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Fairmont girls runners prove perfect at triangular

MAKING TRACKS — Fairmont runners Eleanor Hamlet (right) and Carys Gudahl make their way along the tree line at Minn-Iowa Golf Course in Elmore on Thursday. The Cardinal girls cross country team generated a perfect score to win the Big South Conference triangular. (Photo by Kyle McAreavy)

ELMORE — A perfect finish.

The Fairmont Cardinals girls cross country team added another first-place finish during its second race of the season, but achieved a rarity on Thursday.

The Cardinals finished perfect by taking the top five spots, as well as three more top-10 finishes, to beat the Blue Earth Area Bucs and St. James Area Saints during a Big South Conference triangular at Minn-Iowa Golf Course in Elmore.

Laura Thompson, the Cardinals’ consistent front-runner, led the way by a wide margin once again, finishing nearly two minutes ahead of teammate Macy Hanson.

Thompson hit the chute first at the 19:14 mark, while Hanson finished the 5K race in 20:55 for second place.

“Laura is doing a great job of running fast without anyone really running with her and we might have two more meets where that’s the case,” Fairmont head coach Bob Bonk said. “The last two triangulars will be a real test for her. … I think she should enjoy it right now. Also, Macy is a very good runner and that gap is a lot smaller now than it was. I’m not saying they’ll be stride-for-stride, but Macy is a very good runner in her own right.”

Tabitha Thatcher and Hannah Neusch ran nearly side by side for third and fourth place, respectively. Thatcher crossed the finish line at the 21:47 mark, followed by Neusch at 21:58.

Emma Gudahl clinched Fairmont’s perfection with a fifth-place finish in 22:33.

“You can never complain about a perfect score,” Bonk said. “Emma overtook the girl on the second lap to get that, so that was fun. I’m sure Laura set the course record here for us. This was really our first 5K meet and I’m pretty confident in saying almost everyone ran faster than they did at our time trial.”

Ellie Ortega kept the Cardinals’ top-10 run going with a seventh-place finish in 22:46, followed by Carys Gudahl and Eleanor Hamlet running stride for stride down the stretch. Gudahl and Hamlet finished in eighth and ninth, respectively.

Carys Gudahl edged Hamlet by one second, finishing in 23:32.

Sara Sundblad was the next Cardinal to hit the chute, finishing 14th in 24:07, while Lily Higgins finished 18th in 25:11.

Olivia Ortega finished 22nd for Fairmont in 28:22, Angelica Kerekes took 25th in 32:19 and Riley Lingl took 24th in 32:30.

Eloise Blair led BEA with a 16th-place finish in 27:31, while Mya Steinhauer finished 20th in 29:10.

A rush of BEA runners hit the chute after Steinhauer, with Leah Becker placing 21st in 30:47, Lily Olson finishing 22nd in 30:54, Allison Redepenning taking 23rd in 30:55 and Elizabeth Jacobson claiming 24th in 31:11.

The Cardinal boys finished second behind the Saints, 19-44.

Teammates Connor Artner and Will Saari stayed within a stride as they came to the finish line, with Artner outlasting Saari for fourth overall in 18:09, while Saari finished fifth in 18:10.

Will Niestrath finished third for the Cardinals, and ninth overall, with a time of 20:06, while Gavin Artner claimed 12th overall with a time of 21:17.

Ben Moeller posted the final counting time for the Cardinals, finishing 15th in 21:37.

Selvin Forsythe was the next Cardinal to hit the chute, finishing 17th in 22:10, followed by Ethan Grunewald in 18th at 22:12. Landon Weber finished 20th in 22:22, Sebastian Castro finished 25th in 23:52, Parker Vetter crossed in 26th in 23:54 and Landon Pederson took 32nd in 27:56.

Angel Martinez was the first Buc runner in the chute, placing 10th in 20:22. Cameron Germain finished second for BEA and 17th overall in 21:36, while Blair Lunz took 19th in 21:49. Damion Mahlstedt claimed 22nd in 22:14, Zaire Morrow finished 27th in 25:32 and Dominic Morrow took 29th in 27:16. Eli Paz took 31st for BEA in 28:58 and James Greer finished 32nd in 29:09.

Fairmont and BEA travel to St. Peter for triangular action next Thursday.

Varsity Girls (5K)

Team Results: 1. Fairmont 15; 2. St. James Area 48; 3. Blue Earth Area 83.

Individual Results (Top 5): 1. Laura Thompson (FMT) 19:14; 2. Macy Hanson (FMT) 20:55; 3. Tabitha Thatcher (FMT) 21:47; 4. Hannah Neusch (FMT) 21:58; 5. Emma Gudahl (FMT) 22:33.

Other Fairmont Results: 7. Ellie Ortega 22:46; 8. Carys Gudahl 23:32; 9. Eleanor Hamlet 23:33; 10. Sara Sundblad 24:07; 11. Lily Higgins 25:11; 19. Olivia Ortega 28:22; 25. Angelica Kerekes 32:19; 26. Riley Lingl 32:30.

BEA Results: 16. Eloise Blair 27:31; 20. Mya Steinhauer 29:10; 21. Leah Becker 30:47; 22. Lily Olson 30:54; 23. Allison Redepenning 30:55; 24. Elizabeth Jacobson 31:11.

Varsity Boys (5K)

Team Results: 1. St. James Area 19; 2. Fairmont 44; 3. BEA 75.

Individual Results (Top 5): 1. Caleb Rivera (SJA) 16:53; 2. Marco Crispin (SJA) 17:43; 3. Juan Castaneda (SJA) 17:56; 4. Connor Artner (FMT) 18:09; 5. Will Saari (FMT) 18:10.

Other Fairmont Results; 9. Will Niestrath 20:06; 14. Gavin Artner 21:17; 18. Ben Moeller 21:37; 20. Selvin Forsythe 22:10; 21. Ethan Grunewald 22:12; 23. Landon Weber 22:22; 24. Sebastian Castro 23:52; 25. Parker Vetter 23:54; 30. Landon Pederson 27:56.

BEA Results: 10. Angel Martinez 20:22; 27. Cameron Germain 21:36; 19. Blair Lunz 21:49; 22. Damion Mahlstedt 22:14; 27. Zaire Morrow 25:32; 29. Dominic Morrow 27:16; 31. Eli Paz 28:58; 32. James Greer 29:09.

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