PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Worthington boys finish third, Adrian girls win at Tiger Invite

MARSHALL -- Once again getting top-notch lead runs from Mubarik Musa and O.J. Ojullu Monday afternoon, the Worthington Trojan varsity boys finished in third place at the 13-team Marshall Tiger Invitational cross country meet at scenic Independenc...

Musa and Ojullu
Photo Courtesy of Matt dahlseid/Marshall Independent Worthington's Mubarik Musa (left) and O.J. Ojullu break away from the pack during Monday's cross country meet in Marshall.

MARSHALL -- Once again getting top-notch lead runs from Mubarik Musa and O.J. Ojullu Monday afternoon, the Worthington Trojan varsity boys finished in third place at the 13-team Marshall Tiger Invitational cross country meet at scenic Independence Park under near-perfect weather conditions.

Matthew Jirele (23rd team-wise, 18:39), Nathan Landwehr (34th, 19:25) and Gordy Moore (36th, 19:39) contributed solid scoring efforts for the Trojans, as those three each broke 20 minutes in the 5,000-meter race. Worthington, led by another 1-2 finish from Musa (15:42) and Ojullu (16:16), scored 96 points to claim third place out of eight complete teams.

"Those two guys (Mubarik and O.J.) are pretty amazing," Worthington head coach Ken Henkels said after the meet. "We're happy with how Matthew, Nathan and Gordy ran, as well. We had five guys under 20 minutes and two more close to that mark, so that was really nice to see."

Ian Stewart (44th, 20:13) and Will Collin (47th, 20:33) were Worthington's sixth and seventh finishers. It was the first race of the season for Landwehr, Moore and Stewart, and just the second overall for the Trojans, who ran at Mountain Lake on Sept. 1 and had a scheduled meet in Tracy postponed on Sept. 9.

"Our guys are running well and posting some nice early-season times," Henkels said. "We expect Mubarik and O.J. to be out in front, and they had some tremendous times today. We would like the next three guys to be a little bit closer to those two, but we are doing a great job overall."


Marshall, sparked by a trio of top-10 (medalist) performances, won the boys' team title with an adjusted total of 46 points. Redwood Valley was second with 74 points, while Canby/Minneota/Lincoln HI was fourth with 101.

Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (114), Murray County Central (132), Adrian (138) and Springfield/Cedar Mountain/Comfrey (212) rounded out the team standings.

Windom's John Curley ran a fine race, placing fifth overall with a time of 16:52. Luverne's Nathan Stensland-Bos (13th, 17:44) and Pipestone Area's Landon Hazelton (32nd, 18:51) were the top runners for their teams, which both finished incomplete. Windom and Lakeview were also incomplete.

Other area boys to finish in the top-10 were T-M-B's Jeremy Hoflock (seventh individually, 17:10), MCC's Schuyler Canfield (ninth, 17:17) and Adrian's Jase Pater (10th, 17:18). Seventy-two runners completed the boys' race.

Adrian wins girls' title

Placing all five of their scoring runners among the top-10 finishers, the Adrian Dragons won the girls' varsity team title with low score of 28 points. Jordin Kopplow paced the Dragons with a first-place time of 14:57 over the 4,000-meter course, as she took home the gold medal.

Also earning medals for Adrian were Austyn Thier (sixth overall, fifth team-wise, 15:59), Megan Sauer (seventh, sixth, 16:09), Nicole Slater (eighth, seventh, 16:18) and Morgan Sauer (10th, ninth, 16:23).

RV (56), C/M/LHI (70), Marshall (72), Worthington (163), S/CM/C (167) and T-M-B (171) were also complete in the seven-team standings. MCC, PA, Luverne, Lakeview, Windom and Southwest Christian all ran incomplete.


Leading Worthington's fifth-place finish was Sarah Cham, who clocked a time of 18:20 to place 21st team-wise. Cham put together a strong kick in the final 200 meters.

Stephanie Jaycox (26th, 18:45), Sade Potter (35th, 19:16), Kari Suby (39th, 20:16) and Ariana Lopez (42nd, 21:05) also factored into the team scoring, while Kinzie Myrom (44th, 21:36) and Tyree Murray (45th, 22:09) were the Trojans' sixth and seventh runners.

"Our girls are making good progress," Henkels said. "Sarah had a good kick and is still learning how to pace herself over a longer distance. Stephanie is just getting healthy now and ran a nice race, and I was pleased with the efforts of all of our girls today."

Luverne's Makayla Hohn claimed the fourth-place medal with her time of 15:51, while the Cardinals' Anna Tofteland (11th, 16:27) just missed a top-10 finish.

Windom's Emily Turner (12th, 16:27) was right behind Tofteland, while MCC's Lexy Gleis (17th, 17:03) nearly broke 17 minutes.

T-M-B's Karli Tholen (38th, 18:56), PA's Claire Haubrich (50th, 19:33) and SWC's Megan Walhof (54th, 19:53) were the top finishers for their respective teams. Seventy-two runners completed the girls' race.

Many of these same teams will return to meet competition Thursday, as Worthington hosts the 43rd Annual Turkey Trot at Prairie View Golf Links.

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