The Mound Westonka cross country team had a fantastic meet at the Gerry Smith Titans Invite on Sept. 7 in Montgomery. This was one of the largest meets of the year for the team, which gave the White Hawks tough competition. With great weather, fans and leadership, the White Hawks found themselves with great performances and many personal records set.
"The Montgomery Meet always features the best starting line spectacle of our season - about 200 kids leaving the wide expanse of a starting area and then barreling downhill for the first 300 meters of the race," said head coach Butch Humbert. "With so many teams (32) and all the different colors of uniforms, it is very picturesque."
The varsity girls team had an outstanding showing, placing third out of 25 teams. Leading the girls was sophomore Emma Andrev in 11th with a time of 20:11, followed by ninth grader Sophia Engesser in 19th (20:38), junior Audrey Kirscht in 34th (21:06), ninth grader Anna Regenold (21:36), junior Brooke Garlock (22:12), senior Cassie Nemecek (22:43) and junior Claire Rashleger (23:23).
The varsity boys team raced hard, taking 11th place out of 26 teams. The first White Hawk to cross the finish line was senior Charlie Paul, placing 23rd (17:39), followed by junior Isaac Hays in 42nd (17:58), Andrew Finley in 60th (18:22), sophomore Luke Sunnarborg (18:52), sophomore Noah Huesmann (18:59), senior Brandon Knock (19:01) and ninth grader Owen Trost (19:03).
The junior varsity boys team had a fantastic day, taking third out of 17 teams. Ninth grader Drew Carlson led the way in 13th (19:44), followed by ninth grader Brendan Rashleger in 17th (20:06), sophomore Gavin Thelen in 26th (20:39), eighth grader Gabriel Lundgren in 29th (20:46), junior Miles Lund (21:24), ninth grader Jensen Blackstad (21:34) and senior Christian Jordan (22:13). The junior varsity girls did not enter a team, but seventh grader Lydia Engesser made the White Hawks proud by placing ninth (23:11) out of 110 runners.
The middle school boys team won their meet for the third week in a row. Eighth grader Jacob Chilson got the party started, taking third with a time of 9:21, seventh grader Rayne Shaffer in ninth (9:53), eighth grader Brody Olson in 10th (9:57), eighth grader Bennett Courneya in 11th (10:03) and eighth grader Trygg Carlson in 18th (10:28). The middle school girls team had a strong fifth-place finish, with eighth grader Elise Hays coming in 11th (10:53), seventh grader Hadley Hoag in 15th (11:01), seventh grader Eva Savstrom in 24th (11:46), sixth grader Lillian Lundgren in 26th (11:53), and seventh grader Genevieve Fosler in 33rd (13:15).
When asked for comment on team’s performance, Coach Humbert said:
"I was so impressed by so many of our athletes that I can't isolate one or two and feature them, for it would not be fair to the rest of our runners. We enjoyed a plethora of SB's (Season's Best) and career PR's (Personal Records). We as a team always emphasize equal or negative splits (running the second half of a race as fast or faster than the first half), but even more so at Montgomery. It is a two-lap course and we consider it our annual 'fishing trip,' as we try to reel in competitors and pass them in the latter stages of the 5k. We encourage a 'Smart Start' and to 'Finish Fast' and defeat those who went out foolishly fast. Our varsity teams executed this very well on the 7th, but our JV has some learning yet to do about pacing and racing. We will continue to improve!"
Next up for the team is the Lions Invite on Sept. 12 at Baylor Park, followed by the Dassel-Cokato Invitational on Sept. 26 at Collinwood Park. Also, stop by the Iron Exchange in Maple Plain on Sept. 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. The great folks at the Iron Exchange will generously donate a portion of pizza sales to the White Hawks cross country team!
Senior captain Cassie Nemecek
Junior Isaac Hays
Senior captain Charlie Paul
Junior Audrey Kirscht
Tag(s): Cross Country