A year ago, LARP’s Luke O’Hare made his first state cross country meet. Section 1A’s preeminent male runner ran his fastest time of the season (16:55) to take 41st overall. This season, he took a big step forward. A top ten finish next year will be a goal. O’Hare moved up 24 spots to take 17th at the state meet in Northfield. He finished 5000-meters in a time of 16:29.9, running 1,600-meters in 4:57 and 3,200-meters in 10:23. It was the junior’s best 5000-meter time of the year, about 0:19 quicker than his section pace. He averaged a 5:18 mile. LARP as a team took 15th (of 16). Tyler Rislov (17:35.6) took 112nd, Andrew Hoiness (18:08) 138th, Grady Hengel (18:16.8) 142nd, Ricky Buchanan (18:18.9) 144nd, Mitchell Ledebuhr (18:37.6) 151st, and Aaron Prinsen (18:59.7) 160th (of 175 runners). No LARP scoring runner (top five), O’Hare aside, ran faster than at the 1A meet. Sixth guy Ledebuhr posted his second fastest race of the year. Seventh guy Prinsen ran his fastest, his first sub-19:00 effort. It was senior’s Buchanan and Ledebuhr’s last race. Coach Matt Kingsbury will return five of his top seven next year (O’Hare, sophomores Rislov, Hoiness, and Prinsen, freshman Hengel). Greenway/Nashwauk/Keewatin’s Geno Uhrbom repeated as state champion (15:27.6) over Staples-Motley’s Emmet Anderson (15:42.6). Perham (75) won the boys team title over West Central (83). Each finished their five in the top 30. On the girls side, Chatfield freshman Aletta Strande (20:32.7) took on her first state tournament and finished 88th (of 176). It was her third fastest race this year. She couldn’t keep up with her season-best 1A Meet time (20:06.1), but neared her TRC Meet time (20:34.49). Murray County Central’s Morgan Gehl (17:53.5) took the girl’s individual title over Nevis’ Jade Rypkema (18:30.2). Perham’s girls (103) beat Luverne (138) for the team title, giving the Yellow Jackets the boy-girl state team-title sweep. Lake City’s Jacey Majerus (19:05.7) was the top Section 1A finisher, taking 10th. Z-M/K-W’s Natasha Sortland (20:29.6) was second after 1,600 and 3,200-meters, but finished 78th. Sortland was the 1A meet champion (18:11.4). The freshman finished 8th at state last year.
About Paul Trende