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Albert Lea cross country splits meet with Faribault

The Albert Lea boys’ and girls’  cross country teams traveled to Faribault Thursday afternoon for a Big Nine Conference dual meet.

While the girls ran into a tough Falcons team, the boys edged out a hard-fought victory by one point.

The boys’ Tigers team sophomore Gavin Hanke came in first place overall at the meet with a time of 17:58. Seniors Logan Barr and Aaron Bauers also placed in the top five with third- and fifth-place finishes, respectively.  Barr finished with a time of 18:26 and Bauers came in with a time of 18:49.

Junior Mason Buendorf came in eighth place with a time of 19:40 and sophomore Pat Holcomb came in 10th place with a time of 20:06.

As a team, the Tigers beat the Falcons 28-27.

“The varsity boys had an outstanding effort and came away with a one-point victory,” said head coach Jim Haney. “When you win by one point it is a true team effort and Buendorf and Holcomb had great finishes to bring home the victory for the team. We have had a 10-day layoff from our last meet and we went to work to improve our speed.”

It was a tough time for the Tigers in the girls’ race, as the Falcons are one of the best teams in the conference.

Sophomore Jai Maligaya was the top finisher for the Tigers, coming in eighth place with a time of 23:13. Eighth grader Shelby Evans also placed in the top 10, finishing in ninth with a time of 23:15.

Rounding out the top five runners for the Tigers were eighth grader Mya Hanke, (11th, 23:38), senior Jaiden Venem (14th, 24.37) and sophomore Joey Maiden (15th 25:54).

“A number of Albert Lea girls had very strong races,” Haney said. “The coaching staff was especially proud of our top five runners as they competed to the best of their abilities and had some very good times.  The team competition did not go our way, but individually the girls did a nice job of showing improved times.”

The Tigers will be back in competition Thursday when they host Mankato East and Rochester Century at Bancroft Bay Park.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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