Tigers CC finishes 1st and 2nd in Austin

Published 11:35 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Albert Lea runners, from left, Steven Kruen, Andy Christian, Luc Malimanek and Blair Bonnerup run in a pack Tuesday. -- Bryce Gaudian/for the Tribune

AUSTIN — Chrissy Monson and Bailey Thompson finished 1-2, and Steven Kruen took second as the Albert Lea girls’ and boys’ cross country teams placed first and second, respectively Tuesday in the Austin Packers Cross Country Invitational.

“An amazing effort was turned in by the teams,” Albert Lea head coach Jim Haney said. “They gave an exceptional effort to place

Riley Schulz runs at the Austin Cross Country Inviational. -- Bryce Gaudian/for the Tribune

as high as they did.”

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The girls’ team captured its only first place finish of the season, and were led by Monson and Thompson.

Monson finished in 15 minutes and 34 seconds, and Thompson finished in 15:42.

“Chrissy took over the race from the beginning and dominated,” Haney said. “(Monson and Thompson) are doing so well and they complement each other as they make the other better by the way they push each other in practice and in the meets.”

Thompson edged Austin’s Haley Splinter — a state qualifier last season — by three seconds.

Eighth-graders Riley Schulz and Haley Harms finished third and fourth, respectively for the Tigers in their first varsity race of the season, and Rachel Kenis rounded out Albert Lea’s top five.

“Schulz and Harms were outstanding in their first varsity action,” Haney said.

Kruen finished second overall for the boys’ team in 17:41, as five Tigers runners finished in the top 12 overall. Blair Bonnerup finished close behind Kruen in 18:01.

“These young men have made each other better by the work ethic they demonstrate,” Haney said, of Kruen and Bonnerup. “I am happy for both runners, and it was especially nice that Steve was so close to winning.”

Kruen finished just five seconds out of first-place.

Andy Christian, Luc Malimanek and Eli Malimanek rounded out the top five.

The Tigers run in the Big Nine Conference meet Tuesday.

“We could not be running with more confidence,” Haney said.