood Valley's Ryan Phillips took second, clocked at 16:30.
Waldner, Woll lead balanced WHS win in JV race; Prunty places second in JH
Paced by the finishes of Logan Waldner (fourth, 19:17) and Jacob Woll (fifth, 19:22), along with strong runs from Jonah McDonald (sixth, 19:28), Troy Feller (eighth, 19:36) and Sam Talsma (10th, 20:03), Worthington's outstanding overall depth showed as the Trojans won the junior varsity meet with a low score of 33 points, edging Redwood Valley (36) by three points.
Marshall was third with a score of 57.
Redwood Valley's Derek Bebeau was the winner of the JV race with a time of 18:59.
Worthington seventh-grader Jacob Prunty finished a strong second to Pipestone Area eighth-grader Emerson Winter in the 2,700-meter boys' junior high race. Winter clocked a winning time of 9:49, while Prunty was timed at 10:01.
Marshall's Mason Reese (10:10) and Windom's John Irwin (10:15) finished third and fourth, respectively, while PA's Hunter Burnett (sixth, 10:21), Luverne's Alex Kramer (eighth, 10:30), Worthington's Stewart Merrigan (12th, 10:54), Windom's Austin Meier (13th, 11:00), PA's Adam Bierstadt (15th, 11:07), PA's Nathan Westfield (17th, 11:08), Worthington's Nathan Schuck (18th, 11:09) and Worthington's Andrew Olsen (20th, 11:12) also finished among the top 20 in the 49-finisher field.
Marshall (38), PA (58), Worthington (76), Windom (87) and RV (89) fielded complete team scores in the junior high meet.