The Ashby-Brandon-Evansville cross country teams were ready to compete on an outdoor course again after rain ruined two recent meets.
A-B-E was in Melrose on Sept. 17 where the boys finished fifth out of six teams with 106 points. The girls did not field enough runners to qualify for the team standings. Minnewaska also ran as the Lakers finished first in the girls race and sixth in the boys race.
A-B-E’s Abram Fossel led his team by finishing 11th in 19:45.7.
“I really like how Abram was able to get out and run with the lead pack,” A-B-E head coach Robert Bosma said. “He had a strong race. He likes turns in races and Melrose is a curvy course that suited him well. He definitely earned the medal last night.”
Wesley Siira was 17th (19:58.9), Jayden Hoidahl was 24th (20:47.3), Logan Froemming was 26th (21:10.1) and Blake Merrit (28th, 21:12.6) rounded out the team scoring. Titus Fuller (34th, 23:24.6) and Kian Gackle (38th, 25:48) also ran varsity.
“Blake and Titus both have been struggling this year with their kick at the end and both had strong finishes,” Bosma said. “Blake caught one Melrose runner from behind and almost got another. Though Titus wasn’t battling a runner, he was battling the clock and was one of the few runners to PR for us.”
Bosma said the heat affected runners throughout the meet and that many kids were disappointed with their times. He liked the mental toughness his kids showed in working through the nearly 80-degree temperatures.
“Physically, most were spent and we had one girl, sophomore Lily Evavold, who had to drop out of the race,” Bosma said. “Most spectators don’t realize the toll it takes on the body to perform in conditions like that. But, many of the runners were able to dig deep and compete with others at the end of the race. As a coach, I love seeing my team battle when it’s tough. This team continues to run through adversity and they are really improving with the mental side of the sport.”
The Minnewaska boys were led by Nick Ankeny, who was 30th overall in 21:22.8. Joey Mikel was 32nd in 22:08.7 and James Ward was 35th (24:27.6). Jaden Anderson (36th, 25:16.7), Noah Palmer (37th, 25:45.5) and Dylan Stryhn (39th, 26:43.5) finished off the lineup.
Minnewaska girls cruise
The Minnewaska girls placed four runners in the top 10 and all five of their scorers in the top 15.
Sydney Hagen led the way as she was sixth overall in 23:28.2. Kiearra Wilmes took eighth (23:42.8), Sydney Perry was ninth (23:51.2) and Sydnie Chevalier was 10th (23:53.4). Molly Hjelm rounded out the scoring in 15th place (24:29.7) as the Lakers finished with 48 points. Melrose was second at 65.
Elsey Hagen of Minnewaska was 16th (24:31.4) and Ava Chevalier was 17th (24:32.4). Ashby-Brandon-Evansville had two varsity runners finish with Emma Erickson taking 55th in 35:01.6 and Sophia Martin taking 56th (35:33.2).