Roundup: Area teams are off and running after season openers

Ashby-Brandon-Evansville, West Central Area, Osakis, Minnewaska and Parkers Prairie compete across three different events.

West Central Area Girls Varsity from Perham opener.jpg
From left to right, West Central Area's Kennedy Porter, Terina Blasyck, Lexi Bright, Alexa Blume and Blaire Reuter got their season going by placing 10th in a talented field of teams in Perham on Aug. 28, 2021. (Contributed photo)

The Ashby-Brandon-Evansville cross country team opened its season at the Central Minnesota River Run in Staples on Monday as the A-B-E boys finished sixth with 172 points.

Staples-Motley won the race with 38, and Parkers Prairie was seventh in the nine-team field with 183 points.

Senior Jayden Hoidahl was 20th in the team standings as he led A-B-E in 19:45.5 during the 5K race.

“Jayden started really fast,” A-B-E head coach Robert Bosma said. “His goal was to lead for a little of the race and see how long he could hold on. Though he finished 20th, he is not far off his best time from last year, and as he put it, he's still getting into shape. He really wants to push into the uncomfortable while racing to make himself better with every run.”

Kian Gackle was 25th (20:49.3), while Logan Froemming (36th, 22:31.8), August Bredberg (43rd, 23:21.4), Donell Lee (48th, 24:31.5) and Cohen Reiland (55th, 26:56) all ran varsity.


“Kian wanted to keep Jayden in his sights and did so for most of the race,” Bosma said. “Like Ashley (Paulson), he found a solid pack to chase for the race and he found a nice stride. This was the most at ease he has been while racing in the past couple years. Because of this, good things should happen for him this season.

“Logan struggled some with the early heat of the day, but his determination and perseverance made it so he could finish. August, Donell, and Cohen all had their first varsity race and the nerves showed some before the race. But once they started, they calmed themselves and got into a nice pace. They all are working to get better every day and it was great to see them start to get a little of the strategy of running and racing.”

A-B-E did not have the five runners required to post a team score in the girls’ varsity race, but Paulson, a sophomore for A-B-E, was eighth individually in 22:27.8.

“Ashley set the pace for us and took off fast,” Bosma said. “She had been nursing a leg issue last week and this morning she said it felt great. I told her to ease into the race and run a 7:30 minute first mile and adjust as needed. She ran a 6:30 split and kept the pace for quite a while. She is still learning strategy, but fell into a pack of girls and worked well with them. This led her to setting an A-B-E 5k record for us.”

Freshman Tuyet Vy Bui was 56th for A-B-E in 28:56.7, and sophomore Quynn Beherns was 80th in 35:17.5.

“Tuyet and Quynn also ran great races,” Bosma said. “They set goals for themselves and they are both working at getting more comfortable with the distance.”

Parkers Prairie’s Sarah Toyli was 41st (26:25.9) in the varsity race, and Taylor Duberowski was 71st (31:57.9).

James Suchy paced all Parkers Prairie runners in the boys’ varsity race as he finished fifth in 18:03.4. Riley Kortenbush (32nd, 21:46.7), Ross Kortenbush (46th, 24:03.4), Evan Washburn (49th, 24:40.8), Justin Koehn (51st, 26:14.4), and John O’Brien (56th, 27:17.5) also ran varsity for the Panthers.


Osakis, Minnewaska run at Morris as Lakers win girls’ race

The Minnewaska and Osakis cross country programs both kicked off their seasons at the Morris Invite on Monday as the Minnewaska girls highlighted that trip with a first-place finish out of seven team scores.

The Lakers used five top-10 finishes as they finished with 22 points. That was well in front of second-place finisher New London-Spicer at 84.

Olivia Danielson led the way as she finished second individually during the 5K with a time of 21:29. Sydney Chevalier was fourth (21:59), Lauryn Ankeny fifth (22:35), Elsey Hagen seventh (22:49) and Kierrna Wilmes eighth (22:54) to finish off the team scoring.

Emma Kovarik (16th, 24:40), Alexx Carlson (21st, 24:56), Sydney Perry (37th, 26:34) and Molly Hjelm (48th, 28:47) also ran varsity for the Lakers.

A young Osakis roster did not feature any girls in the varsity race. Stephy Marthaler was the Silverstreaks’ lone junior varsity runner as she finished 20th in that 2000-meter race in 14:50.

The Osakis boys finished eighth (187 points) out of 11 varsity teams, and Minnewaska was 10th (208 points). Lac qui Parle Valley won with 62 points.

Zackery Bruder paced the Silverstreaks as he finished seventh out of 91 runners by finishing the 5K in 18:44. Brandon Kampsen of Sauk Centre won the race in 17:11.

Jacob Taplin was next in line for Osakis with a 19th-place finish. Kale Drevlow (28th, 19:38), Marcus Wolf (71st, 23:41) and John Pahl (75th, 23:49) rounded out the varsity lineup.


Maeson Tank led Minnewaska with a 10th-place finish in 18:51. Nick Ankeny (43rd, 20:37), Jayce Kovarik (45th, 20:39), Zachary Palmer (56th, 21:44), James Ward (64th, 22:32), Ian Mills (67th, 22:53), Ryan Koehntop (74th, 23:48), Carter Dinsmore (85th, 25:13) and Jaden Anderson (88th, 25:50) finished the lineup for the Lakers.

Knights open up against loaded field in Perham

West Central Area opened its season against a talented field of runners in Perham on Aug. 28 as the WCA boys finished fourth as a team and the girls took 10th.

“There were some schools that were five or six times the size of our school at this meet, so it's always fun to race against elite competition,” WCA coach Austin Hanson said. “Whenever a school our size can compete with schools that size, we like to take advantage of the opportunity. Being that this is the first race of the year, and the first regular meet in two years due to COVID, our squads have much room to grow, but I was very impressed with how they all finished.”

Kade Runge led the WCA boys with a fifth-place individual finish in 17:13. Alex Salwasser was 12th (17:32), Shad Swanson 20th (17:48), Roman Mihalovski 42nd (18:54) and Eli Bergman 45th (18:59).

Lexi Bright led the WCA girls with a fourth-place finish in a time of 20:22. Terina Blascyk added a 41st-place finish to help pace the Knights.

“This is the first meet that was larger than three teams in a year, so we have been looking forward to this for a while,” Hanson said. “Everyone, including the coaches, were nervously excited for the season to kick off and the runners had a great attitude to finish strong. We feel that with the proper training and without injuries, the group that we have can be very competitive all season long.”

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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