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Laker runners open 2010 in Moorhead meet

The Detroit Lakes boys' and girls' cross country teams each got a last taste of summer in Moorhead for a hot and muggy season opener Monday.

For the Laker boys, it was a solid beginning to the season, while for the girls, there were some mild surprises.

"I didn't feel my expectations were met," said DL head girls' coach Jon Freeman. "There is a difference between potential and actual. It just looked like we were running young and scared."

The boys' team finished sixth out of 11 teams, with junior Wes Bakken leading the way in 20th with a time of 18:21.1.

Senior Dylan Ramstad-Skoyles was 23rd at 18:33.5, while a couple of pleasant surprises were had in Brandon Olson in 27th and Patrick Bakken in 30th.

"The kids came to perform," said DL head boys' coach Bill Kvebak. "Brandon Olson coming in third for us was a bright spot, as was Pat Bakken."

Juniors Jason Stallman (34th) and Travis King (39), along with sophomore Mike Okeson (47) rounded out DL's finish.

The "friendly" competition between Wes Bakken and Ramstad-Skoyles is more than underway for being the Lakers' top runner in each meet.

The two will be close in times throughout the season, which is a good thing, Kvebak said.

"They are going to be going back and forth all season," the DL coach said. "They do work well with each other and will push each other."

The next step, which will come next Thursday in the DL Invite at the Lakeview Golf Course, is to be more team-focused.

"We need to start focusing on our team results now," Kvebak said. "Alexandria will be in our invite and they are a perennial power in our section, so if we ever have dreams of competing in our section, we need to do well against teams like that."

The body of work is there for the Laker girls' team, as well, but it just needs some fine-tuning.

As was expected at the onset of the season, there will be up to four to five different girls leading the way for the Lakers throughout the schedule.

The 2010 season started out with sophomore Kiki Schumacher taking top honors for DL in 14th position with a time of 17:24.2.

Freshman McKenzie Foltz also nabbed a top 20 position in 19th at 17:53.8, while last year's usual leader -- eighth grader Abby Ullyott -- finished in 38th with an 18:45.0 mark.

The Lakers finished eighth overall out of 12 teams with 190 points, trailing first-place Moorhead, which had 72.

"There definitely were some positive signs coming out of the meet, since we placed better than last year," Freeman said. "It didn't surprise me at all that Kiki was our top runner, it may have surprised her and her teammates, but I knew she had it in her."

Senior Brita Johnson was 59th with a mark of 19:56.3 and sophomore Veronica Haverkamp was 60th with a 19:57.8 time.

"Compared to last year, we had very few steps backward," Freeman added. "Some of the kids were taking up to two minutes off their time. Physically, we are fine. If we can run like we have practiced, we will be a force."

The DL Rotary Invite will be next Thursday, Sept. 9, at the Lakeview Golf Course at the Detroit Country Club, starting at 4:30 p.m.

Laker results

Detroit Lakes at Moorhead, Monday, Aug. 30.

Boys team results: Moorhead 47, Perham 53, Willmar 89, Bemidji 91, Fergus Falls 124, Detroit Lakes 134, Thief River Falls 147, Park Rapids 237, Staples-Motley 277, TrekNorth 293, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 302.

DL boys results: 20. Wes Bakken 18:21.04; 23. Dylan Ramstad-Skoyles 18:33.45; 27. Brandon Olson 18:45.78; 30. Patrick Bakken 18:55.74; 34. Jason Stallman 19:09.41; 41. Travis King 19:30.55; 53. Mike Okeson 19:59.45.

Girls team results: Moorhead 72, Perham 95, Willmar 103, Bemidji 104, Park Rapids 141, Staples-Motley 146, Fergus Falls 153, Detroit Lakes 190, Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal 200, Thief River Falls 210, East Grand Forks 269, TrekNorth 330.

DL girls results: 14. Kiki Schumacher 17:24.2; 19. McKenzie Foltz 17:53.8; 38. Abby Ullyott 18:45.0; 59. Britta Johnson 19:56.3; 60. Veronica Haverkamp 19:57.8.

Brian Wierima
Detroit Lakes Newspapers Sports Editor for the last 15 years. St. Cloud State University graduate, who hails from Deer Creek, MN.