by Dave Pedersen
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
It was Rockford’s annual cross country invitational, but Delano took over the Shamrock course in Corcoran last week when dominating the boys varsity event.
Rockford runners hope to return the favor when entering Delano’s invitational meet, 4:15 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 at Lake Rebecca Park. Teams include Waconia, Maple Lake, Southwest Christian, FAIR School and Saint Croix Preparatory Academy.
At the Rockford invite, the Tiger boys placed four in the top 10 with the other three not far behind, which was the big news according to coach Borak Wiesner.
The coach is excited about his top four runners returning, but he was looking for more in this first race of the season. Wiesner got what he wanted when the “big gap” was filled in by rookie Logan Rieder (23), junior Matt Ditty (24) and junior Cole Paskach (30).
The leaders were the usual suspects, paced by junior Adam Armbruster in first place, followed by junior Daniel Clark (6), senior Sam Thomas (8) and ninth-grader Tucker Sjomeling (9).
Rockford’s boys finished fifth in the nine-team field. Finishers were senior Austin Witthun (14), senior Ty Griffin (15), junior Nick Klonne (18), junior Drew Haften (22), ninth-grader Joe Pothast (37), senior Austin Achtelik (48) and junior Nathan Schumacher (49).
“Overall, I thought we ran well,” said coach Jason Hester. “Witthuhn ran an exceptional race and Hafften finished strong. We missed third place by 10 points, but I know that we have some guys who did not run their best race and we still were not running with all of our best runners. The heat has made it difficult to have quality workouts consistently.”
In the girls varsity race, Delano finished sixth and Rockford ninth. Emily Hartman (16) led Delano as coach Wiesner expected, followed by newcomer Linsey Tolkinnen (17).
Next came a group of returning letterwinners with Shanie Streachek (29), Olivia Jacobs (31), Madeline Sladek (32) and Hanna Olstad (48).
“All of the Rockford girls are either in their first or second year of cross country and it can be tough running varsity if you don’t have lots of experience,” said Hester.
Rocket leaders were Elizabeth Nelson (45), Eliza Shedlov (50), Emma Hawley (51), Megan Bode (56) and Anya Cady (57).
The day closed out with the junior varsity races. Delano also won the boys race, with Rockford second. Nicholas Vandanaker finished fourth for the Rockets. Top Tiger runners were JT Weiman (5), Mike Bunker (6) and Charlie Otto (7).
In the girls race, Delano’s Laura Degn was eighth in her very first race. Ellen Armbruster was 11th.
Contact Dave Pedersen at firstname.lastname@example.org