Cross Country: Six all-conference runners lead Little Falls girls to Granite Ridge championship

Sports Editor

The Little Falls girls cross country team captured the Granite Ridge Conference championship at Princeton, Tuesday. Team members pictured with the first-place trophy are (from left): seventh-grader Anna McNamara, freshman Amelia Kresha, junior Laura Moe, seniors Chelsea Rutz and Mattia Hendrickson, eighth-grader Kendal Hendrickson and sophomore Heidi Moe. (Submitted photo)

When a cross country team’s seventh runner finishes ahead of the rest of the field’s No. 3 competitor, odds are it was a pretty good race.

When it happens at the conference meet, it is usually accompanied by a haul of hardware, which is what the Little Falls girls experienced at Tuesday’s Granite Ridge Conference (GRC) championship in Princeton.

Six of the Flyers placed in the top 14 to earn All-GRC distinction with a seventh participant receiving honorable mention recognition.

Senior Mattia Hendrickson once again blazed the way for Little Falls, finishing as the runner-up with a time of 15:38.3.

Little Falls juniors Mathew Massmann and Cameron Smith each attained All-Granite Ridge Conference honors at Tuesday’s meet in Princeton. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Hage, Princeton Union-Eagle)

Senior Chelsea Rutz (16:27.46) and junior Laura Moe (16:28.08) finished back-to-back in sixth and seventh, respectively, with eighth-grader Kendal Hendrickson (16:33.39), freshman Amelia Kresha (16:38.9) and sophomore Heidi Moe (16:45.59) also earning All-GRC honors.

Seventh-grader Anna McNamara rounded out the championship roster in 16th place to earn honorable mention status.

Little Falls finished with a final team score of 35, dominating last year’s conference and Class A state champion St. Cloud Cathedral, which ended with 80.


Boys results

The Little Falls girls cross country team bunched seven runners into the top 16 to run away with Tuesday’s Granite Ridge Conference meet in Princeton. Pictured are (from left): senior Chelsea Rutz, Zimmerman sophomore Nikki Jurik and Flyers junior Laura Moe. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Hage, Princeton Union-Eagle)

Junior Mathew Massmann took 12th in 17:38.34 and junior Cameron Smith earned 14th in 17:47.74 to achieve All-GRC honors and lead the Little Falls boys to fifth place.

Eighth-grader Tyler Morore placed 17th in 17:55.38 to attain honorable mention, followed by senior John Brezinka (18:33.12), junior Dan Mushel (18:46.21), senior Brian McNamara (18:46.47) and freshman Jacob Massmann (19:14.02).

Next up for Little Falls is the Section 8AA meet in Bemidji, Thursday, Oct. 25.


Granite Ridge Conference championship

Boys team—1. St. Cloud Cathedral, 24; 2. Princeton, 94; 3. Albany, 99; 4. Mora, 103; 5. Little Falls, 110; 6. Foley, 119; 7. Becker, 165; 8. Zimmerman, 224; 9. Milaca, 276.

Medalist—Charlie Lawrence, Foley, 15:57.55.

Little Falls—12. Mathew Massmann, 17:38.34; 14. Cameron Smith, 17:47.74; 17. Tyler Moore, 17:55.38; 32. John Brezinka, 18:33.12; 35. Dan Mushel, 18:46.21; 36. Brian McNamara, 18:46.47; 41. Jacob Massmann, 19:14.02.

Girls team—1. Little Falls, 35; 2. St. Cloud Cathedral, 80; 3. Princeton, 90; 4. Albany, 115; 5. Milaca, 120; 6. Mora, 154; 7. Zimmerman, 169; 8. Becker, 171; 9. Foley, 250.

Medalist—Rachel Eickhoff, St. Cloud Cathedral, 15:28.14

Little Falls—2. Mattia Hendrickson, 15:38.3; 6. Chelsea Rutz, 16:27.46; 7. Laura Moe, 16:28.08; 9. Kendal Hendrickson, 16:33.39; 11. Amelia Kresha, 16:38.90; 14. Heidi Moe, 16:45.59; 16. Anna McNamara, 16:51.02.