The dynasty continues. For the fifth straight year, the Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson/Houston boys cross-country team is heading to state. For the third straight event to end this season, LARPH flipped-flopped with Winona-Cotter for first and second. The teams flip-flopped 1A Meet finishes after also going first and second last year. The Ramblers first two runners crossed before any LARPH guy did, but all five Tro-Card-Cane runners were across before Cotter’s final two. And thus, LARPH grabbed the 1A title by six points (51 to 57) over the Ramblers amidst wet sloppy conditions at Rochester’s Northern Hills Golf Course. LARPH’s guys finished 4, 7, 8, 15, and 17. Cotter’s guys finished 1, 3, 11, 19 and 23. RAACHE took a very distant third place (110). Both teams are headed to the University of Minnesota’s Golf Course, where the state meet will be held. Entering the 2023 meet, LARPH won the PEM Invite over Cotter to end the regular season, but the Ramblers won the TRC Meet over LARPH about a week later. Cotter beat LARPH 75 to 84 for last year’s 1A title. Leading LARPH at sections was senior Ryan Prinsen (17:20.31) with a fourth-place finish. Only meet champion, 8th grader Erik Semling (16:24.85) of Cotter, W-K senior Cole Arens (16:26.89), and Rambler senior John Fritts (17:09.06) were faster. Prinsen was LARPH’s only top 10 finisher last year when he also paced the team with an 8th place finish (17:18.12). The Tro-Card-Canes had three in the top 10 this year. Brennan Kunst (17:34.24) continued his ascent with a seventh-place finish. The frosh moved up from 18th last year (18:08.88). The team’s “wild card,” junior Wyatt Kreidermacher, took eighth place (17:38.50). Kreidermacher competed at state soccer with the St. Charles/Lewiston-Altura/Lanesboro group the night before (and missed the TRC Meet because of that obligation). Sophomore Isaac Rasmussen (17:59.64) and senior Tyler Betthauser (18:02.87) took 15th and 17th places to give LARPH five in the top 20. Betthauser joined Prinsen in notching his third top 20 finish at sections. Rasmussen moved up from 31st place last year (18:43.53). It the first time in the five-year dynasty LARPH has put five in the top 20, and their 51 team points is the lowest guys team score at the 1A Meet since La Crescent/Hokah put up 45 in 2016. Sophomores Treyton Heyland (18:38.28) and Aaron Ploetz (18:41.64) finished 30th and 31st to give LARPH seven in the top 35. No other team had seven runners in the top 60. It is LARPH’s second 1A title, as they won the 2021 crown. They qualified for state as runner-up in 2019, 2020, and 2022. No other “Journal-covered” runners qualified for state. Team-wise, GMLOS (237) took eighth, LFC ninth, and Chatfield 12th (of 20 complete teams). LFC senior Isaac Snyder, a 2022 state qualifier, was the highest finisher from those teams. He took 21st (18:06.71) but came well short of making state again. Sophomore Carter Glynn (18:29.21) took 27th place to lead GMLOS. LFC frosh Riley Grant (33rd > 18:45.53) and Chatfield sophomore Maddex Lanning (34th > 18:48.23) plus GMLOS junior Teague Alden (37th > 19:03.26) and senior Erik Shaw (40th > 19:09.31) finished top 40 (of 141 total runners) at the 5,000-meter race. W-K’s Arens, Lourdes’ Noah Johnson (5th place > 17:23.52) and Charles Deick (9th place > 17:42:07), St. Charles Ivan Daood (6th place > 17:28.97), and Lake City’s Tim Cooper (10th place > 17:43.27) qualified individually for state.
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