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Boys cross country continues to roll, claim top spot at triangular meet

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer
Caleb Rivera led from the start of Thursday's meet in Butterfield and never looked back, clinching his third consecutive first place finish.

At last Thursday's home triangular meet, the St. James boys cross country team dominated the course once again, placing six runners in the top nine, once again being led by seniors Caleb Rivera and Juan Castaneda.

"They're doing really well," said head coach Brad Stark. "Caleb's been running by himself a lot and that can be difficult. If he had somebody by him he would fight them off and it would be even more competitive, but he's been doing really well so far. And that was Juan's best run ever for time."

Marco Crispin battled his way to a fifth overall finish at 18:00.

Freshmen Levi Miest and Ryan Pierson continue to go head to head, with Miest once again besting his buddy by only one second. Austin Knickrehm crossed the finish line right on the heels of Pierson.

"When you're younger you should improve faster," said Stark of his freshmen runners. "Levi never wants Ryan to beat him because they're friends, so that's good for them. They were behind after a lap and they passed around like ten guys. They're right on where I thought they'd be, not behind for sure."

Carlos Rodriguez finished 17th to close out the top seven.

With their prowess on the course, the boys have won each of their first three meets.

However, Waseca was able to keep is close, as St. James finished with 23 points, while Waseca had 34. Jackson County finished with 74 team points.

For the girls, sophomore Diana Rodriguez continues to improve from her freshman season.

"Her form is so much better, and her endurance," said Stark. "She's always been a grinder but now she's a grinder with a little more speed. So when you see her in the race she's always ninth, but you know she'll move up because she always passes people as it goes."

Katelyn Ojeda-callejas, America Trejo Esqueda, Natalie Rodriguez, and Maritza Rodriguez were the other varsity runners for the red and black, who finished with 68 team points. Jackson County Central finished with 46 points. Waseca won the triangular with just 19 points, as they placed four runners in the top five.


1. Caleb Rivera 16:41 (1)

2. Juan Castaneda 17:09 )2)

3. Marco Crispin 18:00 (5)

4. Levi Miest 18:18 (7)

5. Ryan Pierson 18:19 (8)

6. Austin Knickrehm 18:23 (9)

7. Carlos Rodriguez 19:43 (17)


1. Diana Rodriguez 22:22 (6)

2. Katelyn Ojeda-callejas 24:47 (16)

3. America Trejo Esqueda 24:48 (17)

4. Natalie Rodriguez 26:10 (19)

5. Maritza Rodriguez 26:46 (21)