St. Peter’s first home cross country meet in the COVID-19 virus pandemic age ran smoothly.
“It was a pleasure hosting the teams yesterday, and we’re very appreciative of the adherence to the MSHSL guidelines for social distancing and mask wearing by all the teams,” St. Peter Activities Director Jordan Paula said following the St. Peter-Blue Earth Area-Fairmont triangular.
Fairmont boys and girls swept the team titles. St. Peter finished runner-up in both genders.
Team scores showed: 1. Fairmont 28, 2. St. Peter 30 and 3. BEA 68.
Fairmont’s Connor Artner and Will Niestrath finished first and second out of 34 runners in the 5K in 18 minutes, 15 seconds and 19:20.
The Saints earned the next four places with Gavin Selly in third (19:24), Connor Snow in fourth (20:02) and Willem Nelsen in fifth (20:34).
Also for St. Peter, Corbin Herron placed eighth in 20:54, Callum Harmes 10th in 20:57, Shea Hildebrandt 15th in 22:38, Parker Rienhardt 18th in 24:01, Liam Engelhardt 19th in 24:04:00, Haydin Heilman 26th in 29:13:00, Noah Spessard 28th in 29:40:00, and Sam Stuewe did not finish.
Luke Banks of St. Peter won the junior high boys race in 10:16 in a field of 17 runners. Also for the Saints, John Kennedy placed seventh in 11:15, Evan Embacher took ninth in 111:49, Lathe Bly finished 10th in 12:11, Tobias Twait 16th in 14:11 and Cesar Cruz 17th in 17:04.
Fairmont won the team title with 16 points. St. Peter placed second with 27,and BEA was incomplete.
“The Saints had a great home meet for our runners,” St. Peter boys head coach Bill Stuewe said. “We’ve had some runners start to improve on their times from previous meets. Gavin Selly 19:24 3rd, Connor Snow 20:02 4th, Will Nelsen 20:34 5th. Gavin, Connor and Will did a great job getting out early in the race and stayed competitive with the field.
“Corbin Herron 20:54 and Callum Harmes 20:57 stayed very competitive with each other and are signs of becoming very reliable cross country runners.
“Newcomer to cross country, Shea Hildebrandt had a great finish to his race with a good old fashioned kick at the end of the run to beat a Fairmont runner at the wire. Cole Filand earned a spot on the varsity with a strong second half of the race running a time of 23:54.
“It was a close contest today with Fairmont winning the meet today with a score of 28, and the Saints were close behind with a score of 30. Blue Earth scored 68 for third.
“I liked how the team competed today, running hard at all the meets is difficult to do at each meet. The Saints will host a dual meet with St. James on Sept. 17 with the meet starting 4:30.”
Fairmont finished first with 18 points, followed by St. Peter with 52 and BEA third with 99.
The Cardinals earned the first three places in the 30-runner field: Laura Thompson 19:55, Macy Hanson 20:50 and Tabitha Hatcher 21:42.
Breely Ruble and Hadley Stuehrenberg finished in the close battle for fourth with Ruble edging Stuehrenberg by 100th of a second: 21:51 to 21:52.
The next two Saints finished together, too, with Maya Winsell 13th in 25:04 and Lailey Looft 14th in 25:15.
Two more St. Peter twosomes crossed the finish line together: Emma Johnson in 17th in 26:37 and MacKenzie Steinborn 18th in 28:08.
Lexi Wentworth finished 22nd for St. Peter in 30 minutes flat.
The Saints placed 1-2 in the junior girls: Addison Maxfield 11:06 and Robin Hibscher 11:18. Octavia Fuller finished fourth in 13:27 and Riley Looft seventh in 14:10 out of 16 runners.
St. Peter’s next meet is also at home, 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 against St. James Area.