LARP boys 15th at state cross country meet

Scott Bestul

The Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson (LARP) boys’ cross country team placed 15th at the MSHSL Class A State Cross Country Meet last Saturday, Nov. 2. The state meet appearance was the first for a LARP boys’ team since 2005.

LARP coach Matt Kinsgbury said, “Overall, the boys ran very well, though we were shooting for a few places higher in the team standings. But they now have state meet experience, which is very valuable. Luke (O’Hare) ran a fantastic race, making the All-State team and running a personal best time. Mitchell (Ledebuhr) was our number six runner and also had his best race of the year.”

As noted, Luke O’Hare paced the LARP squad, finishing 17th overall in 16:29. Sophomore Tyler Rislov was LARP’s second finisher, placing 112th and running a 17:35.6. Rounding out the team were Andrew Hoiness (138th, 18:08), Grady Hengel (142nd, 18:16.8), Ricky Buchanan (144th, 18:18.9), Mitchell Ledebuhr (151st, 18:37.6), and Aaron Prinsen (160th, 18:59.7). Geno Uhrbom of Greenway/Nashwauk/Keewatin was the individual medalist, topping the 175-runner field with a time of 15:27.6.

Sixteen teams and 64 individual qualifiers competed in the Class A meet. Perham won the team trophy, scoring 75 points and narrowly defeating runner-up West Central, which tallied 83. Rounding out the scoring were St. James (3rd, 154 points), LQPValler/Dawson-Boyd (182), Staples-Motley (184), Nova Classical Academy (200), Minnehaha Academy (220), Lake City (228), Greenway/Nashwauk/Keewatin (235), E. Grand Forks (239), St. Cloud Cathedral (264), Ely (271), Mankato Loyola (282), Heritage Christian (287), LARP (321) and Redwood Valley (352).

Though not the team finish he’d hoped for, Kingsbury had nothing but praise for his squad. “The coaches are extremely proud of this group of runners,” he said. “They put in a lot of work in the summer and during the season and it was great to see them get rewarded. The team will all miss Ricky (Buchanan) and Mitchell (Ledebuhr), but we’re hoping this state meet experience will light a fire under the younger runners, and we’re looking forward to another great season next year!”