Cross country: Knight runners second at Pelican Rapids
In a field of 11 teams, both the West Central Area boys’ and girls’ cross country squads finished second to Park Rapids Monday, with the boys’ team being led by Kyle and Alex Toms, with the girls’ leader freshman Kylee Fernholz.
“We didn’t have any meets last week, so we had the opportunity to get in a couple of grueling practices,” said Knight head coach John VanKempen. “The girls were paced by Kylee Fernholz, who had her first full week of practice last week and it appeared to pay off.
“She looked comfortable running with the front runners to finish the event in fourth place. It was great to be able to see how we would do with Kylee running again, even though she is not at her best at this point.
“The girls ended the race in second place behind state-ranked Park Rapids (No. 8 in Class A),” he added. “We’re extremely proud of our effort today. I don’t think they’ve [Knights] reached their potential yet as individuals or as a team.”
In the boys’ race, the Knights trailed Park Rapids by just 11 points.
“Kyle Toms led the first mile in the boys’ race, but had a stumble going up a hill and relinquished the lead to state-ranked Bryon Shuldt of Nevis (No. 11),” VanKempen said. “Shuldt eventually went on to beat Kyle by a good margin, but it was a good race for Kyle. He ended up in second place, and again was followed by brother, Alex, in fifth place.
“This was our best team effort yet for the season,” he added. “I’m so proud of what the kids have accomplished at WCA. This is our fourth year for cross country at our school and to be able to go to a 10-team meet and finish in second is far more than we expected when we got this thing going.”
PELICAN RAPIDS INVITATIONAL
BOYS’ SCORES – Park Rapids 53, West Central Area 64, Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal 73, Wadena-Deer Creek 91, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 98, Breckenridge/C-T 158, Pelican Rapids 158.
GIRLS’ SCORES – Park Rapids 22, West Central Area 64, Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal 81, Breckenridge/C-T 91, Pelican Rapids 93.
WEST CENTRAL AREA FINISHERS
BOYS – 2. Kyle Toms 17:49.40, 5. Alex Toms 18:41.64, 17. Seth Felland, 23. Neil Hyttsten, 25. Jacob Rakozy, 30. Carson Hunter, 33. Tyler Severance.
GIRLS – 4. Kylee Fernholz 17:13.80, 8. Abby VanKempen 17:24.29, 21. Tee Rudnitski, 22. Ashton Blair, 23. Holly VanKempen, 33. Mikaylah Stark.