Tigers attack hills at Winona
Albert Lea boys post top finish at event in 19 years; girls finish 11th
Bronze at the team level was a cause for celebration for the Albert Lea boys’ cross country team Saturday at the Jim Flim Invitational on the campus of Saint Mary’s University in Winona.
In 19 years of participating, the boys’ third-place finish was the Tigers’ best, according to coach Jim Haney.
Albert Lea’s girls’ team took 11th place out of 12 teams.
“It was a great day for Albert Lea cross country,” Haney said. “The runners were unfazed by the hills in Winona, and they did an outstanding job of attacking and being aggressive in the bluffs.”
Four runners in the top half of the 86-runner field propelled the Albert Lea boys’ team to a score of 119 to edge fourth-place Winona by six points.
Brothers Jackson and Carson Goodell led the Tigers with top-10 finishes.
Jackson Goodell took third place with a time of 16:47.8, which was within five seconds of race runner-up Adam Tuna of Faribault. Rochester Century’s Seth Massot won the race in 16:29.8. Carson Goodell finished seventh in 17:09.3.
“Jackson ran very well, and he is ready for the last half of the season, where his leadership and speed will be needed for us to move up in the Big Nine standings,” Haney said. “Carson was also very strong today. He had a great kick at the end of the race.”
Also factoring into the team score was Jay Skaar in 27th place, 18:11.8; Nikk Christianson, 39th, 18:43.5; and Herbie Lein, 46th, 18:53.1.
Out of the six Big Nine Conference teams at the meet, the Tigers beat Winona, Faribault and Rochester John Marshall. Rochester Century won the meet with a score of 42, and Rochester Mayo was the runner-up with 73.
“For us to finish third against much of the Big Nine, we as a coaching staff are very pleased,” Haney said. “The ultimate goal is the Big Nine championship, which we keep moving closer to.”
Albert Lea’s girls’ team was led by Quinn Peterson, who took 19th place out of 78 runners with a time of 20:10.2.
“We were so proud of how she was passing people up and down the hills,” Haney said. “She refused to let other runners pass her, is an outstanding competitor and has improved every race because of her drive and determination.”
Grace Chalmers was the second Tigers runner to cross the finish line in 23:47.1 for 49th place.
Also factoring into the team score was Allison Christenson in 65th place, 25:29.7; Hannah Savelkoul, 72nd, 26:18.5; and Morgan Phillips, 74th, 27:36.5.
Next, Albert Lea will compete at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Minneopa Golf Course.