T-M-B’s Tholen places second at Roy Griak inviteFALCON HEIGHTS — Three area teams competed in the one of the largest and most prestigious high school cross country meets in the nation, participating in the Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota Golf Course.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
FALCON HEIGHTS — Three area teams competed in the one of the largest and most prestigious high school cross country meets in the nation, participating in the Roy Griak Invitational at the University of Minnesota Golf Course.
High-caliber teams from all across the upper Midwest competed in the Gold Division, while 51 quality teams ran in the Maroon Division.
Adrian, which is currently Minnesota’s top-ranked Class A team in both girls and boys, was elevated to the Gold Division this year and competed favorably with many much-larger schools.
Jackson County Central made strong team showings in both the Maroon races, and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton’s brother-sister combination of Ryan and Karli Tholen both ran to impressive individual performances in the Maroon class.
JCC boys place ninth
Competing in a field of 455 runners from 51 schools, T-M-B senior Ryan Tholen won a three-runner race to the chute for second, clocked at 16:43 over the 5,000-meter course.
Adam Zutz of St. Francis won the race with a time of 16:23.
JCC, paced by top-50 finishes from the trio of Matt Kocak (17:29), Marc Strom (17:48) and Justin Cook (17:53), finished ninth in the team standings with 416 points
The Huskies scored 12 points better than Blake (ranked No. 4 in Class A), which placed 11th with 431 points.
Minnehaha Academy won the team title with a score of 279.
Kocak, Strom and Cook finished 25th, 40th and 47th, respectively, while teammates Sam Hendrickson (102, 18:33) and Jon Troe (214, 19:24) completed the JCC scoring.
In the Gold Division, Adrian runners ran good times, as the Dragons averaged 17:52 for their top five — which was 22 seconds better than JCC’s top-five average of 18:14 — but the competition was exceptional in the field of 48 complete teams.
Adrian finished 33rd with 832 points, just ahead of Des Moines Roosevelt of Iowa, which had 841 points.
Bismarck, N.D., claimed the team title with a remarkable score of 78.
Adrian’s top five were Nate Reyne (91, 17:17), Chris Reisdorfer (141, 17:39), Jordan Pater (149, 17:43), Kyle Henning (238, 18:12) and Brett Springman (278, 18:24).
There were 450 finishing runners in the Gold race.
Five area girls run 5K under 21 minutes
Five area girls, including four Adrian runners, ran the same boys’ 5,000-meter course under 21 minutes.
Girls normally run a 4,000-meter distance.
T-M-B freshman Karli Tholen was the fifth area girl to better the 21:00 mark, as she ran a tremendous race and finished 25th in the Maroon Division, clocked at 20:42.
Adrian seventh-grader Nicole Slater finished 53rd in the Gold race with a time of 20:13 to lead the Dragons to a 14th-place team finish with 441 points.
Adrian teammates Megan Sauer (63, 20:17), Leslie Stover (68, 20:21), Jordin Kopplow (115, 20:44) and Erica Thier (167, 21:14) completed the Dragon scoring.
Sioux Falls Roosevelt won the team title with a low score of 138 points.
There were 42 complete teams and 385 finishing runners in the Gold Division.
JCC placed 19th, team-wise, in the Maroon Division with 595 points, finishing ahead of Marshall (29th, 678) and T-M-B (40th, 1,064).
The top five Huskies had just a 57-second spread between them.
JCC’s top five runners were Kinbrae Bezdicek (93, 21:59), Leslie Handzus (100, 22:03), Megan Johnson (126, 22:25), Angie Handzus (135, 22:31) and Hope Belknap (178, 22:56).