It was a good day to be a Crusader cross country runner at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted on Sept. 27, as both varsity teams brought home first place finishes.
Coach Rob Weber said the boys’ team knew the HLWW meet would be a challenge.
“Holdingford had placed 10 teams ahead of us at Milaca and HLWW beat us at Waconia,” he said, “so we knew it was going to be tough to win.”
With four runners finishing in the top ten, the Crusader boys won by eight points over Holdingford. HLWW was just two points back in third. Senior Alex Fredrickson won the boys’ varsity race in 16:56, a new course record and Fredrickson’s best race of the season. Senior Jesse Greenhagen, usually found playing for the Crusader boys’ soccer team, assisted the cross country team by finishing fourth in 17:19. Kyle Fredrickson and Brandon Duffy tied for seventh at 17:51. Jacob Roth finished 16th in 19:19, and Ben Quiram (20:05) and Wyatt Entinger (20:34) finished up the Crusader effort by placing 20th and 21st.
The girls’ varsity team finished at the top, finishing second only to Holdingford. Freshman Hannah Truniger won the race in 15:19, defeating Holdingford’s top runner by 25 seconds. Truniger is currently ranked No. 8 in the state for Class A female runners, according to Raceberry Jam. Senior Holly Johnson also finished in the top ten, in tenth position at 17:38.
The next three Crusaders were “nicely bunched,” according to Weber, with Miranda Buesing (18:08), Emily Berry (18:12), and Sarah Ruschmeier (18:22) in 14th, 16th, and 17th. Marie Landskroener (19:12) and Nina Kukowski (21:44) also ran for Mayer Lutheran, finishing 23rd and 30th.
The junior varsity boys’ team finished third and included Alex Mielke (second place, 19:44); Jason Entinger (7th, 21:15); Jacob Daniels (11th, 21:38); Dale Lemmer (16th, 23:20), and Andrew Jackson (20th, 24:01). Grace Dietrich finished 15th for the girls’ junior varsity, her first 4K race.
In addition to varsity and junior varsity events, HLWW also offered a fifth and sixth grade race at 2000 meters. Weber said the coaches offered the run to their students and had three fifth graders decide to run.
“And run they did,” he said.
Evan Lee won the boys race in 9:36, which Myranda Hentges was second for the girls at 12:31. Grace Miller was just behind her in third at 13:24.