Despite having just five runners cross the finish line the Redwood Valley girls cross country team battled cold, blustery conditions at the Mountain Lake Golf Club to earn a second-place finish at the Big South Conference (small school) meet held Oct. 15.

The Cardinals finished with 53 team points to place behind Luverne (27) and ahead of Pipestone Area (63) in the seven-team race.

Maddie LeSage led the way for the Cardinals earning a second-place finish (sixth overall) with a new personal best of 19:05. Senior Jasmine Barnes knocked 46 seconds off of her personal best to finish seventh in 20:22, and eighth-grader Olivia Stoterau set a personal best as well, placing 12th in a time of 21:10.

McKenna Flinn knocked 44 seconds off of her season best to finish in 21st (22:31), and Payton Schueller set a personal best by 50 seconds to place 22nd (22:32).

The Cardinals were without the services of Catherine Buffie and Grace Caraway, and eighth-grader Michelle Smith had to drop out of the race due to health concerns.

Rachel Huhnerkoch (23:06) led the JV team to a first-place finish with a new personal best, Madalyn Munsell (23:24) added a season best in finishing third, Lizzie Guggisberg (24:30) was sixth with a new best and Danica Kent knocked a whopping 5:52 off of her season best to finish eighth in a time of 24:55.

Cassie Omtvedt was 11th, Ari Shaw-Kerkhoff 13th, Brooke Zollner 14th, Gracelyn Malecek 16th, Aubrie Milhausen 19th and Lailanii Arellano 21st.

The Redwood Valley boys, meanwhile, earned a third-place finish with 88 team points.

St. James Area rolled to the small school title with 21 points, followed by Pipestone Area (82) in second in the seven team race.

Jayson Peyerl led the way with a fourth-place finish (ninth overall) in 16:42. Mason Clark (16:58) set a new personal best to finish seventh, and Camden Cilek (18:20) was 23rd.

Tate Goodthunder (18:26) set a new personal best to finish 25th, Luke Hammerschmidt (18:43) was 29th, Leo Steffl (18:47) 30th and Beau Allen (19:06) set a new season best to finish 35th.

Kilen Cilek had a season best time of 19:42 to earn a 13th-place finish for the JV. Keegan Holzapfel (19:48) was 14th and Cohen Frank (20:42) established a new personal best to finish 26th.

Will Ahrens was 31st, Jack Frank 37th, Lucas Elmer 48th, Mason Bawden 49th, Owen Smith 55th, Kody Robinson 57th, Landyn Nordby 62nd, Noah U’Ren 63rd, Aidan Salmon 64th, Tevin Sivixay 66th, Jacob Zollner 67th, Elway Berg 71st, Levi Stoneberg 73rd, Thomas Gerke 76th, Angel Sandoval 77th, Shaun Matthews 78th and Garek Markuson 79th.

The Cardinals will now gear up for the big Section 3A meet which will take place Oct. 24 in Madison.

- Photo by Jon Markuson