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PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Mavericks sweep I-90 CC Meet; Klassen, Hildebrandt lead MLA girls to second

FAIRMONT -- Running on a cool day at Cedar Creek Park, the Martin County West Mavericks won both varsity races Thursday at the 10-team I-90 Invitational high school cross country meet.

MCW, paced by the 1-2 finish of freshmen Whitney Smith (15:21) and Morgan Larson (15:28), won the girls' championship with a low score of 35 (1-2-5-9-18), while Mountain Lake Area -- led by the fourth-place finish of junior Whitney Klassen (15:51) and the seventh-place run of sophomore Lydia Hildebrandt (16:07) -- was a solid second with 49 points (4-7-11-12-15).

Fairmont was third with 76 points, followed by Mankato East (93), Blue Earth Area (155), St. James (155), Madelia (189) and St. Peter (198). Jackson County Central and Southwest Star Concept were both incomplete.

Individually, however, JCC and SSC combined to bring home five varsity medals.

SSC seventh-grader Rachel Salentiny finished 11th with a time of 16:21.3 over the 4,000-meter course, while JCC seventh-grader Annika Lilleberg (17th, 16:38.4), SSC seventh-grader MaKayla Edwards (20th, 16:42.7), JCC freshman Jadin Bezdicek (21st, 16:47.4) and JCC eighth-grader Jayni Anderson (24th, 17:04.8) all placed among the top 25 in the 95-finisher field.

MCW (3-4-8-13-14) convincingly won the boys' team title with a score of 42, while Mankato East (74), edged St. James (82) for second.

Madelia, led by individual winner Cade Eckstrom (16:26 for 5,000 meters), was fourth with 123 points, followed by St. Peter (136), Fairmont (164), JCC (178), BEA (184) and MLA (201). SSC was incomplete.

Johnathan Surber of St James was second individually (16:30), followed by MCW's Jonah Mayo (16:34) and Walter Fuller (16:59).

Kyle Blomgren (17th, 18:04) paced MLA, while Peter Nasby (18:19) finished 24th to earn an individual medal for JCC.

Walker Crocker (80th, 21:00) was SSC's lone varsity runner.

A total of 100 runners completed the course and MCW had seven of the top-18 finishers in an impressive team performance.