By PATRICK SLACK
The Holdingford boys team narrowly missed out on a trip to state by six points, but for a second consecutive year will advance a pair of individuals beyond the section meet.
Junior Andrew Zachman took third overall in 16:44 and junior Abe Skwira earned eighth in 17:26 in the Section 6A meet at Long Prairie, Oct. 24, capturing repeat berths on to state.
The ninth-ranked Huskers finished with a team total of 112, just behind eighth-ranked runner-up Long Prairie-Grey Eagle’s 106 and 12th-ranked St. Cloud Cathedral’s 69.
“It would have been unrealistic to expect a much better team performance from the guys,” Holdingford head coach Mark Alcorn said. “They ran well and I was quite proud of them.”
The remainder of Holdingford’s scorers all finished in the top 45, including senior Nick Hiltner (18:04), sophomore Marcus Rick (18:15) and junior Jacob Thell (18:44), with eighth-grader Luke Ryan (19:00) and senior Ben Douvier (19:17) capping the lineup.
Seniors for this year’s Huskers included Hiltner and Douvier.
Carlson, Collins lead Royals, Becker paces Pioneers
Running side-by-side throughout the race, junior Zach Carlson took 16th in 17:50 and junior Tremayne Collins placed 18th in 17:51 to lead Royalton to seventh as a team.
The final qualifying individual earned 12th in 17:36.
Carlson advanced to state the previous two years, nearly earning a third trip in a row this season despite being hampered by injuries throughout the fall.
“Zach is a special athlete,” Royalton head coach Michael Marschel said. “He ran a 16:43 at the first meet of the year and I knew it was going to be a tremendous year for him.
“After that he only ran three meets before sections,” he said. “He probably should’ve took it easier, but the guy worked through the pain of his injury. I was still very pleased with his race. Of course I wanted him to qualify for state (but) he did his best and that I am proud of.”
Collins stepped into the lead role for Royalton for most of the fall, developing into one of the top distance athletes in the area.
“Tremayne had a solid season,” Marschel said. “He really began to figure things out and ran with confidence. I had high hopes for him. He, like Zach, fell just short of qualifying. It really comes down to one race to do it. Regardless, Tremayne was a tough competitor this year.”
Sophomore Ben Borash sped to 27th in 18:05, with freshmen Jordan Malikowski (19:02) and Thomas Strusz (20:48) also scoring for the Royals.
Royalton will return its entire roster next season.
“I expect us to be very competitive as a team next year,” Marschel said. “With some added depth and experience, we are going to be special. Let’s try to be injury-free for everybody next year.”
Junior Kyle Becker finished 41st individually in 18:35 to lead an incomplete Pierz roster, followed by sophomore Matt Janson (19:39), eighth-grader Bryce Hoheisel (20:46) and senior Mitchell Czech (22:40).
Seniors for this year’s Pioneers included Czech and Guilherme Nave Di Serio.