Preston Meier

Owatonna’s Preston Meier runs through the course at the annual Faribault Invitational on Friday evening. Meier finished in 10th place overall and the Huskies ended in fourth place as a team. (Mike Randleman/Faribault Daily News)

FARIBAULT — The Owatonna boys cross country team improved four spots from last year and posted a fourth place finish of 15 teams at the annual Faribault Invitational on Friday evening.

“We had some good workouts this week and seem to be getting a bit faster and stronger,” Owatonna coach Dave Chatelaine said. “We will keep trying to get our pack closer together and move up closer to Preston Meier.”

Meier led the Huskies in 10th place with a steady 16:45.4 at the 5K race, finishing less than a second behind three other runners. Harris Anderson of Math & Science Academy crossed the line first with a swift 16:03.7.

Jack Meiners clocked Owatonna’s second-fastest time with a 17:28.4 and was followed by Brayden Williams in 28th (17:50), Trevor Hiatt in 37th (17:59), Connor Ginsky in 40th (18:02), Evan Buck in 47th (18:12) and Avery Cords in 75th (19:12).

“Jack Meiners had a big break through race for us today by finishing in the top 20,” Chatelaine said. “It has been several years since we had two top 20 finishers in this meet.”

The Huskies’ average time was 17:37 as they accumulated 133 team-points and ended just one point shy of fellow Big Nine Conference team, Winona. Section 1-AA opponent, Farmington, climbed to second overall with just 66 points and Stillwater won the event with 48.

On the girls side, OHS finished in fifth place with 158 points and was led by Carsyn Brady’s 10th-place time of 20:04.9. Jaci Burtis registered one of the best times of her career with a 21:01.3 and ended second on the team in 21st place.

Stillwater put four in runners in the top five and finished in first place overall with 24 points.

Reach sports editor Jon Weisbrod at 444-2375, or follow him on Twitter.com @OPPJonW

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