Sports should be about the team. But all team endeavors require a little individual effort. LARP runner Luke O’Hare has put in a lot of individual effort. That and nice genetics garnered the then sophomore a trip to state last year in cross country. This year, he won’t go alone. O’Hare was himself at the 2019 Section 1A meet. The defending champ ran with the other top guys for a while, but when it came down to the second to last turn at Rochester’s Northern Hill Country Club, it was O’Hare by a mile (many yards). He defended his 5000-meter 1A crown (16:48.7), some 14 seconds faster than runner-up Reese Anderson (17:02.9) of Lake City. O’Hare (17:01.8) was six seconds faster than runner-up Samson Hagen (17:07.7) of PEM last year. Luke wasn’t the only LARPer turning in an excellent race. Sophomore Tyler Rislov returned to action after a few weeks off and promptly took fifth (17:18.4). He cut 1:18 and moved up 40 places from last year (finished 45th). Andrew Hoiness (17th, 17:50.1), Grady Hengel (23rd, 18:01.9), and Ricky Buchanon (25th, 18:11.2) gave Coach Matt Kingsbury five in the top 25. Buchanon (18:28.4) took 38th last year, while Hengel and Hoiness didn’t compete at the 1A meet. The fivesome’s efforts enabled LARP (71) to finish second to Lake City (53). Doing so clinched LARP its first trip to state since 2005. Chatfield took 7th, LFC 15th, and Kingsland 21st (of 22 teams). LFC’s Carson Ruen (29th, 18:16.2), Chatfield’s Brady Woltz (34th, 18:21.6) and Treyton Lanning (38th, 18:28.6) finished top 40 (of 157 runners). Lake City (67) bested Stewartville (74) for the girls team title, each earning trips to state. Chatfield took 7th, LARP 10th, and LFC 11th. Gopher frosh Aletta Strande (20:06.1) took ninth overall. She was the fifth best individual finisher not from LC or Stewie, which secured her a state berth. Strande finished 15th (20:24.6) last year, just a couple spots from making state. ZM/KW’s Natasha Sortland (18:11.4) won the race by over a minute, topping LC’s Jacey Majerus (19:17.5). LARP’s Lauren Honken (19th, 21:07.3), LFC’s Brielle Ruen (21st, 21:10.6), Chatfield’s Tessa McMahon (31st, 21:35.5) and Abbi Gillespie (37th, 21:44) finished to 40 (of 135 runners).
About Paul Trende