Cross Country: Fenske sets the paceA breakout race by Elliot Fenske and an improved spread from runners two through five helped the Farmington boys cross country team challenge for the team title at last Thursday's 30-team Redbird Invitational in Montgomery.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
A breakout race by Elliot Fenske and an improved spread from runners two through five helped the Farmington boys cross country team challenge for the team title at last Thursday's 30-team Redbird Invitational in Montgomery.
Fenske, just a sophomore, crossed the finish line fourth out of 210 runners in a time of 16 minutes, 56 seconds. The clocking was nearly two full minutes faster than his time at the same meet a year ago and kept him within 13 seconds of individual champion Trent Lusignan of Shakopee. Fenske's finish was the best among the runners competing on a contending team, but Mound-Westonka placed all five of its runners in the top 37 to claim the championship in a competitive team race, 124-130 over the runner-up Tigers. Farmington was third at the same meet last year.
"The elusive Redbird championship once again escaped our grasp. We did get a handful of feathers, though," Farmington coach Keith Revels said. "The story of the day is Elliot Fenske. He found his way to the lead pack early and kept in close contact throughout."
Senior Ryan Monroe provided Farmington's second counting score, breaking the 18-minute barrier on the Montgomery course for the first time in his career with a 23rd-place time of 17:48 on the 5,000-meter course. Track and field teammate Levi Freetly continued to adjust to the longer cross country distance in running a 29th-place time of 18:04 in his first competitive 5K.
Eight seconds back of Freetly was junior Nick Arenberg, who placed 31st in 18:12. Freshman Chad Retterath rounded out the counting scores with a 43rd-place time of 18:33 and Sam Larkin (66th, 19:00) and Carl Elmer (69th, 19:02) completed the varsity lineup.
All seven Farmington runners finished in the top third of the field of 210 runners, allowing the Tigers to easily outrun Missota Conference rivals New Prague (sixth), Shakopee (eighth) and Prior Lake (19th).
Beckett cuts her time, leads girls to 11th place finish
Senior Jackie Beckett took 72 seconds off of her time at last year's Redbird Invitational in helping the Tigers move up from 13th to 11th in the team standings.
Beckett crossed the finish line 41st overall against a field of 208 runners, running to a time of 16:53 for 4,000 meters. Teammate Nicole Clifton was eight seconds back, earning 46th with a time of 17:01.
Freshman Bailey Opsal struggled in her second run of the year, but battled to the finish line to pick up a time of 17:34 that was good enough for 73rd. Eighth grader Maria Kiminski was six seconds back in 83rd place and junior first-year runner Angie Schull rounded out the top five with a 91st-place time of 17:45.
The varsity lineup was rounded out by freshman newcomer Marissa Stewart (97th, 17:48) and freshman Emily Gerster (103rd, 17:52)
"It was nice grouping for the gals and they continue to improve week by week," Revels said.
In the team race, Missota Conference teams Shakopee, Prior Lake and New Prague finished 1-2-3.
The Tigers compete again tomorrow at the Apple Jack Invite at Aronson Park in Lakeville. The meet gets under way at 3:30 p.m.