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CROSS COUNTRY: Mostad leads Jacks to 14th at state

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Bemidji High School girls cross country runner Regan DeWitt and Gwen Youso run in the Class AA state meet on Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield. (Submitted Photo)2 / 2

NORTHFIELD -- The Bemidji High School boys cross country team took 14th out of 16 teams while Regan DeWitt and Gwen Youso each finished in the top half individually for the girls at the Class AA state meet Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

“I thought we had a pretty decent day,” BHS head coach Ryan Aylesworth said. “We started off with the boys. They didn’t end up overall where they wanted to be, but I went and looked at the times from all these top teams and where everybody was at and kind of compared them to some of our past teams, and it’s definitely one of the fastest state meets top to bottom.

“... They got the opportunity to race at the state meet against the very best, and I think the younger guys can use this as experience moving forward for next year.”

Junior Gage Mostad led the way for the boys, finishing 41st with a time of 16:27.8, followed closely by Riley Berg in 53rd (16:41.1) and Nicholas Youso in 61st (16:54.1).

Zac Fouquerel-Skoe crossed the finish line in 81st (17:12.6) and Ethan Maish rounded out the team score in 88th (17:19.6), while Isaak McDonald (17:46.7) and Seth Lindgren (17:51.9) finished in 103rd and 104th, respectively, as reserves.

With the competition as steep as it was, Aylesworth said it takes a very high top one or two finishers or an extremely solid pack in order to compete with the top teams.

“You’ve got to have some low sticks to be kind of up there, unless you have a really tight pack that’s toward the front,” he said. “We had a decent grouping, it’s just that we needed to be up another group and it would’ve shifted us a little bit in the results.”

Edina won the boys team title with 88 points, followed by Mounds View (99) and Wayzata (112). Bemidji finished with 324 points, ahead of Willmar (325) and Cloquet (390).

Winning the individual title was Acer Iverson of Roseville with a time of 15:14.8.

Two of the Jacks three captains, Berg and Fouquerel-Skoe, are the lone seniors on the team and played a key role in getting the team back to the state meet this season.

“They’ve done a really nice job,” said Aylesworth. “Putting in the miles in the summer, helping lead the team over the summer, and along with junior captain Gage (Mostad), it’s been a really fun year. It’s been a great group of guys, and I’m proud of their effort. They got our team back to the state meet again, which now there’s only been 16 teams in all of Class AA that get to be there, and we got to be one of them so I’m very proud of the work they’ve done for the program and for themselves and their teammates.”

In the girls race, eighth grader DeWitt finished in a personal-best 19 minutes, 18 seconds flat for 71st place, and Gwen Youso followed in 86th (19:32.2) to finish in the top half of the 175 runners, which had been their goal going in, according to Aylesworth.

“They enjoyed the time, they enjoyed racing together and obviously learned a lot and hope that we can get them back here and maybe bring some more next year, too,” Aylesworth said.

St. Michael-Albertville won the girls team title with 70 points, with Emily Covert out of Minneapolis Washburn taking home the individual title with a time of 17:03.4.

Class AA State Cross Country Meet

Boys Team Results

1-Edina 88; 2-Mounds View 99; 3-Wayzata 112; 4-Stillwater 122; 5-Red Wing 139; 6-Forest Lake 208; 7-Buffalo 210; 8-Eastview 225; 9-St. Michael-Albertville; 10-Highland Park 244; 11-Moorhead 255; 12-Farmington 263; 13-East Ridge 268; 14-Bemidji 324; 15-Willmar 325; 16-Cloquet 390.

Bemidji Individuals

41-Mostad 16:27.8; 53-Berg 16:41.1; 61-Youso 16:54.1; 81-Fouquerel-Skoe 17:12.6; 88-Maish 17:19.6; 103-McDonald 17:46.7; 104-Lindgren 17:51.9.