Bound and determined

Published 9:13 am Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Albert Lea girls’ cross country runners Rachel Kenis and Morgan Haney at the Big Nine race. Kenis finished 26th overall and Haney placed 25th. Overall, the Albert Lea girls finished in third place in the conference.

OWATONNA — Best times, all-conference performances and all-conference honorable mentions were just a few of the exciting results as the Albert Lea boys and girls’ cross country teams competed at the Big Nine conference championships on Tuesday.

The Tiger girls, led by Chrissy Monson, finished in third place as a team with just 10 points separating first and third place.

Albert Lea boys’ cross country runner Jay Skaar recorded his best time of the season, breaking the 18-minute barrier with a 17:55.40.

Monson battled with Austin’s Madison Overby for the top honors before slipping with around 50-meters to go in the race.

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The junior recovered in time to hold onto second place in the meet with a time of 14 minutes and 37.80 seconds.

“I am so happy with the effort and determination that these young people demonstrated at Owatonna,” said Jim Haney, Albert Lea’s head cross country coach. “There were so many individual performances that were outstanding that helped the team reach many of the goals it had for the Big Nine meet.”

Haley Harms finished in 12th place and was also named all-conference along with Monson.

Rounding out the top five finishers for the girls and receiving all-conference honorable mention were Riley Schulz in 17th place, Morgan Haney in 25th place and Rachel Kenis in 26th place.

“It was a fun day to watch the girls do well,” Haney said. “There are only good things to come for Albert Lea cross country as I will have my top six runners back next year.”

The Tiger boys finished in eighth place during the meet, but experienced similar personal gains and success.

All five of Albert Lea’s top runners finished the five kilometer course in under 18 minutes.

“I could not be prouder of a group of young men,” Haney said. “The boys ran to the best of their ability and have continued to improve all season long.”

Luc Malimanek led the boys with a 31st place showing. The junior conquered the course in 17:33.90.

“Luc has come on in the last part of the season,” Haney said. “He has worked to improve and he has.”

Isaac Staat finished second for Albert Lea and 35th overall in 17:44.10. Rounding out the top five boys runners were Brandon Bonnerup in 38th place with a time of 17:45.60, in 43rd place was Jay Skaar and crossing the line in 45th palce was Blair Bonnerup.

Skaar completed the course in 17:55.40 and Blair Bonnerup in 17:57.70.

“I will have six of my top seven runners back next year,” Haney said. “They are great guys, and they will continue to improve for next year.”

See the scoreboard for Albert Lea’s complete results.