Cross-Country: Lake City girls showcase best performance at home meetThe weather finally cooperated Tuesday for the Lake City Invite at Hok-Si-La Park in Lake City.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
The weather finally cooperated Tuesday for the Lake City Invite at Hok-Si-La Park in Lake City.
On a cool, sunny day, Lake City head coach Howard Cook said the Tigers’ girls team put in their best performance of the season to finish in fifth place against some of the top competition in Class A.
“That’s as well as we’ve run early in a few years,” Cook said. “It was a perfect day. We ran very well. There was that much competition.”
Minnehaha Academy, ranked 10th in Class A, took first place with 58 points, sixth-ranked (A) Dover-Eyota was second with 62 points while Austin and fifth-ranked (A) La Crescent each ended with 72 points. Austin took third on a tiebreaker. Lake City had 101 points.
“You saw as good an A class meet as I’ve seen,” Cook said.
The Tigers had four runners finish in less than 17 minutes with sophomore Lydia Taylor as the top runner in 17th place at 16 minutes, 23 seconds. Sophomore Hannah Alitz was one spot behind Taylor in 16:28, junior Samantha Keller ran in 16:37 for 20th place and ninth-grader Morgan Dammann was 21st in 16:45. Sophomore Rebecca Goertzen finished 25th in 17:02, senior Alexis Befort was 36th in 17:44 and senior Taylor Siewert ran 18:07, good for 45th.
Cook said it has taken the girls time to realize what it takes to succeed but with only two seniors, a bright future lies ahead.
“We’re really pleased because as we’ve told people we have 13 girls that are running really well and only two of them are seniors,” Cook said. “We’ve turned the corner as far as working at the level that they need to. It’s a process and I sit back and say ‘I hope you do it before I’m gone.’”
Last year, the same girls would have plodded near the back of the pack, Cook said, but they bought into what he asked them to do.
“They want to know why our state champion teams and our top-3 teams did so well,” Cook said. “They’re starting to do that.”
The Tigers get a short break before competing Tuesday at Ellsworth Country Club in Ellsworth, Wis.
Lake City boys aim for improvement
Lake City senior Carston Dammann continues to run at the front of the pack but the Tigers finished 10th out of 13 teams Tuesday at the Lake City Invite.
Dammann took fifth place in 16:20 and at the 2-mile mark he was on track to break the school record but did not quite have enough at the end, Cook said.
“That’s no worse than our fourth best time ever,” Cook said. “We were very pleased with that. He’s had two exceptional races.”
Sophomore Colin Fritz finished 44th for Lake city in 18:45, ninth-grader Risdon Kaartinen placed 61st, senior Nick Tynjala was 67th and ninth-grader Jeremy Keller came in 70th.
The Tigers’ younger runners struggled to stay with the pack and at Hok-Si-La that makes catching other runners difficult because of the turns.
“We’re going to get better,” Cook said. “Again, it was a very fast race. On our course, one of the things there, those boys ended up being by themselves. … You lose contact and we did that. And that’s partially because they’re young.”
Third-ranked Minnehaha Academy won the race with 40 points, 10th-ranked Plainview-Elgin-Millville was second at 74 points and St. Charles finished third with 99 points.