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Albert Lea boys capture gold on individual and team levels

Jackson Goodell of Albert Lea runs Monday during the Cardinal Invitational at Cedar Creek Park in Fairmont. — Kathie Lein/For the Albert Lea Tribune

Jackson Goodell of Albert Lea runs Monday during the Cardinal Invitational at Cedar Creek Park in Fairmont. — Kathie Lein/For the Albert Lea Tribune

For the third consecutive season, the Albert Lea boys’ cross country team was presented with apples as an award for winning the Cardinal Invitational.

Jackson Goodell won the boys’ race and led the Tigers to first place out of four teams, and Quinn Petersen finished fifth in the girls’ race as Albert Lea took second place out of two teams Monday at Cedar Creek Park in Fairmont.

“It was great to see all the hard work of summer running pay off with many runners getting medals or ribbons for their efforts,” said Tigers coach Jim Haney. “It was a good day for Albert Lea cross country.”

Jackson Goodell, a senior, was one of four top-10 runners from Albert Lea in the 68-runner field. Carson Goodell, a freshman and Jackson Goodell’s brother, finished third, Jay Skaar, eighth; and Nikk Christianson, 10th.

“We knew we could win this race, and we did,” Haney said. “The boys executed the plan to pack up and race the complete 5,000-meter course.”

With a time of 16:41.6, Jackson Goodell beat the second-place finisher, Josh Sundblad of Fairmont, by 31 seconds. With the win, Jackson Goodell became the back-to-back champion of the Cardinal Invitational.

“Jackson is right where he needs to be,” Haney said. “I’m so excited to see the next couple of races and the competition he will be running against. He is ready to take on challengers.”

Carson Goodell crossed the finish line 7.2 seconds after Sundblad. Jay Skaar posted a time of 18:15.6. Christianson followed in 18:39.8.

Herbie Lein was the fifth Albert Lea runner to complete the course, and he did so in 18:44.9.

United South Central took fourth place as a team and was led by Thomas Mantor, who finished fifth with a time of 18:01.6.

In the girls’ race, Petersen led the Tigers with a time of 22:16.7.

“Quinn is a great competitor, and it was so much fun to see her take fifth place,” Haney said. “All the girls competed and wanted to reduce their times and places, and that is exactly what they did in the race.”

United South Central’s Beth Stevermer won the race with a time of 20:08.4. She beat the rest of the field by 44.5 seconds.

Petersen was one of three top-10 Albert Lea finishers. Grace Chalmers followed in 23:05.0 to take eighth place, and Autumn Muilenburg finished 10th in 23:21.4.

“The girls are running with a great deal of confidence,” Haney said.

Next, the Tigers will compete at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Winona.