Spirit Lake sweeps Lakes Conference XC meet
LEMARS – For the second year in Spirit Lake swept the Lakes Conference cross country titles.
At Monday’s meet hosted by LeMars, both were favored to repeat-the girls for the third time and the boys for the second.
However, the Estherville Lincoln Central/Armstrong-Ringsted gave Spirit Lake a good race as the two teams tied with 46 points apiece.
The Indians held the tiebreaker, which is the place of the sixth runner, as Shirley Coenen finished 16th. ELCAR’s fifth runner finished 19th.
“We’ve been involved in a quite a few ties over the past few years, but this is the first time it went our way,” said Spirit Lake coach Tim Heinitz. “We knew Estherville would be our closest competition, but we didn’t expect it to be that close. But we notice that the Estherville girls always get up for the big meets.”
The Spirit Lake girls had four all-conference runners led by Briana Brunsvold’s fourth-place finish in 16 minutes, 43 seconds. McKenzie Dziedzic finished sixth in 16:49 followed by Mary Brown in ninth in 17:07 and KJ Veldman in 12th in 17:20.
With Sheldon dropping out of the Lakes Conference this year, only the top 14 were all-conference instead of 15 as in previous years.
Chelsea Parks was the fifth counting score as she finished 15th in 17:37 and Coenen’s 16th place time was 17:40.
The other non-counting score was Liz Skogerboe, who finished 23rd in 18:20.
Western Christian finished third with 83 points followed by LeMars with 93, Spencer with 126, Emmetsburg with 161 and Storm Lake with 204. Cherokee did not have a complete team.
The boys race went smoother for Spirit Lake as the Indians, rated first in Class 2A, finished with 38 points. leMars finished second with 52 followed by Western Christian with 71, Spencer with 75, Storm Lake with 109, Emmetsburg with 196 and Cherokee with 208. ELCAR didn’t have a complete team.
Spirit Lake five runners counting toward the team score all earned all-conference honors. Alec Baldwin’s second-place finish in 16:52 led the way. Mitch O’Neill finished sixth in 17:40 with Will Norris placing seventh in 17:41, Keith Byers in 11th in 18:11 and Brandon Griffin in 12th in 18:14.
Coach Heinitz said he was pleased the Keith Byers was able to complete the race. Byers was injured at the Cherokee meet.
“It’s fortunate for us that the conference meet was postponed a week,” said Heinitz. “The downside is that we have to come back Thursday for the district meet.
“But I’m not worried about the effort they’ll put in,” he added.
Non-counting scores were a 27th-place finish by Kenan McQueen in 19:15 and Daniel Stover finished 32nd in 20:06.
The Spirit Lake teams travel to Sheldon for the Class 2A Regional/District meet.