Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023 Church Directory
Owen Layton (center) and Jack Leuer (left) run with the lead pack a week ago at Big Lake. Layton finished second and Leuer third at the Annandale Invitational last Saturday. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

Hornet runners improving times with every meet

The Big Lake cross country runners continue to improve in the early season.

Last Saturday, the Hornets competed in the Monticello Invitational at Bertram Lakes Regional Park and did well.

“We are a pretty young team this year, and it is remarkable the progress the runners have made so far,” said Coach Todd Trutna. “Across the board, the  runners performed better at this meet than at our home invite a week ago, some markedly so.     

Owen Layton led the Big Lake varsity boys with a second place finish in 15:54, just seven seconds behind the top AA-rated runner in the state, Sal Wirth from Annandale.  Jack Leuer was a second behind Owen in third in 15:55.

Gavin Flavin placed 11th in one of his fastest races as a Hornet in 17:22.  David Guyse was 25th and Gavin Vold 30th as the final scorers as Big Lake finished second behind Monticello in the 11-team competition.

Emilee Doperalski was the top runner for the girls varsity squad. Campbell Slattery was next across the line in 37th in 23:50.4. Both Emilee and Campbell  improved by a minute from last week, as did all the varsity and JV girls. Brynn Scheer, Alyana Boe and Raina White improved by a couple minutes or more.

Eighth-grader Judd Layton, who won the boys middle school race a week ago, moved up to JV and finished second in 18:24.6. Jack Schmidt was also in the top 25 in 21:14.

Even without Judd, the middle school boys placed second behind Sartell. Max Baron won the individual title in 8:43.6. Eli Henning took third in 8:53.5. Logan Phillips (9:55.2) and Dallas Kopp (10:02.3) broke the top 20. Peter Mattison had his best race of the year and was the final scorer for the team in 37th.

“There is plenty of talent to be excited about in the coming years,” said Trutna.

Greta Layton continued her dominance at the middle school level, running away from the field to win the 2400 meters in 9:18.2, more than 40 seconds ahead of her closest competitor.  Elsie Jagusch was 29th, Hazel Guldseth 43rd, Chloe Howe 47th and Emily Stokes was 60th to round out the top five scorers.  

“Last year we only had one girl on the middle school squad, and this year we have 11,” said Trutna. “They are a great bunch, they work hard, show grit and seem to be having fun. Their improvement has been very rewarding.  Our entire team will grow and improve so much over the next month, we are so excited to see what the next month brings.”

The Hornets competed in the Annandale Invitational Tuesday, results next week. They run at Cold Spring Thursday.