The SJA Saints performed well at the South Central Conference Championship at Waseca on a blustery Tuesday night.

The boys and girls cross country teams competed in the I-90 Invite at Fairmont on Thursday, Oct. 4.

SCC Championship
    The SJA Saints performed well at the South Central Conference Championship at Waseca on a blustery Tuesday night.

    Johnathan Surber powered the boys team to a second place finish when he finished second in a time of 16:35 over the 5,000 meter course.

    Ashley Lahti finished second with a time of 15:37 over the 4,000 race. That helped lead the girls team to a third place finish in the South Central Conference.

    Head Coach Kyle Blomgren said, “I thought our kids raced well against some very tough competition. There were some highly ranked teams and individuals in both varsity races.

    “Ashley Lahti did a great job running a controlled race to move up into second - breaking up a state ranked duo from Waseca. John Surber also took second behind a highly ranked boy from Waseca. It's a credit to both individuals to finish that high in a very tough conference on a very cold and windy day in Waseca.”

    Other top finishers for the boys were Zuriel Chacon at 10th, Richy Soto at 15th, Tyler Witcraft at 17th, Noah Pinke at 20th and Wilmer Herrejon at 23rd.

    On the girls side Jessica Woratschka finished 13th, MacKinzee Miest finished 16th and Emily Hurley finished 21st.

    Blomgren said, “I was very pleased with the guts our boys  showed in holding off a very up and coming team from St. Peter.

    “Richy Soto and Tyler Witcraft did a great job to get ahead of a very tight pack of St. Peter runners. In a small meet, so many things can happen with a tight pack like St. Peter was running in.         

    “Zuriel Chacon also refocused well after fading a bit in the middle of the race and was still able to finish under 18 minutes.

    “Noah Pinke started a little back of where we would have liked to see him run, but did a tremendous job and used a great kick to outdistance a couple kids in the last 200 meters.”

    On the girls effort Blomgren said, “The girls varsity finished third, which is the highest girls finish I can remember. “Great races from Ashley Lahti who ran a very smart and controlled race and Jessica Woratschka looked strong in her first race back after taking some time off with an injury.

    “MacKinzee Miest also ran a very consistent race and did very well in her third varsity race while nearly breaking the 17 minute barrier. Her confidence continues to grow with each race. “Emily Hurley did a tremendous job of breaking away early and competing hard to get back to the area of the race we'd like to see her.”
I-90 Invite

    The boys and girls cross country teams competed in the I-90 Invite at Fairmont on Thursday, Oct. 4.    

    Johnathan Surber was the top finisher for the Saints when he placed second of 121 runners with a time of 16:30 over the 5,000 meter boys course.  Surber’s finish propelled the Saints to a place third team finish in the ten team field.

    Saints Head Coach Kyle Blomgren said, “John Surber continues to race with the best in southern Minnesota as he again locked it up nicely with a top 10 ranked runner in the state finishing just four seconds behind the winner. He is looking better at this point of the season than he ever has so I'm excited to see him continue to drop his time.”   

             Ashley Lahti placed third for SJA in a competition that had 95 total runners. Lahti’s time over the 4,000 meter course girls course was 15:45.

    “Ashley took control of her part of the race and took a solid third place in the girls varsity race. She did a tremendous job of setting a hard pace early and used her strength in the finish to hold off and actually increase her lead ahead of a very tough field behind her,” the Head Coach said.

    Other top 25 finishes for the varsity boys were Zuriel Chacon who finished sixth with time of 17:27, Richy Soto who finished 20th with a time of 18:12 and Tyler Witcraft came in 21st and one second later with a time of 18:13.

    Coach Blomgren said, “Zuriel Chacon also had a great step-up race as he took 6th and finished ahead of many of the top runners in our area. Richy Soto and Tyler Witcraft also both ran personal record times.”       

    The Saints Jr. High boys won their level of competition. There were sixty runners in the Jr. High event, and the Saints had five in the top eleven. Tommy Velasco came in first with a time of 5:20 over the 1,600 meter race. Lukas Pierson came in fifth, Eber Vazquez-Vite came in sixth, Alfred Esqueda came in ninth and Nelson Cuellar came in eleventh.  

     MacKinzee Miest came in fourth in the Jr. High girls race, Sadie Goossen came in seventh and Brianna Sanders came in ninth.