PREP BOYS' CROSS COUNTRY: Marshall edges Luverne for team title at Adrian Invite; Musa claims firstADRIAN — Even with rival runner Nick Stoks keeping within striking distance behind him, Worthington’s Mubarik Musa won the boys’ varsity event of the Adrian Invitational cross country meet by a comfortable 14-second margin. Musa crossed the line in 15:53, while Stoks — a star runner from Canby/Minneota/Lincoln HI — finished in 16:07.
ADRIAN — Even with rival runner Nick Stoks keeping within striking distance behind him, Worthington’s Mubarik Musa won the boys’ varsity event of the Adrian Invitational cross country meet by a comfortable 14-second margin.
Musa crossed the line in 15:53, while Stoks — a star runner from Canby/Minneota/Lincoln HI — finished in 16:07.
“This is a legit 5K and that’s really a great time,” WHS head coach Ken Henkels said of Musa’s performance. “The kid from Canby was right with him, but he was able to distance himself. That kid is really tough, too. It’s nice to have him there because it’s good competition.”
Marshall took six of the next seven spots to easily take the team title with 25 points, with Luverne finishing second with 74 points.
“Our pack of five stayed tight again,” LHS head coach Pete Janiszeski said. “Marshall’s just got a really good group of boys. Fortunately for us they’re not in our section. We said we wanted to come in here and hopefully be our top team from the section and we did that, so that was what our goal was.”
Ryan Oye led the Cardinals with a top-10 finish (10th overall, ninth team, 17:34). Rounding out the team score were Cody Hess (14, 12, 17:43), Josh Friedrichsen (16, 14, 17:49), Nathan Stensland-Bos (17, 15, 17:50) and Austin Stroeh (29, 24, 18:15).
The LHS runners ran in a pack for most of the race, with Oye finishing the strongest at the end.
“As a team I’d say we really push ourselves,” Oye said. “Racing with people that we know and that we work out with every day just makes it a lot easier to go with.
“At the end, I started to move away from our pack and kind of work my way up a bit. It felt really good, so I went with it.”
Adrian’s Jase Pater ruined the Tigers’ chances of having third through eighth by cutting the middle of their pack with a sixth-place finish.
“I felt actually pretty good today, on the home course, senior year,” Pater said. “I knew between the mile and two-mile that I kept moving up and I just felt pretty good then.”
Although the Dragons haven’t had enough numbers to compete as a team this year, Pater is hoping to qualify for state as an individual for the second straight year.
“I don’t take anything for granted,” Pater said. “If it’s my day and I feel good, then I’ll make it. Hopefully that will happen.”
AHS head coach John Olson said that Pater’s finish on Tuesday was encouraging as he looks to achieve his goal. Pater was the second Class A runner to cross the line behind only Stoks. The Class A section meet will be held in Adrian on Oct. 27.
“He’s working hard and he’s sort of we think where he needs to be, so we were impressed with his run today,” Olson said. “I guess this is sort of like the pre-section race for us in a way. It gave him a good feel for where he may stand in that.”
A strong result by Worthington’s Amanuel Fissiha (13, 11, 17:42) put the Trojans in fourth place in the team competition with 113 points.
“We told him to come through the mile at 5:30 and that’s what he did,” Henkels said. “You can’t ask for much more than that. He went out pretty hard and ran pretty tough, too. He got close to a couple of Luverne guys there.”
WHS also finished fourth in last year’s Adrian Invite.
“We actually scored quite a bit less than we did last year,” Henkels said. “Last year I think we were 140 and this year we were 113. That is how things fall, there was pretty good competition there on the boys’ side.”
The Trojans’ team score was rounded out by Nathan Landwehr (27, 23, 18:14), Matthew Jirele (40, 34, 18:33) and Ian Stewart (52, 44, 18:58).
Other area teams with compete teams were Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin in seventh (205), Jackson County Central in eighth (231), Murray County Central in ninth (266), Windom in 10th (301) and Tracy-Milroy-Balaton in 13th (348).
Other area runners in the top-25 were Harris-Lake Park's Kayne Feldick (20, 17:59), JCC's Ben Kocak (21, 18, 18:05) and Hills-Beaver Creek/Edgerton/Ellsworth's Ryan Weitgenant.
Worthington’s Danny Flores had a fourth-place finish (8:16) in the 1,800-meter junior high event in his first-ever race, while JCC had a second place finish by Matthew Strom (8:14) in the junior high race and a 10th-place finish by Jack Ringkob in the junior varsity race to lead all area runners in the event.
The Red Rock Conference meet will be held in Slayton on Monday, while the Southwest Conference Meet will be held in Jackson on Tuesday.
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