Hanke claims first in Tigers only home cross country meet

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

In the only home cross country meet of the 2021 season, the Albert Lea cross country teams hosted five other schools Tuesday afternoon at Bancroft Bay Park.

Junior Gavin Hanke did the Tigers proud in their home meet, taking first place in the boys’ race, while the girls’ team continued to improve in their times.

Gavin Hanke led the way from the gun to the end in the boys’ race. He finished with a time of 18:44.5, holding off a runner from Rochester John Marshall who came in second with a time of 18:53.0

Also running for the Tigers was sophomore Isaiah McGaffey, who came in 10th aplce with a time of 20:23.9. Junior Pacey Brekke wasn’t far behind, finishing in 13th place with a time of 20:43.4.

Also scoring for the Tigers was juniors Patrick Holcomb and Blake Christensen. Holcomb came in 21st with a time of 21:15.2 and Christensen came in 26th with a time of 21:20.1.

As a team, the boys finished in second place behind Rochester John Marshall.

According to head coach Jim Haney, the boys’ team has now beaten all the teams in their district with the exception of Cannon Falls, who they have yet to run against.

Albert Lea junior Jai Maligaya finished in ninth place in the girls’ race Tuesday afternoon. Tyler Julson/Albert Lea Tribune

“The coaching staff and runners know that defeating the teams in our section is important, but we still have personal and team goals we need to work on,” Haney said. “This includes decreasing time and moving the boys up in the standings.”

In the girls’ race, the Tigers didn’t have enough runners to score in the team standings, but still had all three participants place in the top-25.

Leading the way was junior Jai Maligaya, finishing in ninth place with a time of 24:23.9.

Freshman Mya Hanke came in 21st with a time of 26:02.7, and senior Aliyah Studier came in 25th with a time of 26:45.0.

Haney said he was proud of how the girls’ competed and how they were able to hold off a number of competitors throughout the race.

The Tigers will compete again Saturday in Winona, taking on 13 other schools from both eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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