Rush City junior Garrett Larson took first place in the North Branch Invitational last Thursday, while the boys team took home third place.
Larson won the race over 24 runners with a time of 18:18, while Kevin Nelson came in 10th (19:21), Devan Larson 15th (20:10), Colton Baldwin 20th (20:41), Ethan Rundquist 21th (20:46) and Collin Yaritz (20:55).
Payton Ramberg was the first Tiger girl to cross the finish line coming in 15th (18:32), followed by Courtney Arvidson placing 16th (18:48), Sammi Oscarson 17th (18:58) and Megan Swanson 21st (21:53).
The girls team was incomplete, so it did not place as a team.
“Garrett Larson was the number one runner today, as he ran an excellent tactical race for his first career varsity win,” said Coach Kevin Smith. “The leaders went out very fast over the first 1000 meters, but Garrett stayed on his pace and was not drawn out. He then methodically moved himself up and with less than a mile to go, he made a move into first place and finished strong to win convincingly. In a small race like todays, you have to stay close to competitors, but also be aware of the race pace. Garrett did both of these perfectly. Kevin and Devan had nice finishes to earn medals.
“Our team is still learning how to apply race tactics like positioning and pace to the actual race and this only comes from race experience. All the boys are underclassman except Colton and this is his first season running for us, so the races are real important learning opportunities. We have pushed the team hard in practices, so there legs were not fully rested and a few of the today’s times reflected that.”
The Rush City boys and girls cross country teams will compete in the Milaca Mega Meet at Stones Throw Golf Course at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.