With runners sick or injured on both the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams, Waconia did not fare as well at the conference meet as head coach Clark Machtemes would have liked.
Missing three of the girls’ starting varsity members, the Wildcat girls finished sixth of the 11 teams. Junior Lexi Willems was eighth overall and earned All-Conference honors with her time of 15:45. Freshman Carissa Dock and senior Rhi McNulty were the next two Wildcats across the line with similar times of 17:05 and 17:07. Senior Nora Stevenson, sophomore Mikaela Kauma, and junior Kourtney Luedloff finished close together at 17:44, 17:48, and 17:50. Freshman Allyson Marrs also competed for Waconia and finished in 18:16.
The Waconia boys finished tenth of the 11 conference teams.
“Our boys were sicker than dogs too,” Machtemes said, but added that both teams gave it all they had despite “running on half a lung.”
Ben Vaske crossed the line first for Waconia in 18:21. Finishing at 19:13 and 19:l5 were Jacob Tereau and Miles Trujillo. Tony Fulkerson (19:24) and David Hughes (19:27) were just a few seconds apart, while Adam Kirsch (20:08) and Joey Korteum (20:09) finished almost simultaneously.
The Wildcats competed at Watertown-Mayer on Oct. 16 in preparation for sections at Buffalo next week. The Buffalo course boasts tight corners and a quarter-mile hill, but Machtemes said the team enjoys it. The top eight individuals and top two teams will advance to the state meet. Waconia competes in Section 2AA with much of the WCC, as well as Buffalo, Chanhassen, Chaska, Mankato East, Mankato West, Marshall, Shakopee, and Worthington.