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DL boys cross country: Lakers keep on building

Laker runner Austin Askelson heads down the back stretch at the Rotary Invite earlier this fall. (Brian Basham/Record)

The Detroit Lakes boys' cross country team had a strong one-two punch to lead their lineup, while having some solid, developing young talent following up.

Senior Michael Okeson and junior Zach Foltz were DL's leading runners in each meet. But they were not just pushing each other in competitive races, they did it on a daily basis in practice.

"They were connected at the hip every day in practice," said DL head coach Bill Kvebak.

"Mike should be happy with his season, because he was running at 17-flat. Zach had to fight through some early injuries, but after the Milaca Mega Meet, he just continued to get better and better."

With Foltz returning, he will be joined by another strong candidate in Matt Lundstrom, who had to run junior varsity since he was a transfer this past year.

The duo should once again make up a strong contingent to lead the Lakers, while the developing runners will be key as they take the next step.

Austin Clem is the other senior graduating along with Okeson, so the majority of the team will be back for 2013.

"(Junior) Jake Fritz had a breakout season and was running under 18:00, which is usually a barrier for some runners," Kvebak said. "Junior Isaac Clem is also back and this will be his third year in the lineup and I am expecting him to be under 18 minutes, as well."

Two freshmen also return in Austin Askelson and Chase Metelak.

"Richard Bellefeuille, who is a junior, can be an excellent runner after he dropped from 24 minutes to 19 this season," Kvebak said.

The Lakers did collect a second-place finish in the Mid-State Conference meet.

"They performed admirably in the Mid-State, after we came into the meet basically tabbed as the third seed," Kvebak said.

But the future does bode well for the Lakers if the proper work and miles are logged in over the next coming months.

"Bottom line, I was very pleased with our depth and if the kids work hard over the offseason, we can have the best team we've had here since I've been coaching," Kvebak said.

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