The West Central Area Knights participated in the Detroit Lakes Cross Country Invitational on Thursday afternoon at the Detroit Country Club.
“We faced some really good teams,” said Head Coach John VanKempen. “The boys placed fifth of the 12 teams and the girls were incomplete, meaning we didn’t have enough to score as a team. We will continue to mix up who runs what race until we get to our tournament part of the season in mid-October. There was the number one ranked team (Perham) for single A schools and some very good AA schools. For the boys, Perham won it with 48 points and we placed fifth with 112 points. The other teams that beat our boys were AA schools Bemidji, Alexandria and Detroit Lakes. Ryley Nelson and Jacob Bright continue to impress, Senior Ryley finishing in second place overall in the 5K in just under 17 minutes and Freshman Jacob in sixth place 17:23. Senior Ethan Olson was our third runner in 22nd place in 18:34, followed by Senior Drake Swanson (44th) and FreshmanJack Van Kempen (45th). It is a tough course with some hills and more racers since they combined the junior varsity and varsity races together. Our sixth finisher was Chase Veldhouse (52nd) and the varsity was rounded out by newcomer to the sport Chris Onstad (61st). The JV was led by another newcomer Hunter Mickelson (37th) followed by Tim Ruud (56th), Austin Clavin (57th) and Matt Poyzer (82nd). It’s a good experience to be in a race with so many competitors because there is always someone nearby to race. We need that experience of racing in a large pack."
Eighth grader Bryn Fernholz led the girls, finishing in 8th place in 21:40, followed by ninth grader Teagan Nelson(29th), sophomore Ella Van Kempen (33rd) and junior Steph Toms (59th).
“Bryn’s efforts in practice have been paying off for her,” noted Coach Van Kempen. “We will be racing next Thursday in New London Spicer with many of the schools we will be facing in the section meet. We will run a few of our junior high girls so we can compete as a team.”
Seventh grader Lexi Bright won the junior high meet (her second first place finish in as many races) and eighth graderChloe LaRue finished in 14th. The junior girl’s placed fifth with Lexi and Chloe, and Kaitlyn Hanson (20th place),Kennedy Porter 36th and Carly Steiner (76th).
The junior boys placed third with eighth grader Kyle Schill leading the WCA pack and finishing in 11th place. Following him were Kade Runge (12th), Reubens Swanson (13th), Jacob Brown (29th), Alex Salwasser (37th),Gaven Raden (62nd), Tyler Biss (101st) and Shad Swanson (105th).