St. Olaf College is where the state’s cross country teams hope to end their season at the state meet, but all teams also have to start somewhere. A number of teams, including the No. 1-ranked Wayzata girls traveled down Interstate 35 to Northfield on Aug. 29 for an early-season test at the St. Olaf Showcase.

The Trojans showcased their depth at the meet as they edged St. Michael-Albertville in the team standings in a reversal of what transpired at last year’s state championship meet.

After St. Michael-Albertville won the Class AA State Championship last November by a five-point margin, the Trojans turned the tables on the Knights this time around by posting a team score of 76. The Knights placed second with 86 points, while Forest Lake was a distant third at 157 points.

In the field of more than 600 runners, the Trojans had eight individuals place inside the top 50 and had 13 individuals place inside the top 75.

Wayzata freshman Abby Nechanicky placed first individually with a blazing time of 18:19.3. Nechanicky’s time was more than 25 seconds faster than her closest competitor — Natasha Sortland of Zumbrota-Mazeppa.

Junior Grace Link also turned in a top-10 performance as she placed ninth with a time of 19:44.4.

Sophomore Ella Braufman finished in 17th place with a time of 19:56.1. Senior Anna Bartles placed 24th with a time of 20:08.6. Junior Emelia Arnone finished in 25th place with a time of 20:08.6.

Freshman Teegan Anderson clocked a time of 20:12.0 to finish in 27th place. Junior Ingrid Halverson placed 40th with a time of 20:45.1.

The Trojans will be back in action soon. They will compete in the Metro Invite at Round Lake Park in Eden Prairie on Saturday, Sept. 14, before running in the Milaca Mega Meet on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Orono hosts home meet

The Orono boys and girls cross country teams hosted the Orono Twilight on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

The Spartans boys team placed third in the six team field as East Ridge and Breck claimed the top two spots.

Orono sophomore Angelo Fiataruolo placed fourth individually with a time of 17:30.3. Eighth grader Owen Hirt placed 15th with a time of 18:40.9.

Freshman Michael Rascher clocked a time of 19:33.7 to finish in 19th place. Senior Matt Koltes finished in 25th place with a time of 20:04.2. Junior Marshall Johnson placed 27th with a time of 20:21.2.

In the girls race, Orono took second place in the team standings behind only East Ridge.

The Spartans had three individuals place in the top 10, including eighth grader Sindri Bonner who placed fourth with a time of 20:05.3.

Sophomore Riviera Wock finished in sixth place with a time of 21:00.8. Sophomore Aby Denneson took 10th place with a time of 22:10.6.

Junior Ella Nordlie and sophomore Eliza McKown took 18th and 19th places respectively. Nordlie recorded a time of 22:40.5, while McKown finished with a time of 22:43.8.

White Hawks compete

in Maple Lake

The boys and girls cross country teams from Mound-Westonka competed in the Maple Lake Invitational on Friday, Aug. 30.

The boys team placed second out of 12 teams with 84 points. Monticello won the team title with 74 points.

White Hawks senior Alec Van Gelder placed fourth out of 81 runners with a time of 17:03.4.

Sophomore Lance Nemecek placed 10th with a time of 17:40.2. Junior Charlie Herder finished in 16th place with a time of 18:02.3. Sophomore Beckett James recorded a time of 18:21.5 to finish in 23rd place.

On the girls side, the White Hawks placed fifth out of 11 teams. Freshman Laura Sunnorborg placed second out of 76 competitors with a time of 19:08.0.

Sophomore Allison Soule finished in 18th place with a time of 21:46.2. Senior Kate McGown placed 20th with a time of 21:48.2. Junior Jenna Brustad finished in 41st place with a time of 23:11.3. Senior Sarah Malchow placed 46th with a time of 23:46.1.

Melissa Turtinen is the multimedia reporter for Lakeshore Weekly News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.

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