With temperatures in the upper 50s and some intermittent sprinkles, it was great running weather for the competitors at Chatfield’s Chosen Valley Golf Club on the last Tuesday of September. The only thing that slowed down the runners from La Crescent-Hokah, Wabasha-Kellogg and the host Gophers were the incessant rolling hills and steep climbs and drops of the course.
After slipping back a bit individually at their home meet the week before, Cody Kowalski and Jack Redman, the Lancers’ version of Batman and Robin, moved back to the places they finished in their first four meets when Kowalski led wire-to-wire, covering the 5,000 meter course in 18:23, while Redman placed second at 18:49.
Despite closing well, Sam Culver was unable to get past Chatfield’s best runner, finishing fourth in 19:29. Following two more Gopher runners, Tyler Groth placed seventh and Austin Smith eighth in 20:03 and 20:12 to account for the Lancers winning score of 22 points, with Chatfield second at 33 and W-K in third with 75 points.
This win kept the Lancers boys undefeated season alive as they ran their streak to five consecutive team wins for the 2020 campaign.
Coming off their first team win at their home meet, the Lancer girls knew that Chatfield, considered to be among the top teams in the conference and section, would offer them a stern test. 4
La Crescent-Hokah junior Lydia Rosendahl, following up on her convincing win at home, moved quickly to the front of the pack and, despite a brief challenge just past the 1,600 meter mark, wound up staying there the entire race, steadily lengthening her lead en route to a 21:24 winning effort, her third individual victory of the season.
As expected, the Gophers packed the next four finishers into the chute before the Lancers’ Autumn Rabe, Ashley Muenzenberger, and seventh grader Corrina Lechnir, running her first varsity race, finished 6-7-8 in 23:14, 23:24, and 23:29. Teammate Emma Stavenau almost broke the 24 minute barrier, finishing in 24:02 in 11th place to complete the scoring effort for the Lancers. Chatfield’s front-end strength propelled them to a 23 point winning effort, while La Crescent-Hokah was second with a creditable score of 33, followed by Wabasha-Kellogg’s 80 point third place total.
While their regular season wrapped up with meets at St. Charles on Oct. 6 and Dover-Eyota on Oct. 8, the MSHSL finally decided that they would allow sectional championships to be conducted the week of October 12–17, albeit three teams at-a-time with a final merged result by finishing time.
At this time, no final decisions have been made concerning the Section 1A Meet, but preliminary information has the girls competing on Thursday, Oct. 15 and the boys Oct. 16 at Rochester’s Northern Hills Golf Course. Race times will be spread out over 6 hours each day to allow each block of four teams to come in, compete, then leave prior to the next set of four teams comes in. This will be repeated six times each day to accommodate the 23 teams that comprise the sectional field.
There will be no advancement this fall, as the MSHSL Board of Directors decided on Oct. 1 that there would be no State tournaments for any of their fall activities, so the sectional meet will be the end-of-the line for this strangest of cross country seasons.
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