Tiger CC teams fourth at Austin

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 17, 2004

AUSTIN &045; Coach Jim Haney was looking at it as a tune-up race.

His runners apparently took it more seriously.

Haney said the Albert Lea High School cross country teams performed better than expected in a Thursday invitational at Austin, where both squads finished fourth.

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&uot;I treated it as a speed race in getting ready for the Big Nine meet next week,&uot; said Haney. &uot;The times were much lower than I expected. Both the boys and girls are very confident in their running ability for the next two weeks.&uot;

Mankato West won the boys’ meet at Austin with 21 points, followed by Winona with 55, Faribault 84, Albert Lea 97, Austin 128 and Lake City 163. St. Ansgar did not have a full squad.

Albert Lea places and times: Levi Budd, ninth, 17:06; Josh Anderson, 16th, 17:42; Jon Friday, 20th, 17:59; Steve Stenholz, 25th, 18:25; Dave Hird, 27th, 18:40; Andrew Irvine, 35th, 19:03; Brock Sorenson, 41st, 20:02.

&uot;Levi Budd continues to impress,&uot; said Haney. &uot;He is a strong runner and continues to push for good position and lower times. Levi was pushed by teammates Josh Anderson, Jon Friday and Stenholz. This is good for the whole team as they challenge each other to get better each week.&uot;

The Albert Lea junior varsity boys were fifth with 163 points. Winona was first with 27. Tiger places and times: Josh Klapperick, 29th, 20:28; Judd Bonnerup, 30th, 20:32; Eric Bowron, 31st, 20:34; Chris Dorman, 34th, 20:52; Drew Klick, 39th, 21:15; Sam Matheson, 45th, 22:48; Joe Polis, 48th, 23:40; Matt VanFossen, 50th, 23:49; Nevy Felt Lee, 54th, 25:15; Sean Templeman, 55th, 26:34.

Winona’s varsity girls finished first with 22 points. Lake City was a distant second with 65, followed by Faribault with 66, Albert Lea 93 and Austin 111. Mankato West and St. Ansgar had incomplete teams.

The Tigers’ places and times: Paige Seadlund, 13th, 16:37; Kelsey Johnson, 14th, 16:38; Mallory King, 19th, 17:01; Anna Keesling, 22nd, 17:16; Elizabeth Burnett, 25th, 17:27; Amy Leach, 27th, 17:49.

&uot;The strategy was simple &045; run so close to your teammate that you can pull her ponytail,&uot; said Haney. &uot;The girls did a nice job of running close to each other and running with people that have been beating them this year. Some teams should be afraid that Albert Lea will sneak up on them and beat them if they do not run their best race. The girls are looking forward to the challenge at Big Nine.&uot;

Albert Lea took second in the girls’ junior varsity meet with 54 points, behind Lake City’s 16. The locals’ places: Lauren Klick, eighth, 18:46; Toni Roberts, ninth, 19:00; Marta Behling, 10th, 19:06; Kyra Danneker, 13th, 19:23; Tara Helgeson, 14th, 19:28; Alyssa Keesling, 18th, 20:18; Faren Culp, 24th, 22:19; Serah Oligrade, 25th, 22:56; Makala Buley, 27th, 24:22.

&uot;We are looking at the Big Nine meet as our Super Bowl,&uot; said Haney of Tuesday’s conference race at Owatonna. &uot;We want to finish the season on a high note and, with the lower times and running close to the front, the runners feel good about their chances of doing well at the Big Nine run.&uot;