Knight runners off to a strong start

Returning State entrant for the Knight’s cross country team, Chase Cayo, pictured here in this year’s STMA opening cross country meet, where Chase placed 2nd individually in the 5K with a time of 16:26. (Photo by Bill Halldin)

Returning State entrant for the Knight’s cross country team, Chase Cayo, pictured here in this year’s STMA opening cross country meet, where Chase placed 2nd individually in the 5K with a time of 16:26. (Photo by Bill Halldin)

STMA All-State cross country performers Lizzy Heil(left) and Rachel King shown here in the Monticello Invitational enroute to an STMA 1-2 finish.  King won with an impressine 14:47 4K time, with Heil not far behind in 14:59. (Photo by Bill Halldin)

STMA All-State cross country performers Lizzy Heil(left) and Rachel King shown here in the Monticello Invitational enroute to an STMA 1-2 finish. King won with an impressine 14:47 4K time, with Heil not far behind in 14:59. (Photo by Bill Halldin)

The St. Michael-Albertville High Cross Country teams got off to a strong start in their season debut cross country meet Thursday at the Monticello Invitational held at Vintage Golf Course.

Junior Rachel King led the lady Knights as she captured the girls varsity 4K title in an impressive time of 14 minutes 47 seconds.  Teammate, freshman Lizzy Heil, was also impressive running a time of 14:59, good for 2nd place behind King.  The Knight girls were 3rd, as a team.  Monticello won the girls division team race in the 10-team meet, followed by Marshall, then STMA.

The STMA Boys placed 2nd ,as a team, in the 11-team boys race led by junior Chase Cayo, who finished runnerup individually.  Cayo ran a very respectable time of 16:26 for the 5K.  The Hutchinson boys won the team title.

For the STMA varsity girls, freshman Belle Nyhus was the Knight’s 3rd runner, earning a medal placing 14th in her debut on varsity with at time of 16:39 for the 4K.  Junior Abbie Herbst was 4th for STMA finishing in 35th place in a time of 17:47, followed by sophomore McKenna Rogers(49th-18:31),

junior Jaymie Hansen(61st-19:28), and junior Gabby Vetsch(64th-19:46) rounding out the varsity.

STMA senior Dominic Shovelain was STMA’s 2nd runner in the varsity race, placing 11th in a time of 17:25 for the 5K to earn a medal.  Also placing in the “top 15” to earn a medal was junior Jake Monseth(15th-17:45).  Following Monseth was junior Christian Eiynck(22nd-18:21), senior Keith Jorgenson(27th-18:34) competing in his first-ever cross country competition, junior Alec Birk(31st-18:38), and sophomore Jackson Connelly(38th-18:57) in his initial varsity race.

“Really pleased with the effort and the way the kids competed.  It was hotter than we would’ve liked, but no matter what, that first race of the season is a shock to the system.  We had a lot of kids competing in their first-ever cross country race, and they ran tough,” commented Knight’s coach Gregg Greeno.

The STMA boys junior varsity dominated in winning the JV division taem title, placing 5 runners in the top 8.  Senior Luke Pelant paved the way for the Knights placing 2nd in a time of 18:54.  Other Knights in the “scoring 5” were: sophomore Lukas Layton(3rd-18:55), senior Alex Monseth(4th-19:19), junior Jake Coulson(5th-19:22), and senior Jeremy Goude(8th-19:33).

The STMA JV girls were 4th as a team led by senior Erin Schindler who placed 15th in a time of 19:13, followed by other Knights in the “scoring 5”: Karson Sorby(19th-19:37), Holly Opatz(20th-19:39), Emily Ruhland(26th-19:57), and Sidney Schreiner(28th-20:04).

Next competition for the STMA Cross Country teams will be Saturday September 21st at Apple Valley High School in the Eagle Invitational, held in the morning.

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