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PREP BOYS CROSS COUNTRY: Friedrichsen, Fissiha top area boys at Northfield

JORDAN WILLI/DAILY GLOBE Luverne's Scott Hess (142) compete during the MSHSL Class A Boys Cross Country Championship on Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield.1 / 3
JORDAN WILLI/DAILY GLOBE Luverne's Ethan Marshall (left) and Scott Nelson (center) compete as snow falls during the MSHSL Class A Boys Cross Country Championship.2 / 3
JORDAN WILLI/DAILY GLOBE Worthington's Amanuel Fissiha keeps pace with the pack during the MSHSL Class AA Boys Cross Country Championship on Saturday.3 / 3

NORTHFIELD -- Luverne senior Josh Friedrichsen and Worthington freshman Amanuel Fissiha had the best individual finishes among area high school boys' cross country runners Saturday at the 2012 state cross country meet at St. Olaf College.

Friedrichsen, running in the Class A meet in the morning, placed ahead of 99 finishing runners as he was 76th overall with a time of 17:13.3 over the 5,000-meter course as the Cardinals' lead runner.

Later, Fissiha competed in the Class AA race early in the afternoon and ran the course in 16:53.0 and finished in 104th-place (out of 176 finishers), as he clocked an average pace of 5:06.6 per mile.

Fissiha's time would have put him in 42nd-place in the Class A race.

"I felt great the whole way," Fissiha said. "There was a lot of pushing and shoving out there, but it was quite the experience and I'm happy with how I ran."

"For a freshman boy, Amanuel's performance at the state meet is really exceptional," Worthington head coach Ken Henkels said. "Hehas had such a great season and he's still looking forward to running, which is a good sign that he's liking it."

Fissiha and many of the Trojans are planning to compete in the post-season Nike Nationals in Sioux Falls Nov. 11.

Stillwater senior Wayde Hall won the Class AA individual race, clocked at 15:21.0, leading the Ponies to an impressive team title with a low score of 46.

Cardinals place 16th as Friedrichsen drops time

Friedrichsen, who has been Luverne's lead runner most of the season, improved his state-meet time (from last year) by 26.5 seconds and moved up 12 places.

"It was such a quick pace, this race goes by so fast," Friedrichsen said about running the course for a second time. "My younger brother was counting the places, so I had some idea where I was. But there are so many good runners, here."

Backing up Friedrichsen's lead run (40th in the team scoring) for the Cardinals were junior Cody Hess (135th overall, 72nd team scoring, 17:52.7), sophomore Drew Weis (81st team scoring, 17:58.7), senior Scott Nelson (94th, team, 18:34.2), sophomore Ethan Marshall (98th team, 18:39.6), senior Nick Buss (102nd, team, 19:03.1) and freshman Erik Wohnoutka (111th team, 20:31.0).

As a team, the Cardinals (40-72-81-94-98) scored 365 points, which put them at the bottom of the standings in 16th place, 20 points behind Park Rapids (345) and well off the lower score of 282, which LHS tallied in 2011 when the Cardinals finished 14th.

"We had three guys run under 18 minutes, so we ran well, especially Josh, who had a very good race," LHS head coach Pete Janiszeski said. "Ethan had a good day as our fifth finisher, running one of his best times.

"But the competition level was so outstanding. There were 17 runners who ran under 16:30 and 53 guys broke 17 minutes. That's faster than most years."

LaVoy, Blomgren run individually at state

Competing individually from Section 3A were Tracy-Milroy-Balaton junior Matt Lavoy (129th overall, 17:48.2) and Mountain Lake Area senior Kyle Blomgren (145th overall, 18:00.0).

"This was fun, but tiring," Lavoy said, a first-year cross country runner about his state-meet experience. "I was never alone. There were so many runners that I was always next to someone, usually three or four. With that hill at the end, it was a tough finish."

Proctor senior Matt Welch won the individual title by more than 12 seconds with a time of 15:34, while Foley senior Charlie Lawrence (15:46.5) and Waseca sophomore Shane Streich (15:52.9) finished second and third, respectively.

Perham (4-5-6-10-12) won by 55 points in team scoring with a low score of 37.

St. Cloud Cathedral (72) and Waseca (164) were second and third, respectively, in the team scoring, while Section 2A champion Martin County West won an extremely close battle for fourth.

Both the Mavericks (18-26-44-55-57) and Winona Cotter tallied 200 points, while Esko (201), Section 3A champion Redwood Valley (205) and Minnehaha Academy (211) were close.

On the sixth-runner tie breaker, MCW earned fourth, as its sixth runner finished two team places (59) behind its fifth and 29 places ahead of Cotter's sixth runner (88).

"We had a great season with both our teams," MCW head coach Stannetta Svoboda said. "This gives both groups a lot of motivation and our boys certainly finished the year with outstanding performances at both the section and state meets."