• 37°

Albert Lea avenges loss to Winona

Albert Lea’s Jay Skaar, third from right, runs Tuesday at the Big Nine Conference meet at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna. Skaar was the third Tigers runner to cross the finish line. He completed the course in 17:25.4 to take 23rd place out of 83 runners. — Lon Nelson/For the Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea’s Jay Skaar, third from right, runs Tuesday at the Big Nine Conference meet at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna. Skaar was the third Tigers runner to cross the finish line. He completed the course in 17:25.4 to take 23rd place out of 83 runners. — Lon Nelson/For the Albert Lea Tribune

Albert Lea boys’ team takes 4th at Big Nine Conference meet; girls finish 12th

After finishing as the runner-up to Winona in a seven-team meet on Oct. 13 at Austin, the Albert Lea boys’ cross country team took revenge a week later.

Jackson and Carson Goodell posted a pair of top-10 finishes in a field of 83 runners to lead the Tigers boys’ team past the sixth-place Winhawks and two thirds of the 12-team field with a score of 108 for fourth place, while the girls’ team finished last Tuesday at the Big Nine Conference meet at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna.

“This is the highest team place we have had on the boys’ side for some time, and we are proud that we were able to defeat the teams that had given us trouble all year,” said Albert Lea coach Jim Haney. “The boys are peaking at the right time.”

The defending Big Nine Conference champion, senior Jackson Goodell, finished third with a time of 16:27.0 to garner All-Conference accolades. Last season on the same course, Jackson Goodell finished in 16:17.1 and beat the rest of the field by more than five seconds.

Rochester Century’s Seth Massot finished as the Big Nine runner-up for the second consecutive season with a time of 16:01.8, and Rochester Mayo’s Chad Couser shaved 46.4 seconds from last year’s sixth-place finish to become the Big Nine champ.

Jackson Goodell’s brother, freshman Carson Goodell, took sixth place in 16:35.7 seconds to become an All-Conference performer. He edged Rochester Mayo’s Spencer Moore by 0.5 seconds and Red Wing’s George Nemanich by 0.9 seconds.

Albert Lea’s Jay Skaar beat Red Wing’s Skyler Bennyhoff by 0.2 seconds to take 23rd place in 17:25.4 and become an All-Conference honorable mention selection.

“It was the strongest race I have seen Jay run,” Haney said.

Also factoring into the Tigers’ team score was Abe Peterson, who took 37th place in 17:46.6, and Nikk Christianson, who took 39th place in 17:48.4.

“You could tell during the week of preparation for the Big Nine meet that the boys had just a different look of determination in their eyes,” Haney said. “I am so happy that they were able to step up to the challenge and run a great race. They trained all summer and during the season for that race, and they came through.”

In the JV boys’ race, Albert Lea eighth-grader Andrew Willner took first place out of 345 runners with a time of 17:48.0. The time would’ve been 39th place in the varsity race.

“All the boys from the varsity to the JV looked great,” Haney said.

Albert Lea’s girls’ team was led by Quinn Petersen, who finished 49th in the 79-runner field with a time of 21:56.3.

Grace Chalmers followed in 58th place in 22:33.7; Fran Eckstrom, 66th, 23:05.7; and Autumn Muilenburg, 71st, 23:27.4.

Allison Christenson’s 75th-place finish with a time of 24:12.2 also factored into the team score.

“The girls are running close together, and now we need to move the pack forward,” Haney said. “I know the girls will accept that challenge as we look for a strong showing at the section meet.”

Next, Albert Lea will compete at the Section 1AA meet at 3 p.m. Oct. 29 at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna.