Marshall girls place first, boys second at home invite
MARSHALL — As they head towards the final stretch of their regular season, the Marshall boys and girls cross country teams looked to keep their momentum going with their second home invite of the season on Thursday at Independence Park. Marshall did just that, as the girls team took first place while the boys team took second in their race.
On the girls side, Marshall captured first with a team score of 23, followed by Windom Area in second (40) and Worthington in third (77).
Marshall girls coach Marie Sample said she was proud of the way her team competed, especially with how hard they’ve been working in recent weeks.
“I’m so happy with them; they went out and competed well,” coach Sample said. “We’ve been working hard and have been running some hard workouts, so I think they’re running on tired legs right now, but they really came and showed up here and did really well. I keep telling them that when you’re on a competitive team, a good team, you’re going to be moving around some; sometimes you might be our lead runner, sometimes you might be our fifth runner, or sixth or seventh, but everybody just needs to come and bring what they have every day and that’s what they’re doing.”
Marshall took seven of the top nine spots, led by Allyson Sample, who earned her first career individual victory with a time of 20:06.5. Bellamy Sukalski took fourth with a time of 20:47.5, followed by Miracle Tucker (21:04.5), Taleigha Bigler (21:14.9), Anna DeGroot (21:36.1), Cameen McFarquhar (22:09.2) and Gracelyn Foster (22:33.9) in the 5th-9th spots, respectively. Katherine Prahl took 11th with a time of 22:59.6 to round out their times.
Coach Sample added she felt they are continuing to do a good job of running as a pack and hopes they can get to improve their times even more at the Conference and Section meets.
“We talk to our kids about sitting back a little bit and just waiting instead of going out hard and just trying to run as a pack and I think they did a better job of that here,” coach Sample said. “They worked on it at the last meet too and that’s been working really well for them, they’ve been finishing stronger and running more negative splits so that’ll pay off here if they get to run at Conference and if we get to run a Section meet. That’s what we’re really practicing is getting our feet underneath us and getting ready for Conference and Sections and hopefully they will happen.”
On the boys side, Marshall challenged Worthington for the top spot, but ended up just a few points short with a team score of 36 while Worthington recorded a score of 32. Windom Area took third with a score of 56.
Marshall boys coach Brian Leibfried said they had not seen Worthington yet, but knew it was going to be a challenge against the reigning conference champions.
“We had not seen Worthington yet, and on paper, they’re a team that’s won the conference a couple of years in a row, so we knew that we were going to match up pretty well with them and that it was going to come down to some individual battles throughout the race,” coach Leibfried said. “We came up just a few points short, but I thought we put it on the line and tried to encourage some guys to take a risk because we knew it was going to be close and it gives us a chance to maybe come back next week and see them again and go for another battle against them.”
Marshall was led by Owen Holmberg, who had a second-place time of 17:05.9 while Zach Leibfried took fourth with a time of 17:46.7 and Josh Leibfried took seventh with a time of 18:05.7. Sam Deutz took 11th with a time of 18:23.8 while Ethan Bly took 12th with a time of 18:27 and Landon Wherry took 14th with a time of 18:35.5. Ashton Schnaser took 16th with a time of 18:51.9 while Daniel Olin took 17th with a time of 19:07.9 to round out their times.
Marshall will compete next on Oct. 1 at Redwood Valley at 4:30 p.m.