Fairmont runs to 2nd, 5th at I-90 Invite
FAIRMONT — After a one-year hiatus, a Fairmont girl reclaimed the individual crown at the I-90 cross country meet in Fairmont.
Laura Thompson dominated the girls race at Cedar Creek Park, with a course-, race- and school-record time of 18:53.3, beating the old race record of 19:13.
The Cardinals’ Macy Hanson also came close to breaking the old race record with her second-place finish in 19:18.
Belle Plaine’s McKenna Herrmann (19:33.5), St. Peter’s Hadley Stuehrenberg (19:56.5) and St. James Area’s Paola Acevedo (20:06.8) rounded out the girls’ top five in the 104-competitor race.
Carys Gudahl was the next Cardinal girl to hit the chute when she claimed 17th in 20:52, followed by Tabitha Thatcher in 19th with a time of 20:59.
Emma Gudahl gave the Cardinals their final contributing time with her 21st-place finish in 21:35.6.
Hannah Neusch finished 23rd with a time of 21:50.5, while Ellie Ortega was close behind with a time of 21:53.4 for 24th.
Sara Sundblad (22:42.4) and Eleanor Hamlet (22:46) finished 41st and 42nd, respectively, for the Cardinals, while Ava Terfehr (24:02.9) finished 56th and Bethany Thatcher (24:18) took 62nd.
Lily Higgins was next for Fairmont with her 68th-place time of 25:06.2, then Justine Eisenmenger (25:27) finished 75th.
Emily Kerekes took 90th with her time of 27:16.4.
Fairmont head coach Bob Bonk said he was encouraged by how well the Cardinal girls competed against high-level competition.
“Laura (Thompson) shattered the old record and Macy (Hanson) almost got it, too,” Bonk said. “It was a terrific, terrific, one-two finish, but it was much more than that. Belle Plaine has great depth, but I think pretty much all of our scorers ran if not their personal bests, at least their season’s best. I thought just coming in that we were ready to run fast, you can kind of tell sometimes. … I’m real encouraged by the results.”
The Class A No. 7-ranked Fairmont girls finished second overall with 53 points, behind No. 8-ranked Belle Plaine’s first-place total of 41. Martin County West took fourth with 97 and North Union finished seventh with 200.
Marissa Whitehead finished sixth for the Mavericks with her time of 20:15.2, while teammate Katie Hartke was close behind at 20:17.3 for seventh.
Caitlin Whitehead finished 31st for MCW with her time of 22:15.4, then Brianna Morrow (22:37.5) and Emily Matejka (22:38.3) finished 37th and 38th, respectively.
Kari Matejka took 44th for the Mavericks with a time of 23:09.4, while Ivy Kokoruda took 52nd in 23:57.2.
MCW’s Annie Schafer hit the chute in 26:44.4, good for 87th.
Hannah Morphew led North Union with a time of 24:10.8 good for 58th, while Cassie Beadle was close behind at 24:12.3 for 59th.
Jordyn Cummins (24:21.4) finished 63rd, while Hanna Sandvig (24:44.5) finished 64th for the Warriors.
Sam Nielsen rounded out the Warriors’ times with her 88th-place finish in 27:02.9.
Ella Bergeman was the first Madelia/Truman /Granada-Huntley-East Chain Jayhawk to hit the chute when she finished in 45th with a time of 23:14.8, while Samantha Moeller took 77th with her time of 25:44.9.
Elizabeth Jacobson finished first for the Blue Earth Area Bucs with her time of 26:33.4, placing her 86th, while Sara Hernandez ran a time of 28:57.7 for 96th.
In the boys race, Worthington won by one point at 52, while Mankato East and St. James Area tied at 53. Mankato East took second when its sixth-place runner (Alexander MacLean, 17:34.4) beat St. James Area’s sixth-place runner (Marco Crispin, 17:46.4).
The Cardinal boys finished fifth as a team with 148 points, while MCW finished seventh (174), BEA took eighth (222) and North Union finished 10th (270).
Will Saari led the Cardinal boys with a time of 17:24.2, good for 18th in the 156-runner race, while Connor Artner took 20th in 17:33.6.
Tony Ortega was the third Fairmont runner to cross the finish line when he took 31st in 18:16.8, while Tyrell Zieske finished 41st in 18:33.7.
Will Niestrath was the final Cardinal contributing time with his 67th-place finish in 19:48.2, while Alex Cruz finished 77th in 20:15.9.
Blake Hilgendorf was the final Fairmont competitor with his 132nd-place finish in 23:14.4.
Bonk said he was happy with the individual performances from the Cardinal boys.
“I thought the boys did a good job,” Bonk said. “We continued our streak from all year of always being in the top half of the race. I guess that was first and foremost what we wanted to do. We were hoping to maybe get a bag of apples (for a top-four team finish). Maybe not quite as spectacular overall as the girls, but a lot of all-time best performances and I thought Tyrell Zieske in particular had a really good day. … And Will Niestrath, an eighth grader, this is his second time on varsity and he turned in a big personal best.”
Jake Lewis led the Maverick boys with a 12th-place finish in 16:59.4, while Isaiah Johnson took 45th in 18:43.3.
Riley Cole (18:47.9) and Kylar Larson (18:49.5) finished 47th and 48th, respectively, while Grant Koehnen took 71st in 19:57.4.
Todd Morrow took 94th for the Mavericks with his time of 20:47, then Nick Matejka was the final Maverick to finish when he took 99th in 21:12.9.
Grant Strukel led the BEA boys with his time of 17:18.4, good for 15th, while Angel Martinez finished 58th in 19:15.7.
Cameron Germain ran a time of 20:42 for the Bucs, placing him 90th, while Damion Mahlstedt finished 117th in 22:13.4.
Nate Phippen took 127th for BEA with a time of 22:52.8, Nick Blum placed 134th in 23:23, then James Greeg ran a 24:24 for 142nd.
Shane Levenhagen (25:54.3) placed 150th and Eli Paz (29:08.4) finished 156th.
Nick Schiltz led the Warrior boys with his 37th-place finish in 18:24.5, while Trevor Kruse took 75th in 20:14.8.
Gage Madden was the next Warrior boy to hit the chute when he finished 104th in 21:25.3, then Chase Cummins took 137th in 23:42.8. Shawn Odegaad was the final North Union boy with his time of 24:18, good for 140th.
Josiah DeMaris led the Jayhawk boys with a 73rd-place finish in 20:05.3, while Jacob Moeller (20:45.8) finished 93rd and Luke Kester (23:14.1) took 131st.
Worthington’s Adam Koller (16:03.4) finished first overall ahead of returning champion Jett Oachs (16:13.3) of Mankato East. Worthington’s Christian Lietz (16:21.3) finished third, Mankato East’s Andrew Johnson (16:22.2) took fourth and Belle Plaine’s Drew Hastings (16:24.3) finished fifth.
The Cardinals and Bucs hit the course at the BEA invite at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday at Riverside Town and Country Golf Course. The Jayhawks and Mavericks run again at the Jayhawk Invite at 4 p.m. in Madelia next Thursday. The Warriors run at Lake Mills at 4:30 p.m. Monday.