Mankato was definitely our toughest competition of the year. Most of the schools attending the meet were AA Division schools, Owatonna being a state team from last year. The tougher competition was definitely a challenge, but many athletes stepped up really well and had great races. The temperature was near perfect again with a decent amount of winding sweeping across the course. That didn't hold anyone back, though, athlete or fan! The course provided the fans the most access to cheering multiple times with the setup.
The Junior High Boys were missing their top runner, Deon Estebo, but still ran a good race. Conner DeGonda led the boys with his season best time as he finished in 19th. Spencer Gilk (32nd), Sam Fox (37th), Blake Hilde (39th), and Holden Kipfer (41st) helped Conner as scorers finish 5th as a team.
The Varsity Girls finished 6th as a team in the 7 team race. We raced 6 girls instead of the typical 7 because Lauren Karnitz was unable to come along to the meet. Kayla Huhnerkoch left the rest of the competitors behind about a half mile into the race as she won her eighth meet of the year. Mary Fixsen (12th) was the #2 Redwood girl as she ran her best time of the year. Nicole Bunting (20th), Clair Hammerschmidt (38th), Haylee Sovell (40th), and Charli Miller (41st) were the other Varsity competitors pacing the girls team.
The Varsity Boys finished in 3rd place. Ryan Phillips won his seventh meet of the year with a time of 16:48. He ran a very strategic race and broke away from three Owatonna boys with 800 meters left in the race. Alex Amunrud (9th), Wes Peyerl (13th), Josiah Passe (25th), and Marshal Quast (28th) were the other scorers for Redwood.
The Junior Varsity Girls were also missing a junior high runner, as Julia Prouty wasn't able to come to the meet. The girls finished 6th as they were led by Kirsten DeGonda's 53rd place finish. Jasmin Ovre (56th), Allie Spanovich (69th), Courtney Stoen (75th), and Bailey Bunting (83rd) also scored for Redwood. Kirsten, Jasmin, Allie, Kelsey Joines, and Kenzie Weelborg all ran their best times of the year.
The Junior Varsity Boys team had the highest finish of all of the Redwood teams and had some excellent races leading to their 2nd place finish. Boe Bidinger cut a second off of his time as he led the boys with a 10th place finish. Simon Grundemann (12th), Carter Menz (15th), Cole Gewerth (18th), and Aaron Boyle (23rd) were the other JV scorers. All five boys ran great races for us! Carter, Armando Davila, and Vaughan Johnson all ran their best times of the year.
Next week's Conference Meet in Worthington will be the last meet for our Junior High and Junior Varsity competitors, but will of course be welcome to continue to come to practice if they would like to! The meet will be on Tuesday and the first race is at 4:00.