LARP boys headed to state cross country meet


TCR/SCOTT BESTUL Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson boys cross country runners scored a second-place nish at last week’s MSHSL Section 1A Cross Country Meet, earning a trip to the state meet this Saturday, Nov. 2, at St. Olaf College in North eld, Minn. Pictured above are the boys with their section trophy. Front row (L-R): Ryan Prinsen, Dalton Hoel and Brad Colbenson. Back row: Aaron Prinsen, Tyler Rislov, Luke O’Hare, Mitchell Ledebuhr, Ricky Buchanan, Andrew Hoiness and Grady Hengel.

TCR/SCOTT BESTUL After nursing a hip injury, LARP sophomore runner Tyler Rislov was back in action and earned a fifth place finish at the section cross country meet last week.
By: 
Scott Bestul

The Lewiston-Altura/Rushford-Peterson (LARP) boys’ team has had some bright moments this fall, but nothing compared to their performance at last Thursday’s MSHSL Section 1A cross country meet. Placing all five of its scoring runners in the top 25, LARP notched 71 points to grab second place....and a trip to the MSHSL State Cross Country meet. The state meet appearance will be the first for a LARP boys’ team since 2005.

It was a big day for LARP cross country on many levels. In addition to the boy’s state-qualifying finish, the LARP girls placed 10th in a 23-team field, and both squads earned “Gold” status in the academic honors. In order to achieve gold status, the combined Grade Point Average (GPA) of the entire team must be between 3.5 and 4.0 on a 4-point scale.

Boys’ results  

While the boys’ team has been successful in the last several weeks, they’d been operating without standout sophomore Tyler Rislov, who’d been nursing a sore hip flexor. Well Rislov came roaring back in the Section meet to grab fifth and help his squad to a state meet appearance. “I don’t think there was a place on his body that wasn’t sore after that race,” said Kingsbury. “Tyler had a terrific base of miles coming into the season, so I knew he wouldn’t lose much conditioning by resting. But he hadn’t done any racing in awhile. His performance was just pure guts and shows what kind of competitor he is.”

Luke O’Hare buried the 157-runner boy’s field once again, racing to an easy victory and clocking 16:48.7 for the 5K course. Rislov’s 5th kept the LARP team total down, but runners three through five helped seal the team’s second-place finish. Sophomore Andrew Hoiness ran a personal-best 17:50.1 to place 17th, Grady Hengel also ran a PR-setting 18:01.9 (Hengel was the fastest freshman in the race) to grab 23rd, and senior Ricky Buchanan clocked a competitive 18:11.2 to finish 25th.  Mitchell Ledebuhr and Aaron Prinsen rounded out the LARP squad, with Ledebuhr snagging 53rd place (18:53.10) and Prinsen 61st (19:01.8).

Lake City won the boys team title with 53 points, LARP was second (71), and LaCrescent-Hokah third (105). Rounding out the top ten in the 23-team meet were Pine Island (4th, 124 points), Stewartville (5th, 141), Rochester Lourdes (6th, 195), Chatfield (7th, 199), PEM (8th, 202), St. Charles (9th, 220) and Rochester Area Home School (10th, 277).

Girls’ results

Fielding a complete team for only the third time all season, the LARP girls finished 10th in a highly competitive field. “I always set lofty goals for the runners, and I told the girls we were shooting for a top-ten finish,” Kingsbury said. “They achieved that and I am very happy for them.”

Lauren Honken, LARP’s 8th-grade standout, was the team’s top finisher, placing 19th and running 21:07.3. Junior Hannah Linder had perhaps her best race of the season, running a 21:51.5 to place 41st. Ellie Ekern placed 45th and covered the 5K course in 22:03.8. Rounding out the scoring for the LARP girls were Grace Buchanan (51st, 22:15.3), Ceona Johnson (116th, 25:41.5) and Jennessa Larsen (121st, 26:16). Zumbrota-Mazeppa freshman Natasha Sortland was the individual medalist, topping the 135-runner girl’s field to win in 18:11.4.

Lake City claimed the girls team title, placing its five scoring runners in the top 28 to score 67 points. Stewartville was a close second with 74, and PEM was third with 109 points. Rounding out the top ten were Cotter (4th, 135), Rochester Lourdes (5th, 141), Rochester Area Home School (6th, 109), Chatfield (7th, 179), LaCrescent-Hokah (8th, 217), Pine Island (9th, 244) and LARP (10th, 261).

State-bound

The LARP boys will compete in the MSHSL Class A State Meet on Saturday, Nov. 2 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. The Class A boys race is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start. “They’ll run after the girls, which is a good thing,” said Kingsbury. “It will give them a chance to see what the start is like. There will be 16 teams of seven runners each, plus 64 individual qualifiers, so they’ve never been in a start that chaotic before.”  Kingsbury said the team will visit the course the day before, get registered and buy souvenirs. “Then we’ll probably return home and come back the next day for the race. The last time we were here (2005) we finished 14th. I think we can do better, but I always tell the kids ‘As long as you run your best race here, I don’t care where we place.’ It’s going to be a lot of fun and a gr