Wabasso girls cross country team tops Minnesota Valley Lutheran in debut

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette
The Wabasso Rabbits girls cross country team topped the MVL Chargers in its 2020 season debut.

The Minnesota Valley Lutheran School campus was the recent scene for the Wabasso Rabbit cross country teams season opener.

The gold and maroon put together a great team effort to split the varsity team battles in a meet featuring MVL and Wabasso.

On the girls’ side a 1-2-3 finish led the way, as the Rabbits topped the Chargers 21-35, while the defending Tomahawk Conference boys’ team of MVL held off the Rabbits 23-35.

There were no junior-high races conducted, so the young Wabasso runners will get their first action in the Rabbits’ home opener.

The meet – held Sept. 3 – was the first of seven meets on the docket for the Rabbits with all events scheduled at Tomahawk conference schools with either two or three team fields.

The Rabbits will host two teams at Sanborn Sept. 10 with the junior high races leading off with a 4:30 start. Cross Country fans are welcome to attend, but due to COVID-19 procedures spectators are asked to social distance and stay clear of the finishing areas and team camps. Fans can meet up with athletes at the conclusion of the meets. Please follow spectator guidelines as given at the meet.

It took about a quarter of a mile of running for the Rabbit girls to gain control of the girls’ varsity race over the softball and baseball circling route.

Sarah Franta, Halle Huhnerkoch and Madeline Hanna established themselves early as the front runners and held form throughout as the three seniors went 1-2-3 to sweep the top three spots.

Franta was the first to break the tape in 23:42. Huhnerkoch made a huge splash in her harrier debut to run five kilometers in 24:24, while Hanna placed third in 25:23 as the trio combined for just six team points.

Allison Parker was seventh in 27:16, and Natasha Doubler performed some late race heroics passing a Charger at the tape to save two team points as she grabbed the snowman spot of eighth in 27:25.

Two spots later in a top 10 finish Lonnah Maasch did the same thing by passing an MVL runner late in the race. Maasch wrapped up her race in 28:02.

Mataya Nelson placed 12th (28:54) and Annabelle Strunts was 13th (29:11) getting in front of the number six MVL runner. Jocelyn Jenniges (15th), Addison Jensen (16th), Mikayla Bliss (17th) and Hailey Jensen (19th) were all part of the 12 member group of Rabbit girls to make the 5K trek.

After tangling with the lead and the eventual winner and runner up Adryen Tietz placed third in his career debut over the 5K two-double loop course. Tietz was clocked in 22:10.

Tyler Bliss was the next Rabbit to break the tape snaring a top five finish in taking fifth in 22:31, while Joe Liebl was sixth in a time of 22:45.

Nicholas Irlbeck made history in becoming the first Wabasso High School athlete to finish a cross country race in six seasons by placing eighth in 23 minutes flat.

Aidan Kampsen rounded out the Rabbit scoring taking 13th in 23:55. Alex Schmiesing was 15th and Jacob Doyle was 17th.