By Sarah Reinhardt
The Mound Westonka Cross Country Team competed at the Dassel-Cokato Charger Invite on Sept. 26 at Collinwood Regional Park in Cokato. White Hawks head coach Butch Humbert switched the line-ups around to rest a few varsity runners and give a varsity opportunity to some younger runners.
Making their varsity debut were freshman Charlie Herder and eighth-grader Beckett James. Both had great races clocking in at under 20 minutes each. Herder finished the 5km race with a time of 19:44 and James finished in 19:56.
Seniors Brandon Ung and Reed Kohls had strong races as well. Ung was the top White Hawks finisher; however, due to a timing company error, his results were not captured. Unofficially, Ung ran 18:24 and would have had a top-10 finish. Kohls finished mid-pack with a 5km time of 19:16.
The White Hawks girls varsity shuffled their line-up as well and only entered one runner in the varsity race. Senior Clara Godoy-Henderson had a top-20 finish with a 5km time of 22:20.
At the junior varsity division, the White Hawks boys just nudged out Delano for a superb second-place team finish. Junior Kade Retterath, who is normally a varsity runner, laced up for JV due to a recent illness. Retterath dominated the field of 109 runners with a commanding first-place finish, posting a time of 18:49, over 30 seconds faster than the next runner. Rookie runner eighth-grader Owen Paul finished in seventh place with a time of 19:54 in his junior varsity debut.
The junior varsity girls also had a great race, placing third of seven teams. Leading the JV ladies was sophomore Kate McGown, finishing in ninth place with a 5km time of 23:13. Teammates sophomore Sarah Malchow and freshman Jenna Brustad were close behind, finishing in 10th and 11th place, respectively, with times of 23:20 and 23:30.
In the middle school division, the White Hawks boys and girls individually rocked their races. Eighth-grader Lance Nemecek took first place in the 3km race with a time of 11:32. Teammate Drew Hunter came in sixth place with a time of 12:32.
The middle school girls had three top-10 finishes. Seventh-grader Laura Sunnarborg overpowered the field with a first-place finish over a minute faster than the next competitor in a time of 12:38 in the 3km race. Teammates seventh-grader Jordyn LaRue and eighth-grader Allison Soule finished in fourth and eighth place with times of 14:01 and 14:33, respectively.
According to Humbert, the team had 20 student-athletes run their season’s best times, and most of those were career bests. “I attribute that to having two solid weeks of training and racing, coupled with better weather for running,” said Humbert. “Most of our kids are healthy and working hard now, so the results and rewards are coming. Collectively, we are headed in a good direction.”
Next up for the White Hawks is the Watertown Invitational on Oct. 10, followed by the Wright County Conference Championship meet on Oct. 17 at Gale Woods Farm in Minnetrista.
Photos by Sarah Reinhardt
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