The La Crescent-Hokah Cross Country team opened its season at the Bill Glomski Invitational at Bear Cave Park in rural Stewartville on Thursday, Sept. 2.
In a stark departure from the regular season triangular meets that were mandated last year’s COVID-disrupted season, 20 teams comprised the field, where the Lancer girls managed a ninth place finish, while the boys placed 17th.
In a field of 116 runners, Lancer senior Lydia Rosendahl laid off the excitement-driven opening pace and was not even in the top 30 as they passed by the 1,600 meter mark. However, a loop through the hills during the middle third of the race brought huge changes to the pecking order. Rosendahl was in 11th place with just over 1,600 meters to go. Her steadily improving position continued through the final stretch and she entered the finish chute in 6th place with a time of 20:54.
Juniors Emma Stavenau and Autumn Rabe were the next two finishers for LCH, placing 60th and 65th with respective times of 24:09 and 24:31. Freshman Jazmine Cline and senior Julia Lechnir ran 25:34 and 25:37, good for 77th and 78th places, to account for the Lancers’ final team total of 264 points.
Chatfield, who had only one runner in the top 10, used their team depth to post a total of 82 points for the team title, with Cotter in second with 120 and Lanesboro/Fillmore Central third at 125.
The boys field was even larger, with 134 runners, and the Lancers quintet found themselves battling in the middle of the pack for the entire race.
Senior Tyler Groth found a little room to move and became the first LCH finisher in 56th place with a time of 20:05, followed by soph Austin Smith, who placed 61st in 20:17. Junior Sam Culver and freshman Joey Welch were the next two across the line in 20:49 and 20:53 in 75th and 77th place. Junior Jack Kreutzman placed 107th in 21:47 as the Lancers final runner and their total of 376 points.
Rochester Lourdes, running without their top runner, was still deep enough to win the meet with 101 points, with the Rochester Area Association of Christian Home School co-op team in second with 124 and Pine Island third with 142.
In Jr High races, which were conducted over 1600 meters, Corrina Lechnir (14th), Mya Timm (16th), Makenna Rasmussen (19th), and Elese Plzak (22nd) all ran between 7:04 and 7:11, while Kaleb Spah and Ryan Pichler ran identical 6:46 times in placing 30th and 31st.
The Lancers will host seven teams in their annual “Crazy Buffalo” Invitational at Pine Creek Golf Course on Thursday, Sept. 9. Jr High races begin at 4:30, with the Varsity Girls at 4:55 and Varsity Boys at 5:30.