Cross country: Tigers defend titleIt was deja vu all over again for the Farmington cross country team at Thursday's Pine Island Invitational.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
It was deja vu all over again for the Farmington cross country team at Thursday's Pine Island Invitational.
Both the boys and girls matched their finish at last year's meet, with the boys defending their title and the girls closing the gap in running to another second-place finish. The Tiger boys placed three runners in the top nine to edge runner-up Plainview-Elgin-Millville, 60-61. Last year, the Tigers ran away with the team title, 58-77, over United South Central.
Sophomore Elliot Fenske was once again the leader of the Farmington pack, covering the shortened course in a time of 15 minutes, 39 seconds. He returned to the top 10 after placing 27th against a competitive field last week at the Apple Jack Invite in Lakeville, crossing the finish line third in a field of well over 100 runners.
Right behind in fourth was senior teammate Ryan Monroe, who clocked in at 16:03. Usual No. 4 runner Nick Arenberg stepped up after Levi Freetly dropped out of the race and filled into the No. 3 slot nicely with a ninth-place time of 16:35. Freetly, the team's No. 3 at the last several meets, dropped out after two miles with a sore leg.
The varsity top five was rounded out by freshman Chad Retterrath and sophomore Carl Elmer, who reached the finish line 21st and 23rd, respectively, in times of 17:18 and 17:24. Sophomore Matt Thomas (24th, 17:28) and senior Harrison Roske (31st, 17:58) completed the varsity lineup.
Revels was happy with the times despite a course he figures was short of 5,000 meters, but said the distance between his team's No. 1 and No. 5 runners was still too great.
"All seven runners under 18 minutes is outstanding," he said. "Spread is still an issue at 1:45. Much too high."
In the middle school race, Jordan Lugowski finished first and Tyler Hatherly was second.
Opsal, Beckett, Clifton go 8-9-10
Rochester Lourdes matched Farmington's feat on the boys side by defending its team title, but the Farmington girls made it closer this time around.
The Tiger girls scored 69 team points, 20 fewer than they did en route to last year's second-place finish. A spread of just over a minute among the top five runners and a strong pack finish from the top three runners were most responsible for the improved score.
Freshman Bailey Opsal led the Tigers with an eight-place time of 15:37 on what also proved to be a short course on the girls side. Teammate Jackie Beckett crossed the finish line just three seconds later in ninth place and four second after that Nicole Clifton raced in to earn 10th.
Eighth grader Maria Kiminski provided another counting score as the team's No. 4 runner, reaching the finish line 17th in 16:12, and seventh grader Maricia Pacheco cracked the varsity top five with a 25th-place clocking of 16:40. Freshmen Marissa Stewart (27th, 16:50) and Emily Gerster (29th, 16:53) also competed.
"The gals' spread was a solid 1:03, 37 seconds for the top four," Revels said. "If a No. 5 can emerge closer to Kiminski we're looking even better."
In the middle school race, Maddie Strid finished third and Sofia Chadwick was fourth.