John Van Kempen, WCA Knights Cross Country Coach
West Central Area Meet
BARRETT – What seemed like a poor choice a few weeks ago, hosting WCA’s first ever cross country race in the first week of school during a pandemic, we couldn’t have been more proud of how it went and how we competed.
Like in years past, no matter who is on the starting line for the Knights, when that gun fires, our kids compete. As coaches, we hope we have prepared them enough so that when they step to the starting line, they can run to their potential.
The Knights went on to win the both varsity races against Breckenridge/Wahpeton and United North Central.
The girls had Lexi Bright taking honors as she pounded out a 19:27 and set our very first course record, along with Kade Runge for the boys finishing in first at 16:53. And even though it’s the first ever meet and whoever would have won would also hold the course record, these will be hard to beat in upcoming years. The girls team scored 26 points to UNC’s 38 and B/W’s 60.
Following Lexi was Taylor Bennet in 3rd and rookie Macee Grosz in 5th. This was Macee’s first experience in a 5K, she was nervous and ran an excellent inaugural race. Terina Blasyck toughed out another race finishing in 8th with Alexa Blume right behind her followed by Brynn Fernholz in 11th and Chloe Larue in 13th. Chloe and Brynn have been running cross country for the Knights for six years and it was their first ever home meet.
The boy’s team again had a perfect score of 15 for the second consecutive meet. Our front pack with Kade, Kyle Schill and Alex Salwasser stuck together leading the race until Kade broke away at the end. All three of those guys are capable of winning a race. Alex finished in second, followed by Kyle Schill in third. Shad and Reubens Swanson were 4th and 5th for the Knights with Shad finishing in just under 18 minutes and Reubens a little over 18 minutes. Peyton Hanson was next in sixth followed by teammate Roman Mihailovski in 8th.
It was great to be able to win for both teams at our home meet in front of many supporters and classmates. These times are weird and we are hopeful we can all remain healthy and are able to have some sort of post season.