Stacking the pack

C-I teams group up well at Bluejacket

The Cambridge-Isanti cross country squads showed good form while hosting their annual Bluejacket Invite at the Grandy Nine GC Sept. 8. The Jacket boys finished 3rd and the girls 6th in races that highlighted some of the state’s top harriers on the muggy day.

C-I boys varsity runners Galligan, McCormick, Kalk and Mendieta paced each other at the hot Bluejacket Invite Sept. 8.

“For both our squads, they really had a plan to pack race. For the most part this was very positive. You can see the spread for the varsity boys was less than 15 seconds between the first and fifth runner,” exclaimed C-I Coach Josh Lowman. “This course is not a fast course, and we really had a nice week of work. As these times come down, with a spread like that, we can really surprise some teams.

“The girls showed that they are looking to build a competitive squad in beating section-mate Princeton and are now focused on Chisago Lakes and St. Francis. Both of those teams have some nice runners. But I believe that if we can put all of our girls in before their fourth and fifth runners we are very competitive with them.”

Sophomore Alex Mendieta led the way for the C-I boys with an 18:23 finish, while junior Paige Muehlhauser paced the Jacket girls for the second straight meet with her 18:06 run.

The Forest Lake girls surprised a highly-ranked Andover to win the invite title, setting up a great showdown come sections since the Huskies are new 7AA members this season. The 6th-ranked Andover boys flexed their strength by beating a solid squad from Centennial.

C-I girls leader Paige Muehlhauser strode just ahead of her teammates near the midway point of the Invite.

Medalists for the meet were Chisago Lakes senior Luke McKenzie (16:37) and Andover sophomore Madeline McKeefry (15:33). McKenzie slipped past state-ranked Mitch Fisher of Andover by 5 seconds, and CL’s Abigail Forsman was runner-up to McKeefry by 19 seconds.

“There should really be some great races in Cloquet come October,” said Coach Lowman of the highly-competitive Section 7AA finals.

• The Bluejacket boys JV also finished 3rd at the invite, placing behind Centennial and Chisago Lakes. Placing in the top-20 were Darren Codner (10th, 19:34), Dylan Korta (11th, 19:37), Aaron Allen (16th, 20:07), Stuart Yurczyk (17th, 20:07) and Parker Nicastri (19th, 20:11).

The C-I girls JV finished 7th, led by Brooke Thunstrom (20:26), Michelle Ziebarth (21:33), Kaelyn Rosenberg (21:44), Shelby Sylvester (22:44) and Rebeka Dowell (22:32).

The Bluejackets will be tested against more section foes at Thursday’s St. Francis Invite.

Bluejacket Invite

Boys Team 5000k: Andover 25, Centennial 46, Cambridge-Isanti 84, Chisago Lakes 107, Princeton 138, St. Francis 144, Meadow Creek inc.

Bluejacket results: Alex Mendieta 14th, 18:23; Trevor Galligan 16th 18:35; Sam Renier 17th 18:36; Kyle McCormick 18th 18:37; James Edstrom 19th 18:38; Anthony Mendieta 25th 19:00; Jordan Kalk 26th 19:09.

Girls Team 4000k: Forest Lake 35, Andover 38, Centennial 74, St. Francis 124, Chisago Lakes 128, Cambridge-Isanti 159, Princeton 175, Meadow Creek inc.

Bluejacket results: Paige Muehlhauser 25th 18:06; Erica Young 31st 18:47; Alex Nelson 32nd 18:54; Taylor Oullette 33rd 19:00; Maddie Oullette 38th 19:33; Amy Head 39th 19:37.