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Cross country: Osakis takes on competitive field at Pierz

Osakis' Grace Oeltjen runs during a meet on Oct. 4, 2016. Oeltjen finished second for the Osakis girls on Monday in Pierz with a time of 22:13.21. (File photo)

The Osakis cross country teams went to Pierz on Monday night and competed in a big field as the boys finished 12th overall among the 18 programs and the girls were 11th out of 14 squads.

"We always look forward to this meet because it is a relatively fast course with a lot of good AA and A competition," Osakis head coach Justin Dahlheimer said. "It's also the first look at some of the better schools in our conference. The weather was much more runner-friendly than last week with cool, overcast temps, and the kids took advantage of it. This was probably the best showing we've ever had as a program at this meet, which bodes well if we keep working hard."

Senior Lauren Savageau had the top finish of any Osakis runner as she took 16th overall in 20:55.46. Freshman Grace Oeltjen was second behind her in 40th place at 22:13.21. Rachel Walsh, a junior, came in 52nd (22:44.97) to finish off the team's top three. Brainerd's Emily Rugloski won the girls race in 19:49.35.

"Lauren was very aggressive, allowing her to break the 21-minute mark the earliest in the season she ever has in her career," Dahlheimer said. "Grace did a nice job staying tough during the latter portion of the race. She's starting to close that gap between Lauren and herself. I was very happy with the way Rachel competed. She looked confident during the hard parts of the course, and was constantly moving up, passing other girls."

Freshman Destiny Lene was 62nd (23:32.50) and fourth for Osakis. Sophomore Hailey Hagedon was 79th (25:19.76), sophomore Natalie Schlosser 84th (25:47.48) and junior Elana Eckel rounded out the lineup in 95th place (28:16.44).

"It's fun to see kids commit to a fast pace early in the race because it creates separation and allows them to be pulled along by the quality of the field," Dahlheimer said. "The whole girls lineup did a nice job of going with the flow early and moving up late."

On the boys' side, sophomore Carter Grove continued to lead the way for Osakis. He finished 20th overall in his first time breaking the 18-minute mark, finishing in 17:59.38. Junior Will Alverson was next in line for the Silverstreaks, finishing in 39th place with a time of 18:35.87. Christopher Groth of Annandale won the race in 16:43.52.

"All the boys attacked that first mile aggressively and nearly all of them were rewarded with personal-record performances," Dahlheimer said. "It was great to see (Carter) mix it up with the very good runners in this meet. Will wasn't far behind, running another aggressive race. I was most excited to see our three through seven runners get out much faster than the previous meet and working together to move up throughout."

Osakis junior Brandon Boogaard was third for his team in 78th place overall (19:59.41). Senior Shane Massmann was 85th (20:32.51), Xavier Pahl, a sophomore, was 88th in 20:42.71. Sophomore Dylan Klukken took 91st in 20:48.42 and freshman Logan Grove rounded out the Silverstreaks' lineup 97th overall in 21:08.63.

Up next for Osakis is a meet in Milaca on Saturday. The Silverstreaks will then run at St. John's Prep on Sept. 28 at 4:30 p.m.

PIERZ PIONEER STAMPEDE

BOYS TEAM RESULTS - Mora - 98; Annandale - 104; Big Lake - 106; Brainerd - 122; Pine City - 160; St. Cloud Cathedral - 168; Crosby-Ironton - 230; Foley - 238; Albany - 254; Pierz - 281; Maple Lake - 286; Osakis - 301; Royalton - 334; St. John's Prep - 340; Milaca - 373; Maranatha Christian - 415; Zimmerman - 432; EV-W-K - 447

TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS - Christopher Groth, Brainerd - 16:43.52; Matthew Trutna, Big Lake - 16:43.76; Jake Andres, Pierz - 17:11.42; Cooper Lennox, Mora - 17:21.92; Tommy Ryan, Pine City - 17:30.42

GIRLS TEAM RESULTS - Brainerd - 46; Annandale - 78; Maple Lake - 109; Mora - 127; Albany - 135; EV-W-K - 151; Zimmerman - 167; Pine City - 208; Crosby-Ironton - 229; Milaca - 230; Osakis - 240; Foley - 362; Royalton - 364; Big Lake - 372

TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS - Emily Rugloski, Brainerd - 19:49.35; Kristine Kalthoff, Albany - 20:11.25; Cheresa Bouley, Zimmerman - 20:23; Molly Selisker, Brainerd - 20:38.44; Liliana Schaeffer, Brainerd - 20:39.45

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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