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DL XC four-time Mid-State champs, girls regain title after five years

Katie McConkey (3131) and Carly Fritz (3120) lead the Lakers at the start of the Perham Harrier Classic last week. Both runners had all-conference finishes Tuesday leading the girls team to a first Mid-State championship since 2012. Robert Williams / Tribune

The Laker boys captured their fourth consecutive Mid-State Conference team championship and the girls team made it a Laker sweep winning their first title in five seasons Tuesday in Crosslake.

“The guys really showed up to run today,” Laker boys head coach Bill Kvebak said.

The Laker boys had five all-conference runners in the top 10, but needed strong finishes to outpace individual champion Emmet Anderson and the Staples-Motley Cardinals.

DL scored 32 points and won by 19 over Staples-Motley.


“Staples is a good team they were riding a two-meet win streak and our kids were awesome,” said Kvebak.

The top three runners from each team ran to a near stalemate with the Cardinals having a one-point lead at the early finish.

Behind Anderson’s winning time of 17:17.44 came Cardinal teammates Hunter Klimek (18:11.60) in third place and Tanner Robben in eighth (18:37.27).

DL countered with Mid-State runner-up Tanner Olson (18:11.53), Tucker Strawsell in fourth (18:14.95) and Austin Gedrose in seventh (18:35.97).

“Big performance from Tucker Strawsell who we have been waiting for to have a big performance,” Kvebak said.

The next two Cardinal runners placed 19th and 20th overall and DL’s fourth and fifth runners created distance on the scoreboard crossing 10 places in front of their Staples’ counterparts.

Peyton Nordby (18:40.61) and Grant Fritch-Gallatin (18:44.21) helped their team hog half of the all-conference spots in ninth and 10th, respectively, to ice the victory.

The top 10 runners earned all conference honors, while 11-15th finishers received honorable mention.

The Laker depth was one more runner deep as Gabe Kitzmann, DL’s sixth runner, topped both of the last two Cardinal scoring finishers in a time of 19:21.10.

“Gabe was big for us as our sixth runner moving up by eight or more places in the last mile to beat Staples’ four and five runners,” said Kvebak. “Really proud of these guys especially this senior class, great leaders.”

DL girls win four-team race to the line

The girls race came down to the fifth finisher from each school as Detroit Lakes, Crosby-Ironton, Staples-Motley and Pequot Lakes all crossed the finish line within five cumulative places of each other.

The Cardinals nabbed the top three spots behind conference champion Kira Sweeney’s time of 21:12.55. The Patriots held fourth and fifth place, while the top Laker duo of Katie McConkey (22:29.79) and Carly Fritz (22:38.78) placed sixth and seventh for the two Laker all-conference nods and important points to set up the rest of the team.

The Lakers next four runners packed up to the finish taking 18th and 19th place by Emily Kain (24:01.50) and Cortney Brodsho (23:02.46). Lauren Lokken (24:06.18) had the crucial fifth scoring finish in 21st with Zoe Allen right next to her crossing in 24:06.36.

Staples-Motley had a perfect score of six points after the top three runners swept the meet, but the Cardinals fourth and fifth runners combined for 69 points. Staples-Motley placed third with 75, followed by Pequot Lakes one point back with 76 in fourth.

Runners-up Crosby-Ironton had all five runners place from 11th to 20th (11, 12, 13, 17, 20) for 73 points.

DL led by 10 points after Fritz crossed, by only five after Kain and three points (50-53) behind Brodsho in 19th.

C-I’s Annie Goodwin (20th) finished three seconds in front of Lokken in 21st place, but Lokken’s mark gave the Lakers a two-point victory.

Detroit Lakes made a big jump from a fourth place finish last season and are two seasons removed from losing by one point for the title to Park Rapids in 2015.

The girls were fourth in 2014 and second in 2013, along with the boys as runners-up, the last time DL did not win the boys’ team title.

DL girls captured the Mid-State last in 2012 behind the youthful trio of then eighth-grader, Kenzie Ostlie and Mid-State champion, freshman Sarah Schumacher and sophomore Abby Ullyott.

The XC teams wrap up the regular season at Park Rapids Monday, Oct. 16, the last prep race for the Section 8AA championships. Sections will be held Thursday, Oct. 26 in Fergus Falls.

Mid State Conference Championships

Boys results

Team scores: 1 Detroit Lakes 32; 2 Staples Motley 51; 3 Pequot Lakes 79; 4 Wadena Deer Creek 123; 5 Crosby Ironton 125; 6 Long Prairie Grey Eagle 148; 7 Park Rapids Area 153

Conference Champion: 1 Emmet Anderson (SM) 17:17.44

2 Tanner Olson, DL 18:11.53

3 Hunter Klimek, SM 18:11.60

4 Tucker Strawsell, DL 18:14.95

5 Noah Ross, WDC 18:20.52

6 Seth Lemieur, CI 18:26.33

7 Austin Gedrose, DL 18:35.97

8 Tanner Robben, SM 18:37.27

9 Peyton Nordby, DL 18:40.61

10 Grant Fritch-Gallatin, DL 18:44.21

17 Gabe Kitzman, DL 19:21.10

Girls results

Team scores: 1 Detroit Lakes 71, 2 Crosby Ironton 73, 3 Staples Motley 75, 4 Pequot Lakes 76, 5 Wadena Deer Creek 113, 6 Park Rapids 119, 7 Long Prairie Grey Eagle 146

Conference Champion: Kira Sweeney (SM) 21:12.55

2 Addison Lorber, SM 21:44.52

3 Ashely Robben, SM 21:45.62

4 Grace McGuire, PL 22:18.26

5 Kristin Skog, PL 22:19.52

6 Katie McConkey, DL 22:29.79

7 Carly Fritz, DL 22:38.78

8 Whitney Steffel, PR 22:39.65

9 Holly Johnson, PR 22:40.50

10 Abigail Motschenbacher, WDC 22:47.06

18 Emily Kain, DL 24:01.50

19 Cortney Brodsho, DL 24:02.46

21 Lauren Lokken, DL 24:06.18

22 Zoe Allen, DL 24:06.36

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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