BY DAVE PEDERSEN
Delano’s Adam Armbruster utilized more experience running cross country to secure a second place finish at the Section 2AA meet last week, earning a return trip to the state meet Saturday, Nov. 2 at St. Olaf University in Northfield.
Armbruster is relatively inexperienced as a cross country runner, but has made the most of his opportunity. He had success in track as a ninth-grader, so he went out for cross country last year as a sophomore and made it to state.
Despite producing his best time at the state meet, Armbruster still finished in 65th place. Coach Boak Wiesner says how 31 seniors finished in front of Armbruster, who wants to finish in the top 20 this time.
In track last spring, Armbruster broke his brother’s school record in the 3,200-meter event. He just missed advancing to state in track.
The junior started strong from the start this cross country season, winning titles at his first three invitational meets, five in all. Armbruster also was second twice and third twice.
“The section meet went very well,” adds Wiesner. “We figured that Hutchinson would win and that after them there were five teams besides us in the running for the runner-up spot and the state meet berth. We finished fourth, but were seven little points out of going to state.”
Wiesner says how senior Sam Thomas (14), junior Dan Clark (16) and ninth-grader Tucker Sjomeling (21) went out fast in order to try to hopefully qualify for state spots as individuals. All ran appreciably faster than they had a month ago on the same course. Ninth-grader Logan Rieder (63) improved his time by more than a minute. The team included junior Matt Ditty (82) and ninth-grader Ben Rietow (97).
“The girls had a decent day, but they got out a little too slowly and never really caught up to the main pack,” says Wiesner about his team that finished 14th.
Top finishers were seventh-grader Naomi Eskola (56), junior Linsey Tolkinnen (66), junior Emily Hartman (74), eighth-grader Lauren Degn (89), sophomore Madeline Sladek (90), ninth-grader Shanie Streachek (91) and junior Hanna Olstad (93).