The season is still young, but the Raiders cross country team posted an early highlight during the meet at Montgomery on Thursday, Sept. 6.
Six out of the seven varsity runners for the boys recorded personal records, and two out of six girls also ran personal best times at the course.
“We had a really good meet. I’m just kind of tickled pink,” said Raiders head coach Mark Lagergren, joking that he hoped the team wasn’t peaking too early.
The Central girls took 16th out of 24 teams even though just five runners finished the race. The boys also took 16th place out of 28 teams. For Lagergren, who noted that there were a number of AA teams at the race, those finishes were a sign of progress.
“I know we didn’t finish that high last year,” he said. “We were probably in the 20s last year.”
Shakopee won the girls’ race with 92 points, while the Raiders had 422 points. Of the other Minnesota River Conference teams, the Raiders finished ahead of Jordan (20th, 496 points) and LeSueur-Henderson (24th, 647 points), but behind Belle Plaine (8th, 231 points) and Tri-City United (12th, 359 points).
Individually, Judy Larson (16:49) set a personal record to lead the Raiders. Abbie Schnabel (17:18) also set a personal record, and April Feist (17:49), Kayla Engelstad (20:27) and Emma Schmidt (22:14) contributed to the scoring. Parry Larson, usually one of the team’s top runners, was not feeling well and did not finish the race.
“Judy and Abbie both had PRs, April was right there,” said Lagergren. “I’m not worried about Parry. We know she’ll be back. If she had been in the mix it would have been different.”
Dana Norman, who ran at the JV level, earned herself a spot on the varsity roster next race with a time of 21:13, a personal best.
On the boys’ side, Blake won the meet with 107 points and the Raiders posted 424 points. Of the other MRC teams present, the Raiders finished ahead of Belle Plaine (18th, 469 points), LeSueur-Henderson (19th, 541 points) and Sibley East (28th, 753 points), but behind Jordan (8th, 222 points) and Tri-City United (14th, 403 points).
The Central scoring was led by Alex Wischnack, who finished 15th overall to earn a medal with a time of 17:16.
“I don’t think we’ve medaled at Montgomery for several years,” said Lagergren.
Also scoring for the boys were Ben Barth (18:52), Chase Heuer (19:11) Cole Sauter (19:57) and Alex Kayser (20:10), and Andrew Wischnack and Devon Dvorak rounded out the varsity roster. All the boys with the exception of Kayser ran personal bests during the meet.
“Our boys ran really well. We’re definitely going in the right direction,” said Lagergren.
Central’s middle-of-the-pack finish in regard to other MRC schools was a good sign for the young Raiders, a placement they will try to maintain as the season progresses.
“We’re definitely in the mix. I’m really pleased,” said Lagergren. “These were some good times, so I’m excited for that. I just hope we can keep going in this direction.”
Central’s last regular home meet of the season also took place on Tuesday at Baylor Park, though the MRC Meet will also take place at Baylor this year on Oct. 11. Details on Tuesday’s meet will be available next week.
The Raiders are also in action this Friday, Sept. 14 at Mankato Loyola.