Photo by Charles Morrow.
Beautiful weather leads to great finishes for the boys and girls at the first-ever Park Region Conference Cross Country meet
A brand new conference and some unseasonably warm weather brought promise to the United North Central boys and girls cross country runner at Blueberry Pines Golf Course on Tuesday. The girls came in as the top team after winning the Birch Tree Conference meet the previous 2 years. The boys knew they had a tough road with both Pequot Lakes and Ottertail County ranked in the top ten in the state. Both showed up ready for the challenge.
The girls got out fast putting 7 varsity runners in the top 20 at the half mile mark. Those places held strong throughout the race as the team ended up with all 7 finishing in the top 18. The team blew away the competition winning the meet by nearly 30 points over second place OTC. All-conference honors went to 3 girls with 2 others grabbing honorable mention. Annika Aho (9th grade) was the individual champion. Her teammates followed in 5th (Alyssa Peterson, 9th grade), 6th (Cierra Ahlf, 9th grade), 8th (Anna Olson, 11th grade), 9th (Megan Hendrickson, 9th grade), 12th (Maria Isaacson, 10th grade) and 18th (Erin Olson, 10th grade). Even though the girls are battling through some tough injuries they ran very well and are looking forward to challenging Park Rapids next Friday for a trip to the state meet.
The boys have been running hard all year long and have put up some of the best times UNC has seen in the past 5 years. Knowing that 2 of the teams they were competing against were top 8 in the state, they set there goals to run as a team and have good times. The boys were lead by Lars Keranen (9th grade, 20th place), Luke Wurdock (11th grade, 21st place), Wyatt Meech (11th grade, 23rd place), Andreas Aho (7th grade, 29th place), Jack Pietela (7th grade) and Blake Schoon (9th grade). The boys are fighting through injuries as well and are looking at this years section meet as a spring board for next year. They lose no one to graduation and have the work ethic to do some amazing things going into next year and will preview that promise next Friday in Bagley.