Albert Lea competes at Fairmont

Published 9:40 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Boys’ cross country finishes first while girls’ team finishes third


The Albert Lea boys’ and girls’ cross country teams traveled to Fairmont Monday afternoon, competing against a host of other teams.

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The boys’ team dominated all other runners and came in first place of five teams. The girls’ team made significant strides of improvement to finish third of four teams.

In the boys’ race, seven Tigers finished in the top 11 of the 58 competitors. Senior Sonny Ortega-Roseli won the race with a time of 10:14.5, just 0.6 seconds in front of the second-place finisher. Three Tigers finished back-to-back-to-back in fourth, fifth and sixth places, all within 0.6 seconds of one another. Junior Aaron Bauers had a time of 10:44.0, senior Khan Mut had a time of 10:44.2 and senior Sam Louters had a time of 10:44.6. Rounding out the top five for the Tigers was freshman Gavin Hanke, who came in eighth place with a time of 10:53.0

Head coach Jim Haney was proud of the performance he saw out of the boys’ team.

The Albert Lea boys’ cross country team poses after winning first place at the meet in Fairmont. Seven Tigers placed in the top 11. – Allisa Sauer/For the Albert Lea Tribune

“It was one of the strongest efforts by the boys’ team that I have been privileged to see in my 18 years of coaching,” Haney said. “These boys have worked so hard and are willing to do the extra to be better runners. We are not done yet with what we are trying to accomplish, but the boys should feel great about what they have done and what they will do in the future.”

Sophomore Karime Ponciano was the top finisher for Albert Lea in the girls’ race. Ponciano finished in eighth place with a time of 13:14.5. Freshman Jaira Myers came in 16th place with a time of 14:09.6. Freshman Joey Maiden and junior Jaiden Venem came in 20th and 21st place, respectively. Maiden had a time of 14:24.0 and Venem had a time of 14:35.4. Rounding out the top five for the girls was junior Kat Uthke in 35th place with a time of 15:41.4.

“The team took third place out of four teams and I felt it was the best effort of the season as all the girls ran their best race of the season,” Haney said. “The girls are getting better and will continue to improve with additional training and confidence in the efforts they are making in each race.”

The Tigers will be back in action Saturday when they travel to Winona for a 17-team invite.


Meet results


1. Albert Lea 24

2. Mankato West 53

3. Fairmont 63

4. MVL 105


Albert Lea individuals

1. Sonny Ortega-Roseli, 10:14.5

4. Aaron Bauers, 10:44.0

5. Khan Mut, 10:44.2

6. Sam Louters, 10:44.6

8. Gavin Hanke, 10:53.0



1. Mankato West 26

2. Fairmont 36

3. Albert Lea 78

4. USC 108


Albert Lea individuals

8. Karime Ponciano, 13:14.5

16. Jaira Myers, 14:09.6

20. Joey Maiden, 14:24.0

21. Jaiden Venem, 14:35.4

35. Kat Uthke, 15:41.4

Albert Lea seventh grader Shelby Evans won the junior high race Monday afternoon in Fairmont. Evans finished with a time of 6:23.9. – Allisa Sauer/For the Albert Lea Tribune


About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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