Nevis junior Jack McNamee improved on his time in his second trip while Nevis freshman Evan Pohl clocked a solid time in his first appearance at the state Class A boys cross country meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield on Saturday, Nov. 2.
McNamee placed 43rd overall with a 5K time of 16:53 while Pohl finished 114th overall in 17:40. There were 175 runners competing.
The two Nevis runners qualified for state by claiming two of the eight individual berths at the Section 8A meet at Bagley on Oct. 25. McNamee was the No. 6 individual qualifier by placing 14th overall in 17:39 while Pohl followed in 15th place in 17:41. McNamee finished 16th overall as the No. 6 individual qualifier in 17:24 at last year’s section meet and placed 106th in 17:31 in his state debut last fall.
“Jack had a great race setting a PR (personal record) on a windy, challenging day. I was hoping top 50 with a chance of all-state (top 25). Jack had not been feeling 100% and struggled at sections. I wasn’t sure if he was in the shape I thought he was in or if he was sick. I sent him out conservative at state. He passed over 80 runners from one mile on to finish 43rd. He was very strong all the way in and I definitely made a coaching error with Jack. If I send him out a little quicker, I really think he runs 10 to 15 seconds faster, which would have put him in the top 20. He ran a great race. I should have sent him out quicker. With a good summer Jack can definitely be all-state next fall and have a very good shot at the podium, which is top 10,” said Nevis head coach Tom Stambaugh. “Evan ran very well for a freshman. He ran nice even splits and gutted out a great effort. He’s been fighting tendinitis in one leg the last month and ran amazing to get to state. Even with that he’s one of the top 6 fastest freshman in Class A this year. He has a very bright future in the sport of distance running.”
Greenway’s Geno Uhrbom won the state title in 15:27 with Staples-Motley’s Emmet Anderson following in 15:42 and West Central Area’s Jacob Bright taking third in 15:43. Perham’s Jakob McCleary was fourth in 15:48, Staples-Motley’s Hunter Klimek took fifth in 15:49, Virginia’s Cameron Stocke was sixth in 15:51, Ely’s Luke Olson was seventh in 16:04 and Perham’s Brandon O’Hara finished eighth in 16:06. Anderson (No. 1), Bright (No. 2), Uhrbom (No. 3), Klimek (No. 4), Olson (No. 5), O’Hara (No. 6) and McCleary (No. 7) topped the state Class A poll.
The other Section 8A runners at the state meet were East Grand Forks’ Tyson Mahar (14th in 16:25), Perham’s Bailey Evenson (15th in 16:26), East Grand Forks’ Cole Nowacki (16th in 16:28), East Grand Forks’ Jonathan Krueger (37th in 16:46), Perham’s Carson Hespe (38th in 16:47), Pelican Rapids’ David Johnston (41st in 16:51), Perham’s Chase Belka (49th in 16:47), Perham’s Owen Werner (58th in 17:07), Thief River Falls’ Jacob Davis (66th in 17:11), Perham’s Tesfaye Young (82nd in 17:20), Wadena-Deer Creek’s Bereket Loer (102nd in 17:32), Wadena-Deer Creek’s Lucas Hinojos (104th in 17:33), Fisher’s Hayden Reitmeier (106th in 17:34), Frazee’s Nathan Johannsen (124th in 17:50), East Grand Forks’ Dawson McDonald (147th in 18:32), East Grand Forks’ Adam Johnson (168th in 19:37), East Grand Forks’ Hunter Jordheim (173rd in 21:02) and East Grand Forks’ Jonah Vandervort (174th in 21:28).
Section 8A champion Perham led the 16-team field with 75 points to win the state title for the third year in a row and for the eighth time overall. West Central Area was second with 83 points, St. James took third with 154 points, Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd was fourth with 182 points and Staples-Motley finished fifth with 184 points. East Grand Forks, the Section 8A runner-up, was 10th with 239 points. Perham entered the state meet rated No. 1 with West Central Area and St. James following. Staples-Motley was rated No. 6.