Taking five of the first six spots, the Mankato Loyola-Cleveland boys cross country team easily won its season-opening meet, which was held on Loyola Hill on Thursday.
Even though he is in his first year as head coach, Landon Javens wasn’t surprised.
“We trained hard over the off season, so we were excited to come into the first race of the year to see what we could do.”
The Crusader varsity girls were fifth of six teams.
Soren Kelly was first among the 61 varsity boy runners with a 17:10.54. Kyle Zimmerman finished in second place with an 18:00.30. Clustered together, Nathan Strobel was fourth with an 18:28.05, Sam Vetter was fifth with an 18:29.96, and TJ Waldron (above) was sixth with an 18:30.46.
Teamwise, the Crusaders were way out front with 18 points. Springfield was second with 63. Lester Prairie was third with 91, Le Sueur-Henderson was fourth with 111, Maple River was fifth with 117, and Waterville-Elysian-Morristown was sixth with 121.
Elijah Mons was 38th with a 23:46.55, Thayne Remiger was 45th with a 25:30.00, and Charlie Maxfield was 60th with a 33:40.30.
With a 27:34.46, senior Jewel Factor finished 31st among the 45 varsity girl runners. The winning time was 19:54.30.
With 66 points, Maple River won the meet. GFW was a point behind for second place. Springfield was third with 70, WEM was fourth with 88, Loyola-Cleveland was fifth with 91, and Lester Prairie was sixth with 104.
Javens ended was a Crusader who last ran in the fall of 2017. Assisting him is Cleveland social studies teacher Casey Olson while Javens’ younger sister Eaden Javens is the junior high coach.
In the junior high boys 1800 M race, Rollie Matejcek came in first with an 8:59.05.
Francis Bierer was second, Jackson Bilitz was third, and seventh grader Reece Nelson took fourth with a 9:46.99.
In the junior high girls 1800 M, seventh grader Charlotte Meyer, over 75 seconds in front of her nearest competition, was first with an 8:59.67. Sixth grader Kenzie Kortuem was seventh with a 10:28.62.
The Loyola-Cleveland cross country runners return to action on Thursday when they race over the Montgomery National golf course.
Senior Nathan Strobel
Senior Jewel Factor.
Elijah Mons works his way around traffic.
Junior high runners Charlotte Meyer, Kenzie Kortuem and Reece Nelson.