Junior Varsity Cross Country, Varsity Cross Country · A Strong Start for the Westonka Cross Country Team

Mound Westonka High School junior Cole Garlock helped the White Hawks to a second-place team finish / photo by Randee McGown

By LeAnn James

The Mound Westonka boys and girls cross country teams began the season by competing at the Maple Lake Invitational on Aug. 30. The weather conditions were favorable with temperatures in the mid-60s to low 70s.

The varsity boys took advantage of the ideal running conditions and placed second out of 12 teams. The White Hawks were led by senior Alec Van Gelder, who placed fourth with a time of 17:03. Sophomore Lance Nemecek placed 10th with a time of 17:40. Junior Charlie Herder (16th), sophomore Beckett James (23rd) and junior Cole Garlock (37th) rounded out the scores for varsity boys.

White Hawks varsity girls placed fifth out of 11 teams overall. The varsity girls were led by freshman Laura Sunnarborg, who placed second with a time of 19:08. Sophomore Allison Soule came in 18th with a time of 21:46, followed by senior Kate Mcgown (20th), junior Jenna Brustad (41st) and senior Sarah Malchow (46th).

The Mound Westonka JV boys finished in sixth place out of 11 teams overall. MWHS sophomore Josh Engesser led the JV boys, placing 28th with a time of 20:14. Next came junior Roman Fenzl in 30th place with a time of 20:17. Rounding out the JV boys scores were senior Robby Brustad (35th), sophomore Max Epsky (52nd) and freshman Ashton Demmer (56th).

The White Hawks middle school boys team ran well and was able to pull out a first-place finish out of 10 teams. Leading the middle school boys team was eighth-grader Miles Dumbauld, who finished sixth overall with a time of 9:23. Next came eighth-grader Charlie Paul in eighth place with a time of 9:28, followed closely by eighth-grader Jack Markstrom (9th). Eighth-grader Lucas Markstrom (12th) and eighth-grader Matthew Von Edeskuty (19th) were the final top team finishers for the White Hawks middle school boys.

The Mound Westonka middle school girls placed fourth out of five teams competing. The top finishers for the middle school girls were seventh-grader Brooke Garlock, finishing in sixth place with a time of 8:22, and eighth-grader Stella Johnson, finishing in 11th place with a time of 8:34. Rounding out the top finishers were Grandview Middle School seventh-graders Claire Rashleger (22nd), Gabby Callahan (27th) and Sara Sipprell (29th).

The next competition for the White Hawks is on Thursday, Sept. 5, at the TCU Invite in Montgomery.

Also this fall, the MWHS boys and girls cross country teams are raising awareness of the growing mental health crises in communities across the nation. Read about the MWCC “Runfaiser” event

The Westonka girls got the season off to a nice start at the Maple Lake Invitational / photo by Randee McGown