Cross Country: Park Rapids boys take over top spot in state poll
Win at Wadena lifts the Panthers to the No. 1 ranking in the latest Class A poll.
WADENA – Ending last season by placing sixth at the state Class A meet and starting this season with back-to-back wins helped the Park Rapids boys cross country team take over the top spot in this week’s state Class A poll.
The Panthers were rated No. 2 behind Perham in the initial state poll, but claimed the top spot by following a dominating win in the season opener at Staples with another convincing performance at the Johanna Olson Invitational at Wadena’s Whitetail Run Golf Course on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Ephraim Bervig (fourth in 18:33), Blaine Hensel (fifth in 18:33), Eli Bervig (sixth in 18:33), Noah Huot (seventh in 18:33) and Logan Maanum (eighth in 18:33) finished in a pack in leading the Panthers to 30 points in this 14-team meet. Little Falls was second with 60 points.
Rounding out Park Rapids’ varsity were Asher Bervig (12th in 18:58) and Thomas Lopez (22nd in 20:46).
Bertha-Hewitt’s Brady Rach led the 83-runner field with a winning 5K time of 17:39. Parkers Prairie’s James Suchy was second in 18:05 while Little Falls’ Wyatt Baum took third in 28:20.
United North Central’s Wesley Hodge finished 60th in 25:23.
In the girls 5K race, United North Central’s Anjalie Aho led from start to finish with a winning time of 20:49. New York Mills’ Jada Goeson was a distant second in 21:46. Aho was rated No. 9 in this week’s state Class A poll.
Elsa Komppa (15th in 23:43), Joanna Lehto (22nd in 24:48), Macie Josephson (23rd in 24:52) and Mattea Smith ( 30th in 26:11) rounded out the Warriors’ team score of 91 points for third place. Rounding out UNC’s varsity were Kaylie Westberg (31st in 26:21) and Brianna George (34th in 26:56). Wadena-Deer Creek, which was rated No. 10 in this week’s state poll, captured the girls title with 54 points while Little Falls followed with 57 points.
Park Rapids finished fifth in the 14-team field with 122 points. Leading the Panthers were Julia Harmon (10th in 22:40), Natalia Lopez (14th in 23:34), Aleka London (26th in 25:21), Sarah Hartung (29th in 25:46) and Natalie Backmann (43rd in 29:53). Also running for Park Rapids were Breanna DeBlieck (46th in 31:15) and Alessia Harmon (51st in 31:41). There were 60 runners in the girls meet.