STMA boys cross country wins conference

STMA Senior Keith Jorgenson sprints to the finish at the Varsity Conference Meet in St. Francis.
STMA Senior Keith Jorgenson sprints to the finish at the Varsity Conference Meet in St. Francis.

STMA’s Chase Cayo wins Individual Conference Title

Led by individual Conference champion, Chase Cayo, the Knights of STMA brought back the Mississippi-8 Conference crown that had eluded them the past 5 seasons.

“We have had good teams and been so close, 1 point last year, to winning the Conference title the past 5 seasons, it felt very good to have our boys put together a championship effort and win the Conference title. Our Conference is very tough in cross country and going in, there were 5 teams mentioned in the title chase, so we have outstanding balance in our conference”, were the comments from Knight head coach, Gregg Greeno.

Greeno went on to say, “Our guys were hungry. They were nervous before the race, and they wanted the title and they showed it with the way that they ran. It was a great team effort. With Sections coming up, we have to keep getting better and not be satisfied with what we have accomplished so far this season. Our Section is very tough this year with 3 teams ranked in State and we’re not one of those, so we’ll have to run even better there to have a chance to advance to State, by placing in the top 2, as a team”.

Cayo, a junior, led a brigade of Knight runners that finished with 5 “All-Conference” performers, and ran a personal best time of 15:52 for the 5K. Historically, in the 9 years that the Mississippi-8 Conference has been in existence, STMA has now won 7 of the 9 individual boys cross country titles that have been contested. Starting with Dan Greeno winning the inaugural title in 2005, Nick Nygaard won 2 titles in 2006 and 2007, Jake Autio won the title in 2009, Brendan Sage won titles in 2011 and 2012, before Chase Cayo continued the tradition in this year’s race.

Besides Cayo, senior Dominic Shovelain was 8th in a time of 16:53, junior Jake Monseth was 9th with a time of 16:55, and sophomores Lukas Layton (15th-17:11) and Jackson Connelly (17th-17:12) rounded out the “All-Conference” honors by placing in the “top 20”. Junior Christian Eiynck and senior Keith Jorgenson earned “Honorable Mention All-Conference” distinction by placing 24th and 26th in times of 17:27 and 17:32, respectively. Senior Jeremy Goude (33rd-17:39) and Alec Birk (54th-18:42) rounded out the varsity for the Knights.

Varsity boys team scores were as follows: STMA-50, Buffalo-63, Chisago Lakes-80, Rogers-87, Monticello-98, Big Lake-188, Cambridge-Isanti-201, North Branch-235, St. Francis-245, and Princeton-258.

Knights’ assistant coach Kevin Crocker noted, “Our top 8 varsity runners all re-corded personal best times, as well as, many of our JV runners. It was a nice day weather-wise, but it also shows that the boys are running well and a lot of that is because they’re working hard in practice and doing some things right.”

The Knights boys JV team dominated in winning the Junior Varsity team title, scoring an almost perfect score, as they tallied 16 points for first place. Luke Pelant was the individual winner for the JV race with a time of 18:06, followed by Jake Coulson (2nd-18:12, Alex Monseth (3rd-18:24), Brian Colgrove (4th-18:30), Joe Herbst (6th-18:50), Ryan Moore (7th -18:55), and Jason Colgrove (8th-18:58) as the “top 7” runners for the Knights’ JV team.

The Knight boys next compete in the Section 5AA Meet at Anoka High School Thursday Oct. 24th. The boys varsity 5K race is at 4 PM that day.