Crossing the line
Spoilers improve to near top positions
The Grafton Invitational Cross Country Meet was held last Thursday afternoon at Fair Oaks Golf Course under ideal conditions for a fall meet.
The team results saw Hillsboro-Central Valley finish in first place with 85 points, followed by Grafton with 111 points. The other local team was Pembina County North (PCN), who finished tied for fourth place.
The Spoilers had a respectable second place finish, but coach McKay had other expectations. “We did well but we should have won our meet,” McKay said.
Ten teams participated in the boys meet.
The top Spoiler runner in the boys division was Josh Thompson, who finished in second place overall, with a time of 18:50.70.
“Josh is our top runner this year,” McKay said. “He works very hard.”
It is McKay’s expectation that Thompson will be a top 10 runner in the state come the end of the season.
Kenneth Longtine finished in eighth place, with a time of 19:49.71.
“He (Kenneth) has great potential and also has a great running stride,” McKay said.
Seth Helgeson finished 25th, with a time of 21:38.77.
Other Grafton runners included Brett Longtin, who finished 37th; Josh Vogsland, 39th; Brock Ulland, 41st; Josh Harrah, 42nd; Gonzalo Jiminez, 48th; and Brandon Ferguson, 53rd.
One runner not in the results was David Suda, who was unable to finish the race after becoming ill.
“He was in the top 10 at the time,” McKay said.
PCN’s highest finishing runner was Blaine Steiger, who finished in eleventh place, with a time of 20:04.17.
He was followed by Jaxen Jenson, who finished in 17th, with a final time of 20:58.67.
Other PCN runners included Ethan Brown, who finished 23rd; Isaac Flage, 45th; and Jordan Lindtwed, 50th.
Grafton finished third out of 14 teams, behind H-CV and first place Rugby.
“Third was a good finish for the girls,” McKay said. “They will have to push themselves to place a little higher, but we will surprise some top teams as the season goes on.”
Grafton was led by Jessica Johnson, who finished in ninth place, with a time of 17:04.90.
“That was a very good running effort on her part,” McKay said. McKay indicated that Johnson is fighting a stressed abdomen, hindering her potential.
“She isn’t running as smooth as she can,” he said.
Johnson was the lone Spoiler runner to finish in the top 20 in the individual results.
Aliza LaBonte missed the top 20 by 21 seconds, finishing in 23rd place, with a time of 18:56.56.
“In her sixth year with the program, LaBonte continues to improve as the season goes on,” McKay said.
The rest of the Spoiler runners included Claire Suda, 26th; Lexie Woinarowicz, 30th; Amy Horter, 35th; Julia Johnson, 37th; Kiana Parsons, 42nd; and Kaitlyn Nelson, 45th.
The other local team, PCN, finished in eighth place.
Natalie Olason paced PCN with a time of 17:23.79, and finished 12th.