The Osceola boys cross country team showed off in front of its home crowd Saturday.
The Chieftains had four runners place in the top 20 to win its own Invitational with 83 points. Grantsburg was second with 93. Holmen placed third with 119.
Quinn McDonald claimed the individual title with a time of 16 minutes, 43.7 seconds. Grantsburg’s Will Gerber was second, 13 seconds behind. Park Cottage Grove’s Parker Hahn was third at 17:15.3.
“Quinn McDonald continues to race relaxed and with confidence bringing home two individual race titles against great competition,” said Osceola coach Rachael Robinson.
Mason Hancock was the next Chieftain as he placed 11th (17:47). Ethan Hall was 15th (18:10), followed by Dylan Salewski, who finished 20th (18:36.2). Brayden Bradway completed the Osceola scoring in 35th place (19:01.6).
“Mason Hancock made a return to the varsity lineup this week and his presence definitely made an impact,” Robinson said. “He was a key factor in both first place team finishes.”
Meanwhile, for the girls, Rachel Ulrich’s second place finish led the Chieftains to a third place finish.
Mahtomedi High School had four runners place in the top 13 to win the team title with 62 points. Holmen was second with 83. Osceola scored 93.
Minnehaha Academy freshmen Greta Gesick defeated Ulrich by 11 seconds to win the individual title. St. Croix Central’s Kaitlyn Carlson was third.
Kya Krenz was the next Chieftain to finish behind Ulrich as she was 19th (22:47.9). Chloe Backlund was 20th (22:48.7). Adelyn Ellefson finished 25th (23:13.1) and Merri Johnson took 27th (23:20.8).
“Adelyn Ellefson and Chloe Backlund made significant impacts on the girls side,” Robinson said. “Both athletes positively affected our team score by reducing the gap between themselves and their teammates. Kya Krenz continues to gain confidence and strength with each race, also influencing the gains we make on our competitors.”
Boys, McDonald take first at Rice Lake
While McDonald’s first place finish at the Osceola Invite was certainly noteworthy, his first place finish at the Rice Lake Invitational Sept. 14 was even more impressive.
With nearly 200 runners and 26 schools fielding a boys team, McDonald defeated Grantsburg’s Gerber again, this time by four seconds (16:23.43 to 16:27.81).
Chippewa Falls McDonnell Central’s Dan Anderson was third at 16:36.17.
The Chieftain boys had five runners place in the top 30 to win the team title with 92 points. Hudson was second at 116. New Richmond placed third at 131.
Hancock was the next Osceola runner as he was 17th (17:51.62). Hall placed 22nd (18:02.88). Bradway finished 25th (18:19.32) and Carver Lundholm rounded out the Osceola scoring with a 27th place finish (18:21.16).
“Carver ran a career personal best at Rice Lake and executed a very smart race plan,” Robinson explained.
At the same time, the girls finished sixth with 195 points.
Ulrich just missed a top three finish. Menomonie’s Isabella Jacobsen finished first at 18:07.34, more than a minute faster than New Richmond’s Marah Benedict. Eau Claire North’s Katie Rassbach finished third at 19:27.13. Ulrich was five seconds behind Rassbach.
Backlund was the next Chieftain runner as she placed 37th (22:03.91). Ellefson was 47th (22:42.76). Krenz took 51st (22:50.54) with Johnson finishing 56th (23:01.01).