Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Al Rose
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Rebels cross country grows


Al Rose

The Moose Lake/Willow River/Barnum cross country team.

The Moose Lake/Willow River/Barnum cross country team continues to steadily grow under fifth-year head coach Adam Whelan and fourth-year assistant coach Sarah Thompson. "I had nine runners my first year," recalled Whelan. "We had the program grow to 20 and then to between 32 to 35 the next year. We had between 40 to 42 runners last year. We will likely have between 45-50 runners this year. As of right now, we have 46 runners. Included in that is 10 kids from Barnum and that's gone up, too. Our numbers can be fluid and may change during the first few weeks as some come to the team and others leave," the coach explained.

The team lost only three runners to graduation. "We graduated two boys and one girl," stated Whelan.

"Our returning senior boys are Joe Bustrak, a MLWR runner and captain, and we have Tim Vogt from Barnum. One returning senior girl is Sydney Bexell, a captain and a state cross country meet qualifier. Lily Geil, is also a captain and we have Alexis Oswald," said Whelan.

Ethan Olson, the school record-holder in the 1,600-meter run and the 3,200-meter run and a state cross country meet qualifier last fall, returns as a junior. "Ethan placed sixth in the 3,200-meter run at the state track meet this spring and he placed second in the section cross country meet last fall," Whelan stated. "Ethan is the other captain on our boys team. Our other junior returners are Aaron Bode, Mark Fossum, Jacob Danelski and Daniel Webb. We have no returning juniors on the girls team," the coach stated.

"Henry Collier and Lake Doran are Barnum sophomores. Our other sophomores are Sean Jungers and Danny Whited. We have four returning sophomore girls. They are Charis Blacklock, Meghan Granquist, Sarah Michels and Lexi Tekippe," stated the coach.

"We have a few freshmen who will likely make an impact," said Whelan. "Tan Dipman is a freshman who should be in the top five that score on our boys team. He ran a 5:07 in the 1,600-meter run in track," said Whelan. Savannah Gamst competed at the state cross country meet last fall as an eighth grader. "Savannah was coming on very strong in the 3,200-meter run in track. Laya Danelski could be in the scoring mix as well as Sophie Richardson from Barnum who went to the state track meet in the 100-meter dash last spring," added Whelan.

"I believe that in our section the strongest competition for boys will come from Ely, Greenway-Nashwauk-Keewatin, Esko and Eveleth-Gilbert. In the girls field, the top competitors will likely be Proctor and Ely," predicted the coach. "We feel both of our varsity squads will be competitive at the section meet as well as at our other meets," concluded the coach.

The teams compete at the North Shore Challenge at Pincushion Trails at 2 p.m. on Thursday, September 1. The GNK Titan Invite is at Eagle Ridge Golf Course in Coleraine at 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 8. The Mora Invitational is at the Spring Brook Golf Course in Mora on Tuesday, September 13 at 4:15 p.m. Both boys and girls varsity runners continue to compete over five kilometer courses.


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