The fall sports season officially began last Saturday, Aug. 25 when the cross country squad hosted the annual Alumni Run at Baylor Park.
Both the Central boys and girls finished third out of three teams present, but there were some very positive signs from the young team at the first competition.
Mayer Lutheran won the girls’ race with 35 points, as Hannah Truniger finished almost a full minute ahead of the next closest competitor (15:22). Glencoe-Silver Lake was next with 43 points, and the Central girls took third place with 50 points.
The highlight for the Central girls’ team, which consisted of just five runners, was the strong performance of the top three finishers. Junior Parry Larson (16:47) shaved 1:06 off her time in the same race last season in a third-place overall finish, and her 7th grade sister Judy took fourth place overall (16:54).
Sophomore Abbie Schnabel (17:48) also had a strong run, and Central head coach Mark Lagergren pointed out that all three girls posted times within the top 20 for Central girls at Baylor Park since 1994. Parry Larson’s time was sixth on the list, matching Catherine Meuleners from 2002 and Shauna Stephens from 2007. Judy Larson’s time matched Julie Cousins from 1995 at 11th place overall, and Schnabel’s time was the 19th best.
The fastest time for a Central girl at Baylor since 1994 is held by Erin Foss, who ran the course in 15:21 in 2000.
“I thought Parry, Judy and Abbie did a really nice job for us. Those are very decent times early in the game,” said Raiders head coach Mark Lagergren.
Kayla Engelstad (20:51) and Emma Schmidt (21:54) rounded out the scoring for the Raiders.
Lagergren said the girls’ team will likely miss Beth George for the remainder of the year, but the team’s depth will be bolstered when April Feist returns to action after missing
the meet to participate at the State Fair.
On the boys’ side, Central scored 54 points to finish behind G-SL (30) and Mayer Lutheran (51).
Sophomore Alex Wischnack (17:19) had a standout performance to lead the team, posting the sixth-fastest time for Central boys at Baylor Park since at least 1982 and cutting about two minutes off his time from last year. The top mark set by a Central boy over that span was 6:21 by Dave Fahey in 1982.
“I thought Alex had a good time,” said Lagergren. “You run a low 17 this early in the
season as a sophomore, we’ll take that.”
Also scoring for the boys were Ben Barth (19:11), Cole Sauter (19:24), Chase Heuer (19:56) and Alex Kayser (20:13).
“If we can get five guys all under 20 minutes, we could be in the mix this year,” said Lagergren. “Keep in mind that Glencoe is going to be a decent team in Section 4A and Mayer, boys and girls, they’ll be OK in Section 5A. We’re three points behind Mayer Lutheran. That ain’t bad, but it was a small meet.
“It was a fun day. We just missed the storms but it was humid out there., so we’ll take those times.”