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Cross country teams near top in Cold Spring

Aaron Runge runs between two Willmar runners during the Rocori Invitational last Thursday in Cold Spring. Runge led the Cardinals with a fifth place finish in the race. (Contributed)1 / 2
Bethany Hasz finished in first place in Cold Spring and outpaced the second place runner by more than 40 seconds. (Contributed)2 / 2

By Blaze Fugina

Both the boys and girls Alexandria cross country teams finished in the top three at the Rocori Invitational last Thursday at the River Oaks Golf Club in Cold Spring.

The boys varsity finished in second place out of eight teams with 50 points, four behind first-place Willmar.

The girls’ varsity team finished in third place at the Rocori Invitational out of seven teams with a total of 69 points. Other top teams included Annandale in second place with 61 points and Willmar in first with 32.

Boys cross country

The boys’ team had opportunities to close on Willmar for first place, but they were unable to pick up the extra points down the stretch.

“Aaron Runge did a great job battling two Willmar runners over the final mile, but was nipped at the finish line by one of the Willmar runners,” head coach Nelson Mark said.

“This was a two point swing in the team score. Other runners had opportunities, but were unable to close as a team in the final 1K.”

Runge was the top finisher for the Cardinals in fifth place with a time of 17:04. Other top finishers for the Cardinals included Colton Sailor in 10th place (17:28), Austin Thom in 11th (17:28), Brandon Jerde in 17th (18:00) and James Pfeffer in 20th (18:09).

Girls cross country

Bethany Hasz finished in first place to lead the Alexandria team to a third place finish behind Annandale and Willmar.

With a time of 14:17, Hasz outpaced the second place finisher in the race by more than 40 seconds. She finished in first even after she was nearly led on a wrong turn during the race.

“Bethany Hasz looked to be fully recovered, running an excellent time and was not to be deterred as the lead vehicle took a wrong turn,” Mark said. “Bethany took over for the lead vehicle and kept the race on track.”

Other top finishers included Karly Betterman in 13th place (16:32), Juliana Sieling in 15th (16:36), Emily Thul in 16th (16:38) and Kiyana Miller in 24th (17:03).