It was an excellent meet for the Tri-City United cross country boys. The team took second at the Montgomery River Conference Tuesday, Oct. 15, and senior Austin Antony broke the school record by 10 seconds.

The Le Sueur-Henderson girls overcame the Titans, placing fourth while TCU finished in fifth. The Giants boys took seventh out of eight teams.

Jordan earned the top spot in the conference for both boys and girls. In boys cross country, Jordan took first with 50 points, followed by TCU in second with 80, Belle Plaine in third at 84, Sibley East with 92, Norwood Young America with 109, Southwest Christian with 131, LS-H with 174 and Mayer Lutheran in last at 184 points.

On the girls side, Jordan placed first with 36 points, Belle Plaine second with 42, Mayer Lutheran third with 65, LS-H in fourth with 89, Tri-City United fifth at 143, Southwest Christian sixth at 164 and NYA in last with 178 points.

The 2019 fall season has been a smashing success for TCU senior runner Austin Antony. Following two consecutive first-place finishes, Antony ran the team’s latest meet in 16:27.61, taking second and breaking the school record. TCU’s previous record-holder was Hugo Ruiz, who ran 16:37 in 2018.

“We ran really well,” TCU Coach Brian Fogal said . “We got some fast times. Both boys teams and girls teams ran really well, but so did everyone. Austin Antony was our top boy — second place … He ran a great race. So did Hunter Rutt — all-conference. Hugo Ruiz and Dante Jubarian both ran really well, too.”

Antony wasn’t the only record-breaker. Senior Hunter Rutt broke his previous record time and placed eighth out of 55 boys in 17:19.13. Rutt cut nearly 20 seconds off his 2018 record time of 17:38.

TCU had more solid performances all around, with each of the top five finishing under the 19-minute mark. Hugo Ruiz placed 19th in 18:09.03. Ruiz was followed by Dante Jubarian in 23rd at 18:14.33 and Conner Antony in 28th at 18:50.71.

The boys’ results will likely earn the team a strong standing at the section.

“Sectionwise the boys should be up there in the top five,” said Fogal. “I think both Austin and Hunter have good shots at possibly making state and I think our team, if we springboard off of this getting into sections, we have a small chance to possibly get second place and beat Loyola, but we’ll see.”

Though the Le Sueur-Henderson boys placed seventh, the team improved their times and met their coach’s expectations.

“We probably placed around just around where I thought we would,” LS-H Coach Don Marcussen said. “I figured we would be behind some really good boys programmed in our town, there’s no doubt about that. But all the boys times were really nice. Trace ran an 18 minute for the first time this year. Another three or four top five guys were all under 21 [minutes] and that hasn’t happened at all this year. So they all stepped up and had some really good times, but it was a whole different competition I guess.”

LS-H’s top performer, senior Trace Edmonson, came close to a top 10 spot, finishing in 14th in 17:50.47. The rest of the top five came in under 20 minutes. Senior Noah Kolar placed 35th at 19:24.43, senior Xerxes Machtemes in 39th at 19:35.27, senior Seth Hardel in 41st at 19:38.60 and senior Ethan Stieger in 45th at 19:57.72.

In the girls 5k, it was the Giants that overcame their TCU rivals. Sophomore Hailey Juarez led the LS-H girls and was just barely denied a spot in the top ten. She placed 11th out of 50 girls in 20:40.33. Cooper VandenEinde, Arlett Rios and Brandy Wolf all ran together with solid finishes at 21 minutes. VandenEinde earned 16th, finishing 21:37.35, followed by Rios in 18th at 21:50.93 and Wolf in 19th at 21:59.65. Junior Jocelyn Machtemes rounded out the top five by placing 25th in 22:31.58.

“I thought I had a couple girls that could probably squeeze into that top ten maybe,” Marcussen said. “I think there were a couple other schools, especially Jordan, that ran really well today. A lot better than I thought they were going to so that bummed our girls out … But their times were good. They all got some good solid PRs for this course. This is not an easy course to run. The wind didn’t help anybody, the sun is just now coming out, but the times were great. That’s all you can ask for. Get some PRs and hope everything falls into place. I was hoping we’d finish third, I thought we could finish third, but like I said, some of the teams were a little bit better and moved our girls down in the point system, so we finished off fourth, which is ok.”

The TCU girls obtained a solid fifth-place finish by sticking together. By keeping in the middle of the pack, the team was able to keep their team average ahead of competitors like Southwest Christian and Norwood Young America.

“On the girls side we ran a nice little pack of four girls right in the middle of the times in order to finish,” said Fogal. “I was very happy overall.”

Leading the girls team was seventh-grader Yasmin Ruiz, who placed 26th in 22:33.30. Senior Ariana Krautkramer crossed the finish line a second later in 22:34.98, placing 27th. Freshman Maddy Ruger and Sophomore Trinity Turek placed 28th and 29th with times of 22:35.57 and 22:42.57 respectively. Freshman Makayla Erickson was the last of the top five, finishing in 33rd at 23:48.57.

Le Sueur-Henderson and Tri-City United will both compete in the section 2A tournament on Oct. 24 at Blue Earth Area High School.

Reach Reporter Carson Hughes at 507-931-8572.

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