For the second time in as many weeks, the St. Michael-Albertville High School cross country team won the team title in a multi-team cross country meet.
This time the Knight boys emerged as the team champion in the 12-team Monticello Invitational held at Vintage Golf Course Thursday Sept. 6.
The Knights tallied 69 points, finishing ahead of: Coon Rapids-76, Hutchinson-77, Monticello-110, Marshall-121, Anoka-171, Irondale-173, Rogers-191, Cooper-210, Big Lake-247, Becker-311, and Annandale-329.
Senior Brendan Sage once again led the team, placing second individually, in a school record time of 15 minutes 54 seconds for the 5K distance. Dan Greeno previously owned the 5K record with a time of 15:55 set in 2005.
Strong support from his teammates allowed Sage and the Knights to run to victory as Chase Cayo was 4th overall in a time of 16:43 with Dominic Shovelain as the Knights’ third runner, placing 15th overall, in a time of 17:27. Derek Johanson was 22nd in a time of 17:45, followed by Jake Monseth(26th-17:54), Christian Eiynck(28th-17:55), and Luke Pelant(43rd-18:26). Along with Sage; Cayo, Shovelain, Eiynck, and Pelant, all had personal best times for the 5K.
STMA Coach Gregg Greeno said, “Our boys have some lofty goals for this season and this meet is a good reminder that, nothing is going to be easy. We ran really well, but there were a number of teams right behind us. You can’t ask for more when 5 out of our 7 guys had personal bests and our 2 guys that didn’t, ran very well, also. So, this reminds us that we need to keep working hard, working smart, and progressing.”
ऀThe STMA Girls varsity placed 5th out of 11 teams in a very tough girls field. Defending State Champs, Monticello, won the girls’ team title with 64 points, followed by Marshall-64, Big Lake-83, Anoka-101, STMA-104, Annandale-142, Rogers-212, Becker-229, Irondale-257, Hutchinson-253, and Cooper-280. Sophomore Rachel King led the Knight girls as she placed 3rd overall in a school record time of 14 minutes 59 seconds for the 4K distance.
King rewrote the record of 15:03 posted by Maddi Sjelin, last season, and became the first STMA female to break the 15 minute barrier for the 4K. Maddi Sjelin was the Knights’ second runner, placing 7th in a time of 15:21. STMA’s third runner was Tori Hamre(25th-16:54), followed by: Abbie Herbst(29th-16:59), Beth Hinkemeyer(40th-17:32), Rylee Hanson(42nd-17:35), and Cassidy Kottke(48th-17:56).
“The girls teams at this meet were very good,” commented Coach Greeno, “Rachel obviously had a great effort and Maddi ran 30 seconds faster this year on the same course, than she did last year. Our third girl, Tori, had a great race and a great finish and did just what she was supposed to do, leave it all out on the course. Abbie Herbst is a first year runner and ran her personal best time, as our 4th girl, and Beth, Rylee, and Cassidy, all had very respectable races, so we were very pleased with the effort from our girls.”
ऀThe STMA boys junior varsity team placed second as a team and were led by sophomore Alec Birk, who won the boys JV 5K race in a very good time of 17 minutes 56 seconds. Birk’s time lands him a spot on the Knights varsity for next week’s race. In the girls junior varsity race, STMA placed third, as a team. Freshman McKenna Rogers edged teammate Taylor Johnson for 11th place overall in a time of 17:46, as the top Knight JV girl. Rogers’ time earns her a spot on the STMA varsity for the next competition.
ऀThe Knights cross country teams next travel to Anoka for the Rum River Invitational Cross Country Meet held right next to Anoka High School Thursday Sept. 13. At Anoka, the Girls JV starts at 3:30 p.m., followed by the Boys JV at 4p.m, with Boys Varsity at 4:30 p.m and Girls Varsity at 5 p.m.