Fairmont runners place 2nd in both invite races
FAIRMONT — The good news for Monday’s Cardinal cross country invitational in Fairmont — the forecast for thunderstorms and heavy rain did not materialize.
The bad news for the hometown Cardinals — three top varsity runners did not hit the Cedar Creek Park’s 5,000-meter course due to illness or injury.
With Macy Hanson and Eleanor Hamlet sidelined, Carys Gudahl, however, literally stepped up to run a season’s-best time to pack scoring punch behind teammate Laura Thompson’s first-place finish (19:11.2) to power Fairmont to a second-place team total of 41.
Nicole Swanson (20:11.3), Chloe Aanenson (20:46.0), Lauren Dimler (20:59.3), Emmah Dmytrasz (21:30.8) and Landree Quint (21:54.9) filled the Nos. 2-6 spots — between Fairmont senior standout Thompson’s winning performance and Carys Gudahl’s seventh-place effort — to steer the Mankato West Scarlets to the invite’s girls crown via a 20-point showing.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals’ Will Niestrath denied the Scarlets a perfect team score in the boys’ 5K race by capturing fifth place overall to guide the host lineup to a runner-up total of 46.
Luke Lumsden crossed the finish line first for Mankato West in 17:57, followed by Ethan Cox (18:11), Ian Kim (18:34) and Owen Risto (18:46), respectively, to claim the top four individual spots.
Niestrath posted the boys meet’s No. 5 time of 18:48 to edge out West’s Ian Risto at the wire, while Fairmont’s Gavin Artner nearly caught the Scarlets’ Tyler Kirchoff during the final 100 feet for seventh place. Artner bettered his season’s-best time of 19:08.6 — run at the Paul Metcalf Classic in Mountain Lake on Sept. 3, by logging an eighth-place performance of 18:51.
Brier Lenort, Cooper Gudahl and Ben Moeller then delivered 10th (19:56), 11th (20:05) and 12th (20:13) places, respectively, to cap the hometown Cardinals’ counting scores.
“I thought the boys team really did a good job of packing their scores today,” said Fairmont head coach Bob Bonk. “I’d say we had a pretty good day when our top five runners all finished in the top 12 to earn medals (top 15).
“Overall, it was a solid performance for the boys, especially considering the fact that we didn’t have Selvin (Forsythe) — who’s been in our top three spots this season — having gone home sick earlier in the day.”
Landon Weber placed 21st for Fairmont in 21:09, Andrew Haugen took 26th in 22:07, while Landon Pederson netted 36th in 24:20.
In the girls’ portion of the invite, the Class AA No. 3-ranked Thompson broke from the pack at the starting line and literally never looked back en route to leading the entire 5K race. Thompson produced a full one-minute margin of victory over Mankato West’s Nicole Swanson, 19:11.2-20:11.3.
Carys Gudahl lowered her top seasonal time to 22:09.8 by claiming seventh overall in Monday’s run, besting her previous mark of 22:26.1 at the Gerry Smith/Tri-City United Invite on Sept. 9 in Montgomery.
Audrina Suckow and Emma Gudahl packed scoring punch to the Cardinals’ runner-up team total by capturing 16th (23:31.1) and 17th (23:59.1), respectively, with Lily Higgins rounding out the counting marks with a time of 25:33.6 to net 24th place.
“Macy (Hanson) has a sore hamstring, so we (coaching staff) thought it’d be better to rest her today and have her ready for Milaca on Saturday,” Bonk said in reference to his team’s No. 2 runner behind Thompson. “Eleanor (Hamlet) was not feeling well today and missed the meet, and she’s been our fifth score most of the season. We don’t have a lot of depth, but I thought Audrina, Emma and Lily filled in our third through fifth spots nicely behind Laura and Carys today.
“We also had good news with Sam (Samantha Domeier) finishing her first 5K race of the season since having foot surgery during the early summer.”
Domeier finished 26th in 25:52.3, Rylee Maday was 35th in 28:57.0, while Noah Traetow took 42nd in 34:40.0 for the Cardinals.
Fairmont competes in the Milaca MegaMeet at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Milaca Golf Course.
At Cedar Creek Park
Boys Division (5K)
Team Results: 1. Mankato West 15; 2. Fairmont 46; 3. Minnesota Valley Lutheran 74. Incomplete: United South Central.
Individual Results (Top 15): 1. Luke Lumsden (West) 17:57; 2. Ethan Cox (West) 18:11; 3. Ian Kim (West) 18:34; 4. Owen Risto (West) 18:46; 5. Will Niestrath (Fairmont) 18:48; 6. Ian Risto (West) 18:48; 7. Tyler Kirchoff (West) 18:50; 8. Gavin Artner (Fairmont) 18:51; 9. Donovan Witte (MVL) 19:05; 10. Brier Lenort (Fairmont) 19:56; 11. Cooper Gudahl (Fairmont) 20:05; 12. Ben Moeller (Fairmont) 20:13; 13. Gabe Schroeder (USC) 20:14; 14. Sam Simmons (West) 20:29; 15. Kaylor Chamberlin (West) 20:39.
Other Fairmont results: 21. Landon Weber 21:09; 26. Andrew Haugen 22:07; 36. Landon Pederson 24:20.
Girls Division (5K)
Team Results: 1. Mankato West 20; 2. Fairmont 41. Incomplete: Minnesota Valley Lutheran and United South Central.
Individual Results (Top 15): 1. Laura Thompson (Fairmont) 19:11.2; 2. Nicole Swanson (West) 20:11.3; 3. Chloe Aanenson (West) 20:46.0; 4. Lauren Dimler (West) 20:59.3; 5. Emmah Dmytrasz (West) 21:30.8; 6. Landree Quint (West) 21:54.9; 7. Carys Gudahl (Fairmont) 22:09.8; 8. Andie Sanderson (West) 22:12.1; 9. Ryleigh Quint (West) 22:28.8; 10. Emily Landgraff (West) 22:40.3; 11. Makayla Thorson (West) 22:42.1; 12. Hannah James (West) 22:54.6; 13. Lauren Thompson (West) 22:54.9; 14. Karina Hulzebos (West) 23:07.4; 15. Breck Carlson (West) 23:08.2.
Other Fairmont results: 16. Audrina Suckow 23:31.1; 17. Emma Gudahl 23:59.1; 24. Lily Higgins 25:33.6; 26. Samantha Domeier 25:52.3; 35. Rylee Maday 28:57.0; 42. Norah Traetow 34:40.0.