The Tiger cross country boys and girls encountered tough challengers, including Class AA teams, in the Cambridge-Isanti Last Chance meet last week at Grandy Nine Golf Course.
The boys team took sixth out of nine teams, while Coon Rapids came in first and Cambridge-Isanti second in the 5000m (3.1 mile) race.
Garrett Larson was once again the first Tiger boy to finish, coming in 12th out of 160 competitors with a time of 18:22.5. Kevin Nelson placed 24th, Devan Larson 44th, Ethan Rundquist 50th, Colton Baldwin 52nd, Mason Stevens 63rd, Zeth Langworthy 64th, Kyler Sempel 87th and Collin Yaritz 98th.
Crossing the finish line first for the girls was Riley McGough who placed 51st with a time of 18:34 out of 128 runners in the 4000m (2.5 mile) run. Sammi Oscarson came in 61st, Payton Ramberg 62nd and Brooke Nekowitsch 89th, while the girls were incomplete as a team.
“Overall our kids came in with slower times as the course had a lot of turns in it, and that usually slows the pace,” said coach Kevin Smith. “The boys had a very strong field, with some larger AA schools with very fast teams, but that is good to run against tough competition. Garrett ran strong the entire race and worked hard, even though his pace time was about 10 seconds per mile slower. Mason ran exceptionally well today, coming in as our No. 6 runner which is his best finish team wise this season.”
Smith continued, “Injuries prevented the girls from receiving a team score today. They also faced some very fast girls from large schools, specifically Monticello. The Big Lake team is also very talented, and they are a Section 5A opponent next week. We will need all the team members healthy and ready to run their best next Thursday at Pierz. We have a tough section with rated teams and individuals in both the varsity races.”
The Rush City boys and girls cross country teams will compete in the Section 5A Championships beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25 at Pierz Golf Course where the first and second place teams, as well as the top eight individuals who are not members of the first or second place teams, will advance to the state championships.