Belle Plaine continued its dominance in cross country by sweeping the girls and boys divisions of a triangular Thursday at the Ney Center in Henderson.
The Tigers took the top five places in winning the girls’ race with 15 points. Le Sueur-Henderson finished runner-up with 53 points, and Tri-City United placed third with 71.
In the boys, Belle Plaine took the top four spots with 16 points, followed by TCU with 55 and LS-H with 81.
Belle Plaine sophomore Emmett Gerres ran away with the 5,000-meter boys’ title finish in 16:32.4, nearly 2 minutes ahead of runner-up, Belle Plaine junior Adam Stiemke in 18:07.7.
Juniors Connor Anthony and Austin Rutt led TCU in fifth (19:14.5) and seventh (19:16.1), respectively, out of 52 runners..
Also for the Titans, sophomore Michael Pichotta finished ninth in 19:32.8, junior Chase Goecke 11th in 19:39.3, senior Thomas Bulger 13th in 19:56.3, eighth-grader Ayden Balma 16th in 20:10.6 and senior Aidan McNamara 17th in 20:32.6.
Senior Sam Menne led LS-H boys in 10th place 19:39.
LS-H sophomore Riley Thelemann and junior teammate Dylan Novak finished side by side in 14th (20:10.2) and 15th (20:10.6).
Also for the Giants, freshman Grant Adams took 19th in 20:46.4, sophomore Jacob Eibs 21st in 21:08.9, eighth-grader Josiah Juarez 30th in 22:03.6 and sophomore Caden Luna 35th in 22:22.8.
“After talking with most of the runners following the meet, the course did feel a little longer than they were used to at Ney Center but they didn’t mind the new layout at all,” LS-H head coach Don Marcussen said. “Most of the runners had good times and some even faster times on this course than the 4,900 meter course that they have been running at Ney Center. Times could have been a little better with a better warm-up and pre-race routine. Too many of my runners were standing around waiting for the start of the race instead of getting the blood flowing and breaking a little sweat before race time. It takes a little while for the muscles to loosen up and relax when it is cold out and this will lead to a slower start than usual. Things they have to remember even though I am always on them about proper stretching and agility before runs.”
Belle Plaine senior Savanna DeYoung took medalist honors out of 44 runners in 19 minutes, 57.8 seconds over 5,000 meters.
Sophomore teammate Mackenzie Murphy placed second in 20:31.3.
Junior Hailey Juarez led LS-H in sixth place 21:24.5. She was followed by senior teammates Artlett Rios eighth in 22:01.8, senior Abby Storm 12th in 22:45.1, freshman Brandy Wolf 13th in 22:58.0, senior Joselyn Machtemes 14th in 23:15.6, sophomore teammate Kenzie Kabes 17th in 23:58.6 and sophomore Olivia Fritz 37th in 28:53.8.
Eighth-grader Yasmin Ruiz paced TCU girls taking ninth in 22:03.8. Titan freshman Sophia Smith was next in line in 11th place 22:30.6. She was followed by sophomore teammate Makayla Erickson in 18th place 24:22.8, sophomore Maddie Ruger in 21st place 24:35.8, junior Trinity Turek in 22nd place 24:40.4, eighth-grader Megan Marek in 23rd place 24:55.9 and sophomore Khia Krautkramer in 27th place 25:46.6.
The Giants finish off the regular season at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8 hosting Mayer Lutheran/Lester Prairie at the Ney Center.
“We have not run against them yet this year, so I don’t really know what to expect,” Marcussen said.
TCU travels to Norwood Young America’s Baylor Park at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8.
Section 2A preview
Belle Plaine girls and boys will be the favorite in the Section 2A championships Oct. 13 at Montgomery National Golf Club, Marcussen said.
The number of teams allowed at a site will be increased from three to four maximum.
The 22 teams are seeded. The girls’ and boys’ seeds are combined into one seed, so they run back to back. After each round, the course will be cleared for the next race. There will be no advancement to state.
The meet will start with Medford, BEA, Madelia/Truman/GHEC and Loyola/Cleveland at 9 a.m. (boys) and 9:30 a.m. (girls).
The Giants will run with WEM/JWP, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s and GFW. The boys starts at 10:55 a.m. and the girls at 11:25 a.m.
TCU will race with NYA, Maple River and Sibley East at 12:50 p.m. and 1:20 p.m. Finally, MVLA, NRHEG, USA and NCA will race at 4:40 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Minnesota Department of Health Guidelines allow no more than 25 runners on the start line. Teams consist of seven runners with the top five scoring. If the total number of runners exceed 25, a wave start is required. The first wave will include runners 1–6. A second wave will start 2-4 minutes after the first wave and include each team’s seventh runner.
MSHSL allows 250 spectators. Team members, game officials and site staff do not count toward the maximum.