By Scott Olson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Weather fluctuations challenge runners

 

September 28, 2017

Scott Olson

The Rebels varsity girls, front: Savannah Gamst, Kyra Heaton and Coriella Sheetz; back: Sarah Michels, Lexi Tekippe, Meghan Granquist and Kelli Granquist.

Like the weatherman always says, "Give it a day and the weather will change!" In this case, give it a week and it changed 100 percent for the better. The Rebels Cross Country team was in Grand Rapids on Tuesday, September 19, for the Paul Bauer Invite and it was a complete 180-degree turn around from Mora with temps in the 60's and a little wind. For the evening races, the top 15 in each race received ribbons, except the top five in the varsity races received medals. The junior high race was shortened to a 3.2 km course.

The Rebels varsity girls team also made a turnaround and finished fourth out of 12 schools, with all their runners having no problem finishing. It was Coriella Sheetz in 12th in 22:41.4; Kelli Granquist, 19th in 23:17.1; Savannah Gamst, 21st in 23:29.8; Lexi Tekippe, 23rd in 23:42.4; Kyra Heaton, 28th in 24:17.3; Sarah Michels, 35th in 25:28.9; and Meghan Granquist, 41st in 26:07.7.

The Rebels varsity boys team also had a better finish, with all the runners starting at the same time and finishing third out of 15 teams. Winning the race was Geno Uhrbom of GNK in a time of 16:43.6 with Rebel Ethan Olson second in 17:07.3; Tan Dipman, 18th in 18:38.0; Lake Doran, 21st in 18:54.8; Danny Whited, 22nd in 18:55.7; Maverick Koecher, 25th in 19:10.5; Henry Collier, 40th in 20:16.1; and Johnathan Danelski, 44th in 20:30.5.

No team standings were given for the junior varsity and junior high races. Leading the JV girls was Delaney Koecher, third in 26:12.1; Rikimae Duevel, fourth in 26:13.3; Maddie Gamst, fifth in 26:57.4; Sammy Gruwell, 10th in 28:11.1; Kelly Crump, 18th in 31:22.7; Ella Rhoades, 24th in 33:19.8; and Leah Rhoades, 25th in 33:22.8. The Rebels JV boys had four runners with David Webb, eighth in 21:23.8; Lucas Koecher, 15th in 21:56.5; Hunter Olsen, 30th in 24:08.6; and Levi Skelton, 33rd in 25:18.5.

The junior high girls had three runners - Rayna Klejeski, 11th in 15:56.3; Abbey Erwin, 24th in 17:28.7; and Anna Molis, 49th in 23:06.7. The junior high boys had quite a few runners with Wheeler Anderson, fifth in 12:58.4; Grant Pettit, sixth in 13:11.6; Sam Stadin, eighth in 13:18.0; Everett Gamst, ninth in 13:19.2; Connor Clausen, 26th in 14:09.5; Joseph Mikrot, 27th in 14:10.0; Levi Granda, 32nd in 14:16.8; Carl Halverson, 44th in 14:54.5; Davin Leino, 49th in 15:06.9; Anson Vargo, 61st in 15:51.1; Sam Collier, 65th in 15:59.7; and Blake Overland, 71st in 16:34.2.

Milaca Mega Meet

On Saturday, September 23, the Rebels headed to what is thought to be the biggest high school meet in the nation, the Milaca Mega Meet. With 18 races, close to 100 schools and close to 5,000 runners, it was inevitably a long day. It did not matter which race runners were in, the day started off hot and only got hotter with temps reaching the mid 80s and the dew points in the 70s. Like the Mora meet, though it felt worse, runners were being tended to and picked up all over the course by the many helpers on the lookout for heat related issues. Adding to the heat was a wet course that made it hard to run; one spot even claimed the shoe of one of the runners in a girls race who kept going and left it there for a spectator to pull out and set aside.

The races the Rebels had teams of five or more runners in were the eighth-grade boys finishing 15th out of 24, the ninth-grade boys finishing 11th out of 38, the ninth-grade girls finishing eighth out of 15 and the JV boys finishing 39th out of 50.

In the varsity 2A girls race, the Rebels finished 23rd out of 25, mainly because a couple of their runners ran in other races instead. For the varsity boys in the 2A race, the Rebels ended up 14th out of 23 teams.

The winner of the boys 2A race was Geno Uhrbom of GNK in a time of 16:10.57. I mention this because he ended up beating the Minnesota State Cross Country champion from last season, Declan Dahlberg, by nearly 20 seconds. Section 7 had three runners finish in the top eight of the runners in the race.

The best finishers of the day for the Rebels was Ethan Olson receiving a trophy for his sixth place finish in 17:06.32 and Kelli Granquist getting a ribbon for her 19th place finish in the ninth-grade girls race.

Next up for the Rebels is the Hibbing Rotary Invite on Thursday, September 28, the 67th Swain Invite in Duluth on Saturday, October 7, with the Polar League Championships in Grand Marias on Wednesday, October 11.

 

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