By DAVE PEDERSEN
Crow River News Sports
It was a good sign for Rockford cross country coach Jason Hester when many of his girls were battling illness or injury but “still ran very well” at the Dassel-Cokato Invitational last week.
“We have been working on pacing and both teams implemented this into their races,” adds Hester. “Because of this, many of our times were the best of the season.”
The girls finished third behind Annandale and Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted. Ava Cusciotta was third and Ellie Sather eighth. Next came Grace Clark (18), Natasha James (23) and Alix Gifford (29). Makayla Graunke did not run because of illness.
The boys finished fifth behind Annandale, GSL, HLWW and the Northwest Nighthawks home school team. Team leaders were Nels Trandahl (10), Leo Duffy (15), Lucas Klonne (23), Michael Nelson (43), Nolan Aker (44) and Caleb Duerr (47).
Rockford team will run at the Watertown-Mayer Invitational, 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10 and at the Conference meet at Mound-Westonka, 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Gale Woods Farm.
HOME SCHOOL TEAM
It was another good sign for the Northwest Nighthawks Home School team which also competed at the Dassel-Cokato invite.
The boys took fourth out of nine teams, the highest placing of any meet since the program started in 2015. It was a record team time by two and a half minutes.
Team leaders were Luke Swanson (6), Jayden Peterman (21), Grant Olson (22), Phillip Kippley (31), Drake Fraser (37) and AJ Ulwelling (50).
The Nighthawk girls also showed improvement over the early-season meets, with several season and or lifetime personal best times.
Erika Swanson finished second overall. She was followed by Jerilynn Simmer (25), Margaret Myskowski (28), Naomi Brenden (30) and Marielle Chamberlain (43).
The team will run at Litchfield Oct. 5 and North Lakes Academy Oct. 9.