BLUE EARTH - It had almost been a decade since the Class A, No. 7-ranked Fairmont Cardinals girls cross country team finished on top of the South Central Conference.
On Tuesday at the Riverside Town & Country Club, the Cardinals ended that drought in memorable fashion by defeating Class A, No. 1-ranked Waseca by 10 points to claim first-place team honors.
"I think I might have trouble sleeping tonight after such a great day," said Fairmont head coach Bob Bonk. "We didn't try to be superwomen, we just did what we could do and today that was enough."
CLIMBING — Fairmont runner Jenna Pavich ascends a hill during the girls cross country race in Tuesday’s South Central Conference Meet at Riverside Town & Country Club’s golf course near Blue Earth. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
CLIMBING — Fairmont’s Sanguja Hassan (left), Blue Earth Area’s Mike Ankeny (right) and the Bucs’ Isaac Miranda climb an incline during the latter stages of the boys race at the South Central Conference Meet on Tuesday at Riverside Town & Country Club near Blue Earth. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
Fairmont, who has finished second to Waseca in the SCC Meet every year since its last title in 2004, grabbed five of the top-10 individual finishes to outpace the Bluejays for the title.
Freshman Jenna Pavich led the Cardinal charge with a fourth-place overall time of 15 minutes and 57 seconds, helping hold the Waseca runners to just two top-10 finishers.
Hannah Johnson raced in for sixth place with a time of 16:06, starting the string of Fairmont finishers. Iliana Ramon, Emily Haugen and Katiana Fischer all followed right behind, finishing seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.
"Emily Haugen had a huge second part of the race - she went from being our seventh runner to our fourth on the second lap of the course," said Bonk. "And Kati had really strong last 400-600 meters of the race, and really scored us points by moving up a couple spots."
Ramon finished in 16:10, Haugen in 16:17 and Fischer in 16:19.
"I sound like a broken record after each meet, but it is all about the pack and the team," said Bonk. "And today we had our tightest pack all season, with only 22 seconds separating all seven runners."
Molly Hawkins and Sarah Bartz then completed the Cardinals' winning team score with finishes of 16:34 and 16:42 for 15th and 17th place, respectively.
"Before the race, we really talked a lot about focusing on our running. We knew that Waseca was good, and top ranked, but we needed to not worry about where they were in the race," said Bonk.
Blue Earth Area's Taylor Grandgenett led the Bucs' fifth-place team effort with a 10th-place time of 16:20.
Jenna Stevermer and Shayna Stevermer then finished back-to-back in 22nd and 23rd place with times of 17:32 and 17:36, respectively, for the Bucs.
Mariah Halvorson raced into 25th place with a time of 17:40, while Sierra Halvorson finished in 27th with a time of 17:59.
Signe Olson and Zoe Thompson completed the Bucs' score with times of 18:28 and 18:41 for 29th and 31st place, respectively.
While the Fairmont girls pulled the upset bid in their race, the Cardinal boys cruised to a third-place team finish.
Zac Ehlert topped the Cardinals with a seventh-place time of 18:31, while Sanguja Hassan raced into the top 10 with a ninth-place time of 18:53.
"You know I thought that all of the guys ran well today, but Sanguja might have had the best race of his career today," said Bonk. "We thought coming in that as a team we could finish close to Blue Earth Area or St. James, and we finished right between them."
Kaleb Linse and Christopher Poush provided 16th-and 17th-place times of 19:22 and 19:52, respectively, for Fairmont in the race.
Brian Wilde came in with a 23rd-place time of 20:11, while Ben Huinker and Cody Lane finished 27th and 28th in 20:38 and 20:44, respectively.
"As a team, we moved up a couple spots from where we were last year, and we ran well today," said Bonk. "I was very pleased with all of our performances."
Zach Vaske cracked the top five to help pace the Bucs to a second-place team finish on the boys side with a fifth-place time of 18:14.
Isaac Miranda finished eighth in 18:52, while Mike Ankeny raced to 11th place with a time of 19:05.
Jordan Stelter and Kyle Mercer finished 19th and 21st for the Bucs with times of 20:04 and 20:08, respectively.
Adam Buseman and Nick Shure capped the Bucs second-place effort with 30th- and 33rd-place times of 22:08 and 23:41, respectively.
Fairmont travels to compete in the Blue Earth Area Invitational on Tuesday at Riverside Town & Country Club in Blue Earth.
2013 SCC CROSS
At Riverside Town & Country Club
Team Standings: 1. Fairmont 34; 2. Waseca 44; 3. St. Peter 82; 4. St. James 103; 5. Blue Earth Area 107.
Individual Results (35 runners): 1. Sally O'Brien (W) 15:36; 2. Kourtney Kulseth (W) 15:37; 3. Abigail Borgmeier (SP) 15:49; 4. Jenna Pavich (F) 15:57; 5. Katherine Schilling (SP) 16:02;6. Hannah Johnson (F) 16:06; 7. Iliana Ramon (F) 16:10; 8. Emily Haugen (F) 16:17, 9. Katiana Fischer (F) 16:19; 10. Taylor Grandgenett (BEA) 16:20.
Other Fairmont finishers: 15. Molly Hawkins 16:34; 17. Sarah Bartz 16:42.
Other BEA finishers: 22. Jenna Stevermer 17:32; 23. Shayna Stevermer 17:36; 25. Mariah Halvorson 17:40; 27. Sierra Halvorson 17:59; 29. Signe Olson 18:28; 31. Zoe Thompson 18:41.
Team Standings: 1. Waseca 20; 2. Blue Earth Area 64; 3. Fairmont 72; 4. St. James 87; 5. St. Peter 122.
Individual Results: 1. Shane Streich (W) 16:12; 2. Cole Streich (W) 17:24; 3. Josh Kimball (W) 17:36; 4. Jesse Delgado (W) 17:58; 5. Zach Vaske (BEA) 18:14; 6. Cody Vacek-Grack (SP) 18:19; 7. Zac Ehlert (F) 18:31; 8. Isaac Miranda (BEA) 18:525; 9. Sanguja Hassan (F) 18:53; 10. Joe Mens (W) 18:59.
Other Fairmont finishers: 16. Kaleb Linse 19:22; 17. Christopher Poush 19:52; 23. Brian Wilde 20:11; 27. Ben Huinker 20:38; 28. Cody Lane 20:44.
Other BEA finishers: 11. Mike Ankeny 19:05; 19. Jordan Stelter 20:04; 21. Kyle Mercer 20:08; 30. Adam Buseman 22:08; 33. Nick Shure 23:41.
Team Standings: 1. Fairmont 22; 2. Waseca 43; 3. Blue Earth Area 70; 4. St. James 121. Incomplete team: St. Peter.
Individual Results: 1. Megan Hawkins (F) 16:52; 2. Lizzy Subbert (F) 17:04; 3. Maya Aberle (W) 17:16; 4. Jaclyn Friese (F) 17:20; 5. Sadie Novak-Klug (W) 17:35; 6. Sasha Riley (F) 17:55; 7. Olivia Wendland (W) 18:04; 8. Etta DeLong (W) 18:07; 9. Miranda Mathiason (F) 18:10; 10. Bethany Linse (F) 18:14.
Other Fairmont finishers: Grace Higgins 18:31; Anna Sundblad 18:53; Emma Koehler 19:02; Emilee Moeller 19:05; Hannah Olson 19:12; Elora Ramon 19:34; Rachel Poppe 20:19; Madison Pierce 20:56; Julie Fleming 21:04; Lexi Fischer 21:07; Alyssa Fetters 21:42; Annie Mittelstadt 21:59; Rachel Botzet 23:41.
Blue Earth Area finishers: Anna Aukes 19:00; Melissa Hagedorn 19:06; Callie Stevermer 19:24; Athena Peterson 19:31; Ina Aasheim 19:33; Kara Devinney 19:36; Arianna Nagel 19:42; Mette Rostad 20:24; Makenzie Slette 20:43; Alexis Brooks 20:54; Rowan Hacken 21:41; Brooke Frandle 21:43; Gabby Weerts 21:43; Amanda Jacobson 21:46; Jalyssa Wilson 22:00; Justina Gaydon 22:25; Maria Jacobsen 22:51; Hayley Jahnke 23:09; Madeline Jenkins 28:24.
Team Standings: 1. Waseca 20; 2. St. James 55; 3. Fairmont 64; 4. Blue Earth Area 115. Incomplete team: St. Peter.
Individual Results: 1. Jacob Dooley (W) 19:34; 2. Owen Lewer (W) 19:43; 3. Andrew Moeller (F) 19:48; 4. Jack McCabe (W) 19:51; 5. Ricardo Vite (SJ) 20:02; 6. Joshua Bulfer (W) 20:11; 7. John McNair III (W) 20:18; 8. Ethan Davide (W) 20:26; 9. Cole Halla (W) 20:27; 10. Aaron Askeland (SJ) 20:37.
Other Fairmont finishers: Cole Huinker 20:58; Seth Carlmark 21:02; Dayton Pasch 21:35; Adam Carstensen 22:50; Colin Meadows 22:51; Noah Wolter 23:26; Darrian Kueker 23:38; Harley Luhmann 23:42; Jaxon Jurgens 24:08; Nathan Olson 25:08; Colin Stone 25:09; Dylan Muller 25:37; Wil Hillmer 30:10; Ben Hernes 31:03.
BEA finishers: Gabe Jacobsen 22:43; Bobby Lindsey 23:11; Gunnar Fering 23:17; Jaxx Jacobsen 23:52; Alex Benson 23:57; John Lindsey 24:20; Sam Welker 25:06; Jack Nimz 25:11.