Fairmont Summer Run carries family theme to new heights

EXITING BONK TRACK — Former Hopkins standout Penn Sagedahl (306) leads Fairmont High School senior-to-be Tony Ortega (left) as they head for open ground in the 2-mile race at Saturday’s Fairmont Summer Run on Bonk Track. Joel Sagedahl, Penn’s father (blue T-shirt), and Sherwood Sagedahl (back right), Penn’s grandfather, follow in the younger runner’s footsteps. (Photo by Charlie Sorrells)

FAIRMONT — “The family that plays together, stays together.”

The Fairmont Summer Run fit the definition of that old saying Saturday during the 41st running of oldest continuous road race in southern Minnesota.

Cardinals’ assistant cross country coach Holly Neusch and Fairmont High School junior-to-be Hannah Neusch produced the fastest mother-daughter combined time in the 2-mile competition on the Fairmont campus.

Holly Neusch established one of four new records on the day by crossing the finish line in 14:05 to eclipse the previous mark of 15:06 set by Tonya Klunder in the female division’s 40-49 age bracket.

Meanwhile, Hannah Neusch, a key long-distance runner returning to the Cardinals’ cross country lineup this fall, bested the female division’s entire 2-mile field with the top time of 13:29.

“We’re less than three weeks away from the first (official) day of practice, and I think everybody’s looking forward to the (upcoming) season,” said Holly Neusch, who helped organize the annual running event with Community Education and Recreation guru Roni Dauer and a number of other valuable volunteers this year.

Ironically, while Team Neusch was packing a 1-2 punch in the female bracket, 2019 Hopkins High School graduate Penn Sagedahl and his father Joel Sagedahl were producing identical results in the male division’s 2-mile competition.

Penn Sagedahl captured the overall championship by blistering the 3,200-meter course in 10:20 to just miss replacing his own 16-19 divisional record of 10:19 set a year ago.

Joel Sagedahl, however, did improve his own Fairmont Summer Run record in the 40-49 bracket by crossing the finish line in 11:41 on Saturday. Joel Sagedahl held the previous mark of 11:51.

But Team Sagedahl was not complete with Penn and Joel representing two generations of elite runners as Sherwood Sagedahl neared his 2018 70-plus divisional record time of 14:25 by finishing in a first-place time of 14:49 on Saturday.

Sherwood Sagedahl, however, did not compete in his trademark Nike Mayfly Lites during Saturday’s 2-mile race.

“No more gold shoes. The last time I wore them I had so much tape holding them together, I finally had to retire them,” said the smiling Fairmont octogenarian, who continues to add to his already impressive record-setting National Senior Games track & field resume.

While the family names of Sagedahl and Neusch were prevalent in the same gender bracket of the 2-mile race, Isaiah Peters and Hadassah Peters kept the late summer classic’s theme intact from a sibling perspective.

Isaiah Peters bested his own prior mark of 11:44 in the 20-29 male division by crossing the finish line in 11:37 on Saturday. Simultaneously, Hadassah Peters, Isaiah’s sister, captured top honors in the 30-39 bracket by generating a time of 14:13. Hadassah Peters, however, still shares the Summer Run’s 20-29 female 2-mile record in 14:31.

Fairmont’s Eric Johnson and Catherine Johnson added a new twist to the family theme as a divisional-winning husband-wife duo, while Gavin Artner and Ben Artner posted a 1-2 showing in the 2-mile competition from a son-father standpoint.

Gavin Artner claimed the 15 & under male division’s crown in 13:45, while Ben Artner — his dad — garnered second-place accolades (17:40) to the record-setting Joel Sagedahl in the 40-49 male bracket.

Connor Artner, also Ben’s son, added to the genetic connection by capturing the 5-mile race’s overall championship via producing the longest race’s lone sub-30 time of 29:52. Connor Artner, who’s a key varsity runner returning to the Cardinals’ lineup this fall, fended off teammate Will Saari (31.52) for the 18 & under 5-mile crown.

Laura Thompson and Ellie Hernes did likewise in the female division’s 18 & under 5-mile race. The two Fairmont track & field standouts netted a respective 1-2 finish of 34:54 and 47.33.

Mark Hernes, Ellie’s father, posted a 5-mile time of 47.34 to place second to Michael Trushenski (36:26) in the 47-53 male division to continue the theme.

Kyle Blomgren Jr. outdueled brother Adam Blomgren to produce a 1-2 sibling showing in the 19-25 portion of the 5-mile run in 32.37 and 33.54, respectively. The Blomgren brothers’ parents — Kyle Sr. and Kim — also produced winning results in their respective races.

Kyle Blomgren Sr. crossed the finish line first in the 54-60 male division of the 5-mile competition in 38:37, while Kim Blomgren netted a time of 18:11 to garner first place in the 50-59 female bracket of the 2-mile race.

Lana Wegner, who holds the event’s 26-32 bracket’s record of 32:06, captured the overall female championship with a time of 33:46, while Mariah Brodie of Carthage, Illinois, won the 19-25 female division with the second-best overall gender time of 34:08.

“I’m just finishing up an internship with Devenish (Nutrition in Fairmont) this summer,” said Brodie, who currently competes for Division I track & field program Illinois State University. “I’m mainly a mid-distance runner (800 meters) in college, but I thought I’d try the longer distance today.”

The Redbirds’ redshirt collegiate junior-to-be helped guide Illini West High School to the Illinois High School Association Class 1A track & field team state championship in 2015 and still holds the prep program’s school records in the 400-meter run (58.98) and 800 (2:14.95).

Addison Toothaker rounded out the summer run’s record-setting performances by running a time of 1:34 in the quarter-mile 7 & under female division. Toothaker edged out Mylee Larson’s previous top mark of 1:38.

2019 Fairmont Summer Run

5-Mile Race

Male Division

Overall winner: Connor Artner, 29:52.

18 & Under: 1. Artner; 2. Will Saari, 31:52.

19-25: 1. Kyle Blomgren Jr., 32:37; 2. Adam Blomgren, 33.54.

26-32: 1. Andrew Hasek, 31:05.

33-39: 1. Corey Goodrich, 37:43.

40-46: No entries.

47-53: 1. Michael Trushenski, 36:26; 2. Mark Hernes, 47:34.

54-60: 1. Kyle Blomgren Sr., 38:37.

61-69: 1. Stew Murfield, 39:09; 2. Dexter Prechel, 51:31.

Female Division

Overall winner: Lana Wegner, 33:46.

18 & Under: 1. Laura Thompson, 34:54; 2. Ellie Hernes, 47:33.

19-25: 1. Mariah Brodie, 34:08; 2. Elsa Tostrud, 46:53.

26-32: 1. Wegner; 2. Leah Hartung, 35:58.

33-39: 1. Brooke Nelsen, 35:16; 2. Emily Labes, 48:43.

40-46: 1. Carmen Jaskulke, 35:36; 2. Patti Strukel, 48:40.

47-53: 1. Stacey Jansa, 43:07; 2. Laurie Tostrud, 48:09.

54-60: 1. Stannetta Svoboda, 38:36.

61-69: No entries.

2-Mile Race

Male Division

Overall winner: Penn Sagedahl, 10:20.

15 & Under: 1. Gavin Artner, 13:45; 2. Kylar Larson, 14:03.

16-19: 1. Penn Sagedahl; 2. Tony Ortega, 11:37.2.

20-29: 1. (event record) Isaiah Peters, 11:37.4; 2. Sam Viesselman, 13:19.

30-39: 1. Logan Kahler, 18:20; 2. Jay Schomberg, 18:22.

40-49: 1. (event record) Joel Sagedahl, 11:41; 2. Ben Artner, 17.4.

50-59: No entries.

60-69: 1. Eric Johnson, 15:31; 2. John Heuer, 17:30.

70-Plus: 1. Sherwood Sagedahl, 14:49; 2. Clint Firstbrook, 23:19.

Female Division

Overall winner: Hannah Neusch, 13:29.

15 & Under: 1. Carys Gudahl, 14:33; 2. Brianna Morrow, 14:58.

16-19: 1. Hannah Neusch; 2. Becca Lunn, 15:47.

20-29: 1. Bethany Miller, 21:42.

30-39: 1. Hadassah Peters, 14:13; 2. Tiffany Harris, 18:34.

40-49: 1. (event record) Holly Neusch, 14:05.

50-59: 1. Kim Blomgren, 18:11.

60-69: 1. Catherine Johnson, 26:43.

70-Plus: No entries.


Female: 7 & Under: 1. (event record) Addison Toothaker, 1:34; 2. Adeline Labes, 1:49.

8-9: 1. Audrey Prince, 1:54.

Male: 7 & Under: 1. Carter Simmering, 1:36; 2. Grant Simmering, 1:48.

8-9: 1. Cole Wedel, 1:47; 2. Jensen Schomberg, 1:55.


Female: 11 & Under: 1. Delaney Irwin, 3:34; 2. Olivia Wedel, 3:53.

Male: 11 & Under: 1. Dayton Draper, 3:11; 2. Caleb Klassen, 3:12.


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