La Crescent-Hokah Cross Country headed into October with a solid showing at the Lewiston-Altura “Ole Olmstead” Invitational when the boys placed second and the girls third in the 12-team meet.

The field at Lewiston-Altura gained in strength and size at mid-day last Thursday when Winona Senior High was granted entry after the Owatonna Invitational was cancelled due to excessive standing water on their course. Although there were a few spots with standing water and the ground was sodden and grass quite long after two days of steady precipitation, Heartland Country Club in Lewiston held up well on an afternoon that saw temperatures in the high 40s, with cloudy skies and moderate humidity.

Missing two of their top seven runners due to injury, Lancer seniors Jake Boudreau and Thomas Lechnir headed out with the lead pack that featured Winona Carter Briggs, the ninth rated individual in the current Class AA polls, and defending Section 1A champion Luke O’Hare of Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson. Just behind were sophomore Cody Kowalski and senior Camdan Nolop, while sophs Jack Redman and Tyler Groth were about twenty seconds behind.

While Briggs broke away en route to a win in 16:50, the Lancer quartet hung around the top 10 through the 3200 meter mark before Boudreau hung on the best over the final 1800 meters to place seventh in 17:42. Kowalski, Lechnir, and Nolop were 11th, 13th, and 15th in 18:02, 18:04, and 18:12, then Redman completed the Lancer scoring effort by placing 25th in 19:17, with Groth just behind in 28th place in 19:22.

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With four runners in the top 10, Winona easily won the boys’ team competition with 34 points, La Crescent-Hokah managed to finish second with 71, and the host LARP team, who ran without their second-best runner Tyler Rislov, third with 78.

Despite being extremely undermanned, the LCH girls continued their strong 2019 campaign with their third-place finish. Sophomore Lydia Rosendahl finished strongly to place seventh in 21:25. Senior Katy Steffes as 13th in 21:49 and freshman Autumn Rabe 15th in 21:53, then junior Ashley Muenzenberger was 21st in 22:29. Frosh Emma Stavenau ran solidly the entire way to place 40th in 24:26 to cement the Lancers third place finish with 87 points. Like the boys, Winona Sr High won the meet with 39 point and Rochester Lourdes, with two of the first three finishers, was second at 53.

Austin Smith had the best Lancer finish of the afternoon when the eighth-grader placed third in the Junior High Boys race when he covered the 3200 meter course in 12:35, while seventh-grader Jazmine Cline was fifth in Junior High Girls competition in 14:54.

After last week’s final regular season meet at United South Central, the Lancer harriers will be preparing for the Three Rivers Conference Meet in Plainview on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

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