Brandon-Evansville cross country head coach Robert Bosma said his teams have been learning to compete this year, and he’s happy with the development so far.
“Overall, I have been pleased with how my runners have attacked each meet. We have spent a lot of time working on different race strategies and it is showing,” Bosma said. “The times aren't necessarily where we want them, but that will come. I keep telling the runners (that) last year was learning the sport and that they can run. This year is about learning how to compete.”
On Monday, that growth culminated in a sixth-place finish for the boys team at the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Invitational at Long Prairie Country Club.
Freshman Wesley Siira paced the Chargers with a time of 19:47.4, which was 24th overall. Fellow freshman Abram Fossell followed in 29th with a 20:08.8 mark, and eighth-grader Logan Froemming finished in 20:47.2, good for 39th. Junior Blake Merrit (21:43.1, 50th) and seventh-grader Kiatta Korskowski (22:01.4, 60th) rounded out the B-E finishers.
“Wes and Abram are still learning how to run together and use each other. (Monday) was the first time they were able to use each other's energy on the course. … As the season moves on, I expect they will continue to use each other to push themselves.”
Bosma also praised the worth ethics of Froemming and Merrit.
“Like some of the others, they put in a lot of work over the summer that is paying off,” Bosma said. “Both are minutes faster than last season.”
The B-E boys finished with 202 points, while Melrose won the meet with 33 points. Morris Area’s Noah Stewart came in first place individually with a 17:19.7 pace.
The Brandon-Evansville girls didn’t have a full team competing, but junior Caitlyn Deschene led the four B-E runners with a time of 24:05.7, which set a new personal record and slotted her in 25th. Freshman Maeve Huisman finished 55th with a 26:54.9 time, senior Christina Kuismi was 58th at 27:36.0 and senior Kerryn Lund was 66th at 29:05.7.
“Caitlyn is really taking that (competitive) mentality each meet. She put in a ton of hours and miles over the summer and it has paid off,” said Bosma. “Christina and Kerryn have also come a long way since last year. They keep impressing me with how they take leadership of the team.”
Bosma also has high hopes for Huisman, a late addition to the team who is still discovering who she is as a runner.
“Maeve is still learning the sport,” Bosma said. “(She) is still searching to figure out her pace. She has a natural stride, and as soon as she finds her rhythm, she's should be competing with Caitlyn.”Osakis boys fourth, girls seventh at LPGE
Carter Grove’s fourth-place finish was the boost that the Osakis cross country team needed at the LPGE Invite.
“Carter Grove had another outstanding race,” Osakis head coach Justin Dahlheimer said. “Carter pushed the pace from the get-go, and that determined approach led him to his fastest time on that course and a medalist position.”
Grove’s 18:10.6 time was only bested by three runners in the boys meet, while fellow Silverstreak Daniel Savageau’s 18:54.1 run secured him a spot in the top 10, as well. William Alverson came five spots behind in 15th with his 19:26.9 finish, Logan Grove came 35th in 20:33.1 and Joseph VanAcker turned in a 21:10.2 time for 44th.
“We will work hard over the coming weeks to bring along the latter half of our top seven,” Dahlheimer said. “Those boys want to close that spread because that will mean a lower score in the bigger meets.”
Osakis finished with 108 points, which only Melrose (33), Paynesville (66) and Morris (84) beat out in the 12-team field.
The Silverstreak girls came in seventh of 10 teams in their meet, finishing with 167 points. Sauk Centre won with 57 points behind first-place finisher Sophia Kluver and her 20:57.8 time.
Grace Oeltjen paced Osakis with a time of 22:53.1, good for ninth. Rachel Walsh followed in 23:41.1 (16th) and Destiny Dorman in 25.37.8 (38th). Hailey Hagedon (27:58.8, 51st) and Madison Nystrom (28:29.9, 53rd) also contributed to the Silverstreaks’ team score.
“I liked how aggressive (Oeltjen) was on a tough day in her opening race of the year,” Dahlheimer said. “Rachel followed her with a really even race, building throughout the distance and finishing very strong. Those two are the rocks in that lineup and we depend on them each meet to stabilize our score.”
Osakis will return to action 4 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 17, in Pierz.
BOYS TEAM SCORES
1-Melrose, 33; 2-Paynesville, 66; 3-Morris Area, 84; 4-Osakis, 108; 5-Frazee, 120; 6-Brandon-Evansville, 202; 7-Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, 214; 8-Park Rapids, 220; 9-Sauk Centre, 225; 10-St. John’s Prep, 232; 11-Parkers Prairie, 240; 12-Border West, 305.
BOYS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
OSAKIS: 4-Carter Grove, 18:10.6; 10-Daniel Savageau, 18:54.1; 15-William Alverson, 19:26.9; 35-Logan Grove, 20:33.1; 44-Joseph VanAcker, 21:10.2; 46-Jarron Kurth, 21:21.8; 53-Brently Boogaard, 21:51.0.
BRANDON-EVANSVILLE: 24-Wesley Siira, 19:47.4; 29-Abram Fossell, 20:08.8; 39-Logan Froemming, 20:47.2; 50-Blake Merrit, 21:43.1; 60-Kiatta Korskowski, 22:01.4.
GIRLS TEAM SCORES
1-Sauk Centre, 57; 2-Morris Area, 67; 3-Paynesville, 73; 4*-Melrose, 116; 5*-Crosby-Ironton, 116; 6-Minnewaska, 133; 7-Osakis, 167; 8-Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, 181; 9-Border West, 233; 10-Pillager, 261.
GIRLS INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
OSAKIS: 9-Grace Oeltjen, 22:53.1; 16-Rachel Walsh, 23:41.1; 38-Destiny Dorman, 25:37.8; 51-Hailey Hagedon, 27:58.3; 53-Madison Nystrom, 28:29.9; 56-Natalie Schlosser, 28:52.9; 59-Julianna Collins, 30:01.3.
BRANDON-EVANSVILLE: 25-Caitlyn Deschene, 24:05.7; 55-Maeve Huisman, 26:54.9; 58-Christina Kuismi, 27:36.0; 66-Kerryn Lund, 29:05.7.