The Mayer Lutheran/Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity cross country team is already set for 2014, with many of this season’s runners set to return next season.
This season proved tough for the LHS boys, with five of 12 runners battling injuries and forced to miss meets. Captain Jacob Roth, who was expected to help lead the Crusaders, missed the entire season with an ankle injury.
But for those boys that did run, success was had. At the Minnesota River Conference meet, the team placed fifth and every LHS runner had a personal best day. The top five runners ran sub 20 minute times at both the conference meet and the section meet a few weeks later.
Senior Brandon Duffy made his second state appearance after qualifying at the Section 5A meet. At state, he finished 102nd in 17:45.8.
Duffy will be the only graduating senior for the boys’ team this season and will be missed, according to head coach Rob Weber.
“He will be missed for his leadership by example in his running, sportsmanship, and attitude,” Weber said.
In Duffy’s wake, plenty of runners will be back for the LHS boys, including 2014 captains Jacob Roth and Ben Quiram.
“Quiram and Roth will have plenty of help with 11 other returning letter winners, six boys and five girls, to join them,” Weber said. “The boys’ team should be solid next year.”
All-Conference Honorable Mention runner Alex Mielke should be back, along with letter winners Wyatt Entinger, Parker Esterberg, Todd Johnson, Seth Pauna, and Andrew Jackson.
“Returning runners John Bones, Gareth Holland, Parker Bayerl, and any new runners will give the team some depth for that competitive edge,” Weber said. “Looks to be another fun season.”
For the LHS girls, this season brought a fourth place finish at the coed meet and a sixth place finish at the MRC meet. Every Crusader runner earned a personal record time at the Milaca Mega Meet, placing 22nd of 43 teams.
Senior Mikaila Norman will depart the girls’ team this season, after becoming the Crusaders No. 5 varsity runner late in the season.
Back next season will be All-Conference honoree Emilie Berry, All-Conference Honorable Mention Karlea Kyllo, and letter winners Clara Leverich, Grace Dietrich, and Harley Hentges. The Crusaders are also looking forward to the return of 2012 state entrant Hannah Truniger, who missed the entire season this year.
“Add in a couple new young runners and we have the makings of a formidable girls’ team,” Weber said.
Team Most Valuable Runner awards went to Duffy and Berry, while Johnson and Leverich earned the team’s Most Improved awards. Rookies of the Year were Parker Esterberg and Karlea Kyllo.
Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]