The Rush City boys and girls cross country teams each took third place in the Great River Conference Championships at Pine City Golf Course last Thursday.
Individually, Garrett Larson earned champion runner-up.
Junior runner Larson finished the 5k race in 18:03, followed by sophomore Kevin Nelson placing fourth (18:16) out of 30 competitors with both earning All-Conference honors.
Devan Larson came in 16th, Colton Balwin 20th, Zeth Langworthy 22nd, Collin Yaritz 23rd and Ethan Rundquist 24th.
The boys team totaled 64 points to place ahead of East Central (93) and Braham (117), and behind Hinckley-Finlayson (43) and Pine City (47).
Eighth grader Riley McGough was All-Conference coming in 10th out of 30 runners with a time of 17:13 in the girls 4k run.
Sammi Oscarson finished 16th, Payton Ramberg 17th, Brooke Nekowitsch 20th and Courtney Arvidson 22nd.
The girls scored 70 team points to place ahead of Mille Lacs (87) and Braham (96), and behind Pine City (31) and Hinckley-Finlayson (55).
“We had excellent efforts from the entire squad today,” said coach Kevin Smith. “Many of our kids ran personal bests today. This is an accumulation of many miles and hours of hard work. We could not be more proud of our squad. Though we had all hoped for higher team finishes, it is very satisfying to see the results of all the work the kids have been putting into their practices paying off in faster race times.
“Both Garrett and Kevin really pushed themselves to the limit today,” he added. “Garrett made several moves and nearly took the lead in the last mile, but could not quite stay with the Hinckley runner. Kevin worked right up to the finish line to earn fourth place and with any less of an effort, he would have been sixth or possibly seventh as others were closing in quickly. He had a great race and finish. Devan, Colton and Zeth all had (personal records), dropping their times considerably.”
Smith continued, “Riley ran very well moving from 11th to 10th with just over a quarter mile to go and then extending that lead to earn an All-Conference plaque. Sammi, Payton, Brooke and Courtney gave all they could to finish a strong third place behind two very tough Hinckley and Pine City squads.”
The Rush City boys and girls cross country teams will compete in the Section 5A Championships at Pierz Golf Course beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25.