Cross-Country: Red Wing boys finish third at home invitationalRed Wing was a little too excited Friday for its home meet at Red Wing High School.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing was a little too excited Friday for its home meet at Red Wing High School.
The Wingers took off fast in the first mile and left some time on the course, Red Wing head coach Jesse Nelson said, but their top three runners still ran personal record races as the team placed third. It was the second race this week that the Wingers’ top three runners finished with personal bests.
“I don’t think our guys ran a very smart race,” Nelson said. “(The team) was very much caught in the energy of having a home meet and they went out a little fast. It’s easily fixed, we make that adjustment and we’ll finish the race a little stronger. Our guys still ran the fastest races of their lives, no complaints there.”
Rochester Mayo won the meet with 58 points, Northfield was second with 90 points and Red Wing finished two points behind in third.
Junior Aiden Winn paced with the front of the pack the entire race for the Wingers, but like the rest of the team he went out too quickly, Nelson said. Just more than halfway through the race, Winn started fading a little before digging deeper to finish fourth overall in 16 minutes, 37.12 seconds, a personal best.
“I did think he was going to drop a little bit,” Nelson said. “He did catch his second wind. He caught himself going out a little bit too fast.
“He’s really amped up his training. He’s run twice a day. We’re going to see even more from him once we rest him a little bit. I’d like to see the confidence to come for him to run with (the top guys). That’s something to talk about and something to fix and we’ll move on from there.”
Ninth-grader George Nemanich finished 11th in 17:11.81, another personal best, for the Wingers and sophomore Marcus Warrington also ran a personal best 17:27.89 for 17th place.
It is no easy task for an athlete to get two personal records in the same week, and for the Wingers to have three different athletes achieve that this week was the result of a tireless work ethic, according to Nelson.
“I’m not surprised with the kind of workouts we’ve had,” Nelson said. “It just shows where we’re headed. The bottom line is they’re committed, they’re dedicated … and it’s paying off for them and that’s exciting.”
Junior Joe Partington came in 25th for Red Wing in 17:40, sophomore Meyer Beckner placed 37th in 17:54.89 and junior Ryan Schnaith finished in 18:00.38, good for 42nd. Junior Darrick Jackson was the Wingers’ seventh runner in with a 49th place finish in 18:13.33.
“That was a great effort by Darrick to be up in our top seven,” Nelson said.
Red Wing competes again Tuesday at Chaska in the second-to-last race before the Missota Conference meet Oct. 16 in New Prague.
In previous years, Nelson said one team has stood out as the clear favorite to win the conference but this year will be different.
“The conference meet is going to be a toss-up between three or four teams,” he said. “We’ll be right there.”