MOORHEAD – The first meet of the season is always a highlight and Monday at the Shocky Strand Invitational the Bemidji girls and boys cross country teams gave memorable performances that resulted in an individual girls title and a team championship in the boys division.
Behind the 2-3 finishes of Sam Carlson and Elias Hendrickson Bemidji’s boys team won the team title with 46 points. Perham, which is ranked No. 1 in the Class A early season poll, was second with 53 and Moorhead, which is rated No. 10 in Class 2A, was third with 68.
“This is the first time we have won the team boys championship in at least the 10 years I’ve been here,” said BHS coach Ryan Aylesworth. “It was very nice to see the boys compete at this high of a level so early in the year. Our job now is to keep working hard and improve.”
Carlson placed second overall in 16:57.2 and Hendrickson was third in 16:57.7. They trailed only Perham’s Keeghan Hurley who completed the 5,000-meter (3.2 miles) course in 16:41.
The Lumberjacks had four other runners in the top-20 - Billy Freyholtz who finished 11th (17:16), Seth Neubeck who was 13th (17:38), Adam Lewis who was 17th (17:42) and Cody Freyholtz who was 18th (17:43).
Kyle Sagedahl finished 23rd (17:56).
“I actually expected us to run this well,” Aylesworth said. “After our 2-mile time trial during practice last week I thought we would have a good start to the season.”
Jenna Trudeson is going to win many races this fall and the BHS sophomore didn’t take much time notching her initial victory.
Monday in Moorhead Truedson blew away the competition with a time of 14:5s1 in the 4,000-meter (2.5-miles) race.
A distant second was Taylor Janssen of Moorhead who was clocked in 15:47.
“Jenna had a very good day,” Aylesworth said. “This was her personal best on this course. She was all alone but still ran hard. In high school cross country you don’t often see someone win by this much.”
Bemidji placed fourth in the team chase with 97 points. Willmar took first with 29 and was trailed by Moorhead (39) and Perham (85).
Dani Gronhovd was Bemidji’s second runner to cross the line as she was 12th overall in 16:41. Nicole Erdmann finished 23rd (17:42), Emma Brokl 27th (17:57), Hannah Dressen 34th (18:10) and Leann Oakes 42nd (18:50).
“It was a positive start to the season,” Aylesworth said. “Moorhead is ranked in the top 10 but Willmar was even better. Overall, I was pleased with our performances. We were in the middle of the mix and our goal next time will be to get into the top third.”
Bemidji’s next action will be Sept. 7 at the Bemidji Invitational which will be held at Greenwood Golf Course.
Shocky Strand Inv.
Girls Division – 4,000 meters
Willmar 29, Moorhead 39, Perham 85, Bemidji 97, Park Rapids 119, Detroit Lakes 155, Fergus Falls 168, Pelican Rapids inc.
1-Truedson (Bem) 14:51; 2-Janssen (Moor) 15:47
Other Bemidji: 12-Gronhovd 16:41; 23-Erdmann 17:42; 27-Brokl 17:57; 34-Dressen 18:10; 42-Oakes 18:50
Boys Division – 5,000 meters
Bemidji 46, Perham 53, Moorhead 68, Willmar 91, Park Rapids 145, Fergus Falls 153, Detroit Lakes 172, Pelican Rapids inc., Dilworth-GF inc.
1-Hurley (Per) 16:41
Bemidji’s results: 2-Carlson 16:57.2; 3-Hendrickson 16:57.7; 11-B.Freyholtz 17:16; 13-Neubeck 17:38; 17-Lewis 17:42; 18-C.Freyholtz 17:43; 23-Sagedahl 17:56