FAIRMONT - Emily Mantor does not hold a spot in the Class A preseason individual cross country rankings, but the United South Central junior standout made a strong bid for one during Friday's Early Bird Invitational in Fairmont.
Mantor covered the 4,000-meter course in 14 minutes, 37.6 seconds to capture the girls overall crown and paced the No. 6-ranked Rebels' first-place team showing during southern Minnesota's season-opening road race.
In fact, Mantor's time proved the third fastest overall during the nine-team competition, with only New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva junior T.J. Schiltz (13:23.0) and No. 10-ranked St. James senior Johnathan Surber (13:34.7) crossing the finish line sooner.
ON?COURSE — Fairmont’s Katiana Fischer (left) and the Cardinals’ Kaleb Linse (right) run side-by-side during the midway juncture of a 4,000-meter run at the Early Bird Invitational cross country meet Friday near Fairmont High School Fischer went on to capture fourth place overall in the girls’ portion of the season-opening meet. Photo by Charlie Sorrells
ON COURSE — Blue Earth Area runner Mike Ankeny heads down the backstretch during the Early Bird Invitational in Fairmont on Friday. Ankeny went on to place fourth overall in the boys’ portion of the season-opener. Photo by Charlie Sorrells
Freshman Bethany Koziolek posted a time of 16:25.5 to place second overall in the girls' division to pack scoring punch to USC's winning ways, while senior teammate Hannah Goemann crossed the finish line in 16:58.0 to capture fifth in the girls ranks.
Sophomore Amber Klein (17:57.5) and freshman Tikvah Schwartz (18:03.1) rounded out the Rebels' top five counting times.
"USC came into today's meet ranked sixth in the Class A girls preseason state poll, so we expected them to be tough," said Fairmont head coach Bob Bonk, whose Cardinal girls lineup captured second-place honors on the strength of sophomore standout Katiana Fischer's fourth-place overall showing. "Obviously, I'm happy about Kati winning the sophomore (girls) race.
"We're a young team with a lot of possibilities to improve as the season progresses. I thought for just coming out of the chute, the girls ran a very respectable race. After Kati, the girls did a nice job of bunching their times."
Sophomore Sarah Ostlie, who logged more than 350 miles during the summer, delivered Fairmont's second-best girls' time by finishing in 18:27.7, while eighth-grader Jenna Pavich made her varsity debut by running an 18:32.9.
Freshman Sarah Bartz, also a member of the Cardinals' 350-mile offseason club, delivered an 18:38.0, while sophomore Jaclyn Friese rounded out the counting times with an 18:56.9.
Freshmen Taylor Grandgenett and Shayna Stevermer, key members of Blue Earth Area's 2012 True Team state track & field team, engineered the Bucs' third-place team showing in the girls bracket. Grandgenett posted a team-best time of 17:30.2, while Shayna Stevermer netted an 18:29.6.
The junior trio of Sierra Halvorson, Jenna Stevermer and Anna Aukes completed Blue Earth Area's counting times in 18:57.4, 20:24.6 and 21:24.5, respectively.
While the Cardinals and Bucs placed Nos. 2 and 3 in the girls division, Blue Earth Area and Fairmont netted fifth and sixth, respectively, during the boys' competition.
Mike Ankeny won the sophomore 4K race with a time of 14:47.2 to earn a fourth-place overall showing in the boys' bracket to pace the Bucs' team effort.
Freshman Adam Buseman produced a time of 16:49.7 for Blue Earth Area, while junior John Lee (17:40.1), freshman Zach Vaske (17:43.0) and sophomore Nick Shure (17:54.6) rounded out the team's performance.
Marcus Larson led the way for the short-handed Fairmont boys squad, taking sixth place in the senior race via a team-best time of 15:51.7.
"We were missing some of our runners on the boys' side, but I thought we competed hard today," said Bonk, whose lineup was missing Josiah Johnson, Payton Schlomann, Andrew Johnson, Cole Huinker and Ben Huinker due to prior commitments. "We're a work in progress, and will continue to improve as the season goes on."
Sophomore Kaleb Linse turned in a time of 16:41.1 to place second on the Cardinals' team behind Larson, while junior Christopher Poush crossed the finish line in 17:14.5. Junior Harley Luhmann (17:40.1) and junior Riley Higgins (18:24.9) completed Fairmont's counting boys scores.
Sophomore Zuriel Chacon generated a time of 15:15.1 to pack scoring punch to Surber's runner-up overall honors for St. James, while senior Richy Soto chipped in a 15:24.2. Freshman Noah Pinke (16:12.9) and junior Tyler Witcraft (16:14.9) rounded out the Saints' team triumph.
Fairmont and Blue Earth Area compete at the Wolverine Classic at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Mountain Lake Golf Course in Mountain Lake.
2012 EARLY BIRD INVITE
At Fairmont High School
Varsity Girls (4K)
Team Standings (Top 5 individual times): 1. United South Central; 2. Fairmont; 3. Blue Earth Area; 4. St. James; 5. Le Sueur-Henderson. Incomplete: Jackson County Central, Medford, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva and St. Peter.
Individual Girls Results
Top 5 Overall: 1. Emily Mantor (USC) 14:37.6; 2. Bethany Koziolek (USC) 16:25.5; 3. Jadin Bezdicek (JCC) 16:47.0; 4. Katiana Fischer (Fairmont) 16:51.7; 5. Hannah Goemann (USC) 16:58.0.
Fairmont (Top 5): Katiana Fischer 16:51.7; Sarah Ostlie 18:27.7; Jenna Pavich 18:32.9; Sarah Bartz 18:38.0; Jaclyn Friese 18:56.9.
Other Fairmont runners: Anna Hernes 19:23.7; Sasha Riley 19:35.1; Molly Hawkins 19:51.8; Emily Haugen 19:53.8; Miranda Mathiason 21:28.6; Emilee Moeller 21:41.2; Rachel Botzet 24:53.0; Julie Fleming 24:54.4; Matelyn Schultz 38:06.0.
B.E. Area (Top 5): Taylor Grandgenett 17:30.2; Shayna Stevermer 18:29.6; Sierra Halvorson 18:57.4; Jenna Stevermer 20:24.6; Anna Aukes 21:24.5.
Other B.E. Area runners: Meredith Hagedorn 21:48.7; Makenzei Slette 22:13.8; Rowan Hacken 22:17.1; Nyla Anderson 22:22.8; Mara Fenske 22:25.1; Autumn Foster 22:37.7; Josselyn Martinez 24:47.6; Cythia Johnson 25:31.7; Alexis Brooks 27:50.3; Madeline Jenkins 30:31.3.
Varsity Boys (4K)
Team Standings (Top 5 individual times): 1. St. James; 2. LSH; 3. USC; 4. JCC; 5. Blue Earth Area; 6. Fairmont; 7. St. Peter. Incomplete: Medford and NRHEG.
Individual Boys Results
Top 5 Overall: 1. T.J. Schiltz (NRHEG) 13:23.0; 2. Johnathan Surber (SJ) 13:34.7; 3. Nick Pietila (SP) 14:42.3; 4. Mike Ankeny (BEA) 14:47.2; 5. Zach Grieves (LSH) 14:53.3.
Fairmont (Top 5): Marcus Larson 15:51.7; Kaleb Linse 16:41.1; Christopher Poush 17:14.5; Harley Luhmann 17:40.1; Riley Higgins 18:24.9.
Other Fairmont runner: Colin Meadows 20:05.5.
B.E. Area (Top 5): Mike Ankeny 14:47.2; Adam Buseman 16:49.7; John Lee 17:40.1; Zach Vaske 17:43.0; Nick Shure 17:54.6.
Other B.E. Area runners: Nick Lein 18:05.3; Jakob Thomsen 18:12.6; Jose Rios 20:23.4; John Lindsey 20:48.5; Cage Johnson 28:23.5; Ike Zebedee 32:40.5.
8th-Grade (1 Mile)
1. Tommy Velasco (SJ) 5:31.3; 2. Chris Mulholland (USC) 5:33.4; 3. Seth Becker (BEA) 5:59.3.
Fairmont runner: 20. Jaxson Jurgens 7:30.5.
6th-7th Grades (1 Mile)
1. Dakota Wiersma (Medford) 6:04; 2. Braeden Thompson (NRHEG) 6:04.6; 3. Andy Schultz (USC) 6:19.4.
Fairmont runners: 4. Chris Lebert 6:21.0; Andrew Moeller 6:25.3; 6. Hannah Johnson 6:25.6; 10. Lizzy Subbert 6:34.1; 12. Megan Hawkins 6:42.0; 17. Zoey Roggow 6:49.2; 19. Grace Higgins 7:01.8; 20. Seth Carlmark 7:04.0; 22. Emma Koehler 7:10.0; 24. Adam Carstensen 7:11.4; 27. Alyssa Fetters 7:15.4; 28. Rose Lueth 7:23.8; 29. Anna Sundblad 7:27.8; 30. Bethany Linse 7:28.1; 32. Lexi Fischer 7:31.7; 33. Madison Pierce 7:36.9; 34. Noah Wolter 7:41.4; 36. Jed Slater 7:45.4; 42. Dylan Muller 7:57.7; 43. Taylor Driehorst 8:00.4; 44. Wil Hillmer 8:02.9; 45. Dayton Pasch 8:05.4; 47. Annie Mittelstadt 8:08.0; 49. Anna Nordquist 8:10.5.