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2020 Boys Cross Country Section Final Recaps

Posted: Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 1:38 PM


2020 Section Recap --- Boys Cross Country Running

In the fall of 2020, the Minnesota State High School League’s Boys Cross Country season was abbreviated because of safety protocols implemented to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The season culminated at the section level where 16 team champions were crowned and dozens of participants received medals for their performances. Here is a look at what happened in each of those section meets:

Class A

Section 1 --- Lake City was a double champion during the meet at Northern Hills Golf Course in Rochester. The Tigers won the team event with 62 points, 26 fewer than Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson, which was runner-up with 88. Rochester Lourdes was third at 94. Lake City junior Reese Anderson captured individual honors with a winning time of 16:30.2. That was more than 10 seconds faster than Rochester Lourdes junior Kevin Turlington, who was runner-up in 16:40.5. Junior Tyler Rislove of Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson was third in 16:42.5. Anderson placed 55th at the Class A state meet in 2019.

Section 2 --- St. James Area, which finished third in the Class A meet as a team, captured the section crown at Montgomery Golf Club with 53 points. The Saints outdistanced Glencoe-Silver Lake, which was runner-up with 120. Belle Plaine was third at 124. Senior Caleb Rivera led the Saints with a championship finish in the individual race in a time of 16:34.59. He placed 21st during the 2019 state meet. Belle Plaine sophomore Emmett Gerres was runner-up at the section meet in a time of 17:08.4, and Maple River sophomore Cole Stencel was third in 17:17.01.

Section 3 --- Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd cruised to the section title with 24 points at Worthington. Mountain Lake Area-Comfrey was runner-up with 129 points and Redwood Valley was third with 132. Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd’s victory was fueled by individual finishes in the second, third and fourth positions. Senior Zeke Sather was runner-up in 16:53.81, followed by senior Darius Fenske (17:10.57) and junior Kaiden Allpress in fourth at 17:46.23. Redwood Valley senior Jayson Peyerl was the individual champion at 16:45.62.

Section 4 --- Nova Classical Academy placed all five of its scoring runners in the top 10 en route to winning the section championship at Highland 9 Golf Course in St. Paul. Nova Classical Academy finished with 34 points in the team race and Minnehaha Academy was runner-up with 86. Breck placed third with 108. Breck sophomore Alden Keller won the individual championship in a time of 16:27.8, a margin of eight seconds over Nova Classical Academy junior Finn McCormick. Mounds Park Academy junior Isak Nightingale was third in 16:53.9.

Section 5 --- At Spring Brook Golf Course in Mora, Annandale won the team and individual championships. The Cardinals compiled 47 points in the team competition, 16 fewer than St. Cloud Cathedral. Heritage Christian was third with 64. Eighth-grader Sal Wirth led Annandale’s championship run with a time of 17:03.1 in the individual race. Northwest Nighthawks junior Luke Swanson was runner-up in 17:17.2, and St. Cloud Cathedral junior Turner Schad was third in 17:33.9.   

Section 6 --- Staples-Motley senior Emmet Anderson, who was the Class A runner-up in 2019, won the individual section crown a year later with a time of 15:51.08 at Long Prairie Country Club. That was more than a minute faster than West Central junior Kade Runge, who was runner-up in 16:55.36. His teammate, Kyle Schill, a senior, was third in 16:56.62. Staples-Motley, which finished fifth as a team in the Class A meet in 2019, won the section title with 38 points, two better than West Central. New London-Spicer was third with 132.

Section 7 --- Top-ranked Geno Uhrbom, a senior from Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin zipped his way through the 5,000-meter course at Cloquet Golf Course in a time of 15:58.7. He was the Class A champion during the 2018 and 2019 state meets. Virginia sophomore Cameron Stocke was runner-up in a time of 16:25.5, and Cromwell-Wright freshman Noah Foster was third in 16:59.2.  Pequot Lakes won the team title with 67 points in a tight duel with Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin, which was four points back. Virginia was third with 92 points.

Section 8 --- Perham, the Class A team champion the past three seasons, captured the section crown with 50 points. That was 37 points better than runner-up East Grand Forks, who had 87. Park Rapids Area was third with 136. East Grand Forks senior Tyson Mahar, 14th overall at the 2019 state meet, won the individual title in a time of 16:26.9. He edged Perham junior Jakob McCleary, who was runner-up in 16:27.7. McCleary’s teammate, Carson Hespe, a senior, was third in 17:06.5.

Class AA

Section 1 --- Lakeville South edged Rochester Century for the team championship with a score of 51 points during the meet at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna. Rochester Century was runner-up with 51 and Owatonna was third at 103. Rochester Century senior Seth Hill won the individual championship with a time of 16:24.07. That was just more than two seconds faster than Farmington senior Robbie Spain, who clocked in at 16:26.34. Lakeville South junior Matthew Whittaker was third overall in 16:28.89.

Section 2 --- Buffalo cruised to the section crown in the 17-team field at Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista. The Bison compiled 45 points in the team competition while Chanhassen was runner-up with 118. Delano was third at 132. Mankato East senior Andrew Johnson won the individual title in a time of 16:16.6. That was a nearly 19-second margin of victory over Chanhassen senior Benjamin Scheller, who clocked in at 16:35. Buffalo junior Jared Gregoire was third overall at 16:38.7. Johnson placed 98th overall at the Class AA meet in 2019.

Section 3 --- Prior Lake placed its top four runners in the top five en route to winning the section championship with 26 points at Valleywood Golf Course in Apple Valley. Rosemount was runner-up with 41 and East Ridge was third with 83. Senior Gabe Smit led Prior Lake’s pack-running finish by capturing the individual title in a time of 16:02.5, which was a fraction of a second ahead of Rosemount senior Brennen Peterson. The next three finishers, from third to fifth place, were all from Prior Lake: freshman Hootie Hage (16:16.1), senior Magnus O’Connor (16:16.2) and senior Kyle Nordling (16:19.9). Smit placed 11th overall during the Class AA race in 2019.

Section 4 --- Perennial section champion Stillwater added another title to its rich tradition of success by winning with 31 points at the Highland 9 Golf Course in Stillwater. Suburban East rivals White Bear Lake and Roseville were second and third with 66 and 82 points, respectively. Stillwater senior Ethan Vargas won the individual title in a time of 16:09. That was three seconds faster than Roseville senior Joseph Lee, who was runner-up in 16:12. Stillwater senior Aiden Kilibarda was third in 16:32. Vargas was 10th overall during the Class AA meet in 2019.

Section 5 --- Mounds View, the Class AA champion in 2019, captured the section crown a year later with 64 points at Anoka High School. Maple Grove was runner-up with 118 and Blaine was third at 125. Mounds View sophomore Elliott McArthur was the individual section champion in a time of 16:18.5. Maple Grove’s Gannon Farrens, an eighth-grader, was runner-up in 16:22.7. Rogers senior Alexander Heidorn was third in 16:25.4. McArthur was Mounds View’s fourth runner in winning the team championship in 2019, placing 35th overall.

Section 6 --- Robbinsdale Armstrong nipped Eden Prairie in the team chase in the meet at Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista. The Falcons compiled 49 points en route to winning the championship, one better than Eden Prairie, the Class AA runner-up in 2019. Edina was third at 97. Minnetonka sophomore Nick Gilles won the individual crown in a time of 16:12.19. Eden Prairie senior Alex Gutierrez was runner-up in 16:19.19 and his teammate, senior Jack Gschwendtner, was third in 16:19.21  

Section 7 --- Andover captured the section championship with 45 points at Cloquet Golf Course. Duluth East was runner-up with 86 and Forest Lake was third at 101. Forest Lake junior Daniel Vanacker was the individual titlist in a time of 16:05.7. Andover junior Cameron Heppner was runner-up at 16:18.1 while Big Lake sophomore Kade Layton was third in 16:20.5. Vanacker placed 40th overall during the Class AA meet in 2019.

Section 8 --- Bemidji outran Alexandria to win the section crown with 53 points during the meet at Greenwood Golf Course in Bemidji. Alexandria was runner-up with 64 and Brainerd was third at 108. Bemidji senior Nathan Alto reached the finish line first in 16:29.3. St. Cloud Apollo senior Sam Brewer was runner-up in 16:44.2 while Alexandria senior Jacob Kleven was third in 16:52.3. Alto finished 113th at the Class AA race in 2019.


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