Above: The boys cross country team shows off their second-place section trophy. It includes, from L-R, front row: Corbin Deichman, James Younge, Carter Zimmerman and assistant coach Mitchell Johnstone. Back row, head coach Dale Compton, Soren Kelly, Jorden Rossow, Nathan Strobel, TJ Waldron, Sam Vetter and assistant coach Alex Nuy. (Photo courtesy of Dale Compton)
Except for a hiatus last year, when there was no state meet, the Loyola/Cleveland boys cross-country team has had a tradition of making a trip to the St. Olaf campus in Northfield on the first Saturday of November.
With a second-place finish in sections at Blue-Earth on Friday, the Crusaders will once again return to the state meet. It will be their fifth-straight trip.
The young team also had a trio of All-Section honorees: sophomore Nathan Strobel with an 11th-place finish (18:12.8), sophomore Jorden Rossow with a 14th-place finish (18:17.1), and junior James Younge in 15th place (18:28.5).
“Our boys team ran great today,” said head coach Dale Compton. “We have been working so hard for this moment. Every one of our runners gave exceptional efforts and that's all we could ask for.”
Rounding out the top five, freshman Sam Vetter was 16th (18:29.5), and eighth grader Corbin Deichman was 18th (18:37.5). Pushing the quintet along, eighth grader Soren Kelly was 35th (19:09.1), and freshman TJ Waldron was 47th (19:36.8).
St. James Area had the first-and second place finishers (16:52.9 and 16:56.9) and won the section with 39 points. Loyola/Cleveland had 74 points, seven better than Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial/Nicollet.
Fourteen teams and 101 runners competed. Norwood-Young America was 4th (124), Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton was 5th (135), and Martin County West was 6th (177).
The Crusader girls finished 14th of 15 teams. Moly Koester was 18th (22:13.4), Kathryn Huisken was 57th (24:52.0), Jewel Factor was 63rd (25:20.6), Cora Koester was 64th (25:20.7), and Alexa Bolstad was 96th (33:56.7).
Strobel, Rossow and Younge also competed at state in 2019. Now an assistant coach, Mitchell Johnstone was a member on the Crusader’s 2016-2019 state teams.