XC: Boys first, girls second at Cardinal Invitational
STAPLES — The Laker boys cross country team got off to a fast start taking the team title of the Cardinal Invitational Monday at Vintage Golf Course.
DL sprinted to the win behind senior Matthew Lundstrom’s runner-up finish in a time of 16:37.30. Lundstrom was only topped by Park Rapids’ number one runner Isaac Overmyer (16:19.18). Overmyer placed fourth at last year’s Class A state meet and is known to attack from anywhere in the pack, typically, finding his way to the front.
“It is really nice for our young team to know they have a really strong runner out front leading them,” Head Coach Bill Kvebak said.
The Lakers put nine runners in the top 25 in an impressive team display against four conference foes Staples-Motley, Wadena-Deer Creek, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle and Park Rapids.
Zach Buboltz and Aaron Johnson had breakthrough runs, both finishing in the top ten in a varsity meet for the first time and set personal records for a 5k run. Buboltz ran 18:35.02 in eighth place. Johnson was sixth in a time of 17:55.37.
Cade Benson ran well as the fourth runner finishing in 13th place (19:22.02) after missing all of last season with injuries.
“Cade has been a great senior leader to the start of our season and it is fun to see his hard work and dedication paying off for him this season,” said Kvebak. “We have a strong group of young runners who ran as a pretty tight pack for most of the race with Connor Haugrud, Mason Sampson, Jesse Livermore, Jace Englestad and Van Fritch-Gallatin all finishing in the top 25.”
The race was a three-way battle with Long Prairie-Grey Eagle (65) and Ottertail Central (71) in a tight battle for second place separated by six points. DL picked up the victory by besting both teams at each position in the lineup. Overmyer was a one-man machine for Park Rapids who finished in fifth place with 122 points.
“Overall I was very pleased with the performance of our team. We had some kids step up and run very well and we have a great bunch of kids in a chase pack who hopefully will start to close the gap from our first to fifth runner.”
The Laker girls were runners-up to Park Rapids in a two-team dual as both squads distanced themselves from the rest of the field..
“Everybody brought their number one and that won't be the last time we go against each other,” Head Coach Jon Freeman said. “That first meet is always a question mark.”
One question answered for DL’s team is the Lakers can be successful with more than one runner attacking the top spot on the team.
Junior Sarah Schumacher placed third overall in a time of 16:55.58 followed by incoming number one runner Makenzie Ostlie, a sophomore, who finished in eighth place (17:48.74).
“I was pleasantly surprised with Sarah Schumacher. Makenzie struggled a bit and Schumacher stepped it up.”
DL ran a skeleton team of only five runners and showcased their talent putting all five in the top 20. For Ostlie to struggle and still be a top 10 runner shows the impact she can have in a race at full throttle.
“That tells you the kind of quality she has in her running game,” Freeman said. “I know she was disappointed. She could have easily won the meet had she been at the top of her game.”
Junior Haley Groth was third on the team and placed 14th in a time of 18:34.34.
“I know there's more in the tank for her,” said Freeman.
Kendra Kvebak picked up where she left off last year after cracking the section team lineup. Kvebak placed 16th (18:48.02), followed by Elizabeth Kvebak in 20th (19:05.68).
“She’s certainly not satisfied with her performance and not done taking time off.”
Detroit Lakes is within striking distance of Park Rapids with ground to make up on the Panthers in each spot of the lineup.
Being close with only five runners and at the first meet of the year bodes well for the quintet of underclassmen who ran Monday afternoon.
Both teams will be back in action Thursday, Sept. 4 at 3:30 p.m. in a home meet at the Country Club.
Ava Geffre ran 20:20.05 for DL's best girls finish, sixth, in the junior varsity race.
Austin Gedrose won the boys JV race as the only runner under 20 minutes finishing in 19:37.59. Gabe Kitzman placed third running 21:12.27 giving the Lakers two of the top three finishes.
The Cardinal Invitational Cross Country Meet
Vintage Golf Course, Staples, Monday, Aug. 25
Boys team results: 1. Detroit Lakes 46; 2. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 65; 3. Ottertail Central 71; 4. Wadena-Deer Creek 118; 5. Park Rapids Area 122; 6. Staples-Motley 146; 7. Pine River-Backus 164; 8. New York Mills 181.
Girls team results: 1. Park Rapids Area 33; 2. Detroit Lakes 55; 3. Osakis 110; 4. Bagley/Fosston 111; 5. Wadena-Deer Creek 113; 6. Staples-Motley 116; 7. Ottertail Central 126.