WHS runners finish strong at Tri-City United

Head coach Clark Machtemes said he is “definitely happy” with the way the Waconia boys’ and girls’ cross country teams performed at Tri-City United last week. Competing at the Montgomery National Golf Club, the Wildcat girls finished ninth of the 31 teams, while the boys finished 11th, their highest ever at this meet.

After failing to finish this race in 2011, Waconia junior Lexi Willems was first for the Wildcats, 13th overall, with a finishing time of 16:04.6. Sophomores Alora Rands and Kelsey Eder both finished in the top 50, with times of 17:04.7 and 17:16.5 for places 40 and 47. Sophomore Mica Aslakson was 55th overall (17:23.3), followed by freshman Carissa Dock (18:07.8), junior Alissa Helle (18:55.7), and senior Jennifer Haler (19:06.6).

Junior Clare Flanagan, of the Blake School, won the girls’ race in 13:55.2.

Senior Ben Vaske led the charge for the Wildcat boys, finishing in 32nd position with a time of 18:06.7. Junior Tony Fulkerson was not far behind in 38th at 18:15.4. Senior Adam Kirsch (18:42.2) and sophomore Jacob Tereau (19:05.2) both finished in the top 100, in 64th and 81st, respectively. Sophomore Miles Trujillo (19:33.4), junior David Hughes (19:34.4), and junior Landin Goloja (19:44.6) rounded out the varsity pack for Waconia. Machtemes said the boys ran in a tight pack, “which is nice to see.”

Waseca sophomore Shane Streich won the race in 16:09.0.

Headed into the rest of the season, the Wildcats are “down” to just 167 runners competing for varsity spots. Machtemes said while the lineups are rather solid, the varsity roster could change at any time, as there are numerous runners who can step into varsity positions at a moment’s notice.

Of his large, successful cross country program, Machtemes simply said, “if you build it, they will come, I guess.”

Machtemes said he operates on the philosophy of lifetime running, recognizing that some runners are out to competitively run, while others are out for other sports or enjoyment. Regardless, Machtemes said everyone is happy and smiling.

The Wildcats will host their home invitational next Tuesday, Sept. 18 at Crown College. Races begin with the junior varsity at 4 p.m., varsity to follow.