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Fairmont runs to 2nd, 3rd at own invitational

TOP-TWO SHOWING — Fairmont’s Laura Thompson (right) and teammate Macy Hanson (second from left) sprint out of the starting gate during the Fairmont Invitational cross country race Monday at Cedar Creek Park in Fairmont. Thompson and Hanson went on to post a 1-2 finish. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Laura Thompson dominated on a shortened course to lead the Fairmont girls to second, while William Saari took second to lead the Cardinal boys to third.

The Fairmont girls combined for 36 points, behind Mankato West’s 26, while the Cardinal boys totalled 63 points, behind Mankato West’s 53 and Albert Lea’s 24 at the Fairmont Invite at Cedar Creek Park in Fairmont on Monday.

Thompson took first place on the two-mile course, shortened from the normal 5K because of a high heat index, with a time of 12:03.4, nearly 30 seconds faster than the second-place finisher, Fairmont’s seventh-grade standout Macy Hanson, who ran to a time of 12:30.3.

Fairmont girls also took 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th place.

Tabitha Thatcher finished with a time of 13:25.9, for 11th and Carys Gudahl ran a 13:28.1 for 12th, while Hannah Neusch finished in 13:47.5 for 13th and Emma Gudahl took 14th in 13:53.4.

Eleanor Hamlet was the next Cardinal to finish when she took 18th with a time of 14:16.4, while Sara Sundblad finished 26th in the 61-runner race with a time of 14:48.7.

Becca Lunn took 36th in 15:43.2, Lily Higgins finished 43rd with a time of 16:04.9, Emily Kerekes (17:03.8) crossed into the chute in 50th and Justine Eisenmenger (17:07.7) took 51st.

Fairmont head coach Bob Bonk said he’s happy with the decreasing difference in the Fairmont girls’ times.

“It was solid, it’s hard to know when you run the two mile,” Bonk said. “It was the right decision. Coach (Mat) Mahoney and I talked about it and in this type of heat running can be dangerous. I was happy with how it went, the girls competed hard and we continued to narrow the gap between Laura and the rest of the girls, and that’s really encouraging.

“The gap between Laura and Macy got a lot smaller this meet than last week, so that’s good to see.”

Fairmont’s William Saari held the lead throughout the boys race, until Albert Lea’s Sonny Ortega-Roseli crossed in front of Saari in the final 10 meters. Ortega-Roseli ended in first with a time of 10:14.5, while Saari claimed silver less than a second later at 10:15.1.

Connor Artner was the second Fairmont boy to hit the chute when he finished seventh in 10:52.2, while Tony Ortega claimed 13th in the 58-competitor race with a time of 11:10.1.

Tyrell Zieske finished fourth for the Cardinals with a time of 11:54.9, good for 21st overall, and Alex Cruz took 26th with a time of 12:24.3 for the final Fairmont contributing time.

Blake Hilgendorf was the final Fairmont competitor, finishing 56th with a time of 15:50.7.

Bonk said he’s enjoying the improvement the Cardinal boys have shown.

“For the guys, the top three ran really well,” Bonk said. “Depth was an issue for us, but I have to say, Alex Cruz, especially as our fifth runner, he’s gotten a lot closer to those top guys than he was at the beginning of the year. He’s doing a really nice job. Will (Saari) had a great race in that battle for first. That was a lot faster than he’s ever run the two mile in track. I thought he especially had a great day.”

The Cardinal boys and girls hit the course again at the Milaca Mega Meet at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

2019 Fairmont Invite

Varsity Girls (2 Mile)

Team Results: 1. Mankato West 26; 2. Fairmont 36; 3. Albert Lea 78; 4. United South Central 108. Incomplete: Minnesota Valley Lutheran.

Individual Results (Top 15): 1. Laura Thompson (FMT) 12:03.4; 2. Macy Hanson (FMT) 12:30.3; 3. Chloe Aanenson (West) 12:41.3; 4. Ana Goellner (West) 12:43.9; 5. Nicole Swanson (West) 12:45.1; 6. Abby Nelson (MVL) 12:57.3; 7. Katie Swanson (West) 13:12.9; 8. Karime Ponciano (AL) 12:14.5; 9. Karina Hulzebos (West) 13:15.6; 10. Sunshine Langworthy (West) 13:18.4; 11. Tabitha Thatcher (FMT) 12:35.9; 12. Carys Gudahl (FMT) 13:28.1; 13. Hannah Neusch (FMT) 13:47.5; 14. Emma Gudahl (FMT) 13:53.4; 15. Breck Carlson (West) 13:54.1.

Other Fairmont Results: 18. Eleanor Hamlet 14:16.4; 26. Sara Sundblad 14:48.7; 36. Becca Lunn 15:43.2; 43. Lily Higgins 16:04.9; 50. Emily Kerekes 17:03.8; 51. Justine Eisenmenger 17:07.7.

Varsity Boys (2 Mile)

Team Results: 1. Albert Lea 24; 2. Mankato West 53; 3. Fairmont 63; 4. Minnesota Valley Lutheran 105. Incomplete: United South Central.

Individual Results (Top 15): 1. Sonny Ortega-Roseli (AL) 10:14.5; 2. William Saari (FMT) 10:15.1; 3. Hans Rupnow (West) 10:38.5; 4. Aaron Bauers (AL) 10:44; 5. Khan Mut (AL) 10:44.2; 6. Sam Louters (AL) 10:44.6; 7. Connor Artner (FMT) 10:52.2; 8. Gavin Hanke (AL) 10:53; 9. William Simmons (West) 10:54.5; 10. Colby Pathammavong (AL) 10:54.7; 11. Travis Jensen (AL) 10:55; 12. Joshua Landgraff (West) 11:06.3; 13. Tony Ortega (FMT) 11:10.1; 14. Carson Deichman (West) 11:12.4; 15. Blake Kirby (West) 11:20.7.

Other Fairmont Results: 21. Tyrell Zieske 11:54.9; 26. Alex Cruz 12:24.3; Blake Hilgendorf 15:50.7.

Junior High Girls

(1,600 meter)

Team Results: 1. Fairmont 26; 2. Mankato West 30. Incomplete: Albert Lea; United South Central.

Individual Results (Top 5): 1. Shelby Evans (AL) 6:23.9; 2. Ellie Ortega (FMT) 6:34.3; 3. Kristina Espinosa (AL) 6:38.9; 4. Ava Terfehr (FMT) 6:41.5; 5. Samantha Domeier (FMT) 6:42.4.

Other Fairmont Results: 13. Rylee Maday 7:20.8; 16. Paige DeBoer 7:51.4.

Junior High Boys

(1,600 meter)

Team Results: 1. Mankato West 17; 2. Fairmont 44. Incomplete: Albert Lea.

Individual Results (Top 5): 1. Owen Risto (West) 5:44.7; 2. Ian Risto (West) 5:48.3; 3. Julian Bhardwaj (West) 5:54; 4. Mason Buendorf (AL) 5:56.8; 5. Will Niestrath (FMT) 5:58.2.

Other Fairmont Results: 9. Sebastian Castro 6:13.1; 10. Ben Moeller 6:13.7; 12. Gavin Artner 6:14.9; 14. Andrew Haugen 6:45.1; 23. Tait Johnson 7:48.8.

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