MARSHFIELD, Wis. — Defending boys’ cross country state champion Wayzata held off Stillwater in the Marshfield Columbus Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 2 at Wildwood Park.
The Trojans scored 22 points to hold off the runner-up Ponies (53) in the Division I standings. Minneapolis Washburn, which is fourth behind the No. 3-ranked Ponies, followed in third place with a score of 84.
“I was pretty happy with it,” Ponies coach Scott Christensen said. “We ran a lot better than last year. Our top-five average was 47 seconds faster than last year, but we were also 30-some seconds faster at twi-light (time trial).”
It was the season opener for the Ponies, who were led by junior Addison Stansbury’s third-place finish in a time of 15:50.6. After starting conservatively, Stansbury finished strong to place behind only Wayzata’s Grant Price (15:45.5) and Khalid Hussein (15:49.4), who are the top-ranked individuals in the state coaches poll. Joseph Minor of Washburn finished fourth in a time of 15:56.6. Hussein and Minor finished 1-2 in this race a year ago.
“I kind of held him back for the first mile,” Christensen said. “Addison was 10th after a mile. He sort of worked himself back into it and was definitely catching those guys. I held all the guys back for the first mile.”
Senior Joe Hesse-Withbroe finished 11th for the Ponies in a time of 16:21.6 while teammates Jack DeGonda (16:27.3) and Ben Wicklund (16:30.5) were not far behind in 14th and 15th. Lars Dewall completed the scoring in 17th place with a time of 16:40.2.
Wayzata featured six of the top nine finishers and had eight runners cross the finish line before Stillwater’s No. 3. But it was an improved effort from a year ago when the Ponies placed third in this race.
“We want to win, but we didn’t,” Christensen said. “We’re definitely better than last year.”
Senior Noah Johnson finished 20th for the Ponies in a time of 16:57.6 while freshman Ethan Vargas (16:59.7) and senior Max Korth (17:07.2) placed 22nd and 25th.
Stillwater is scheduled to race at the Faribault Invitational on Friday, Sept. 8.
• Wayzata posted a perfect score of 15 in the JV race, but the Ponies followed in second place with 50 points. Dylan Olson (17:28.2) and Jacob Ring (17:29.9) were the top finishers for Stillwater in 9th and 10th place.
Division 1 team standings
1. Wayzata 22; 2. Stillwater 53; 3. Minneapolis Washburn 84; 4. Whitefish Bay 121; 5. Hudson 129; 6. Marshfield 140.
Top 5 (all divisions)
1. Grant Price (Way) 15:45.5; 2. Khalid Hussein (Way) 15:49.4; 3. Addison Stansbury (St) 15:50.6; 4. Joseph Minor (MW) 15:56.6; 5. Miguel Mathias (Nek) 15:59.4.
3. Addison Stansbury 15:50.6; 11. Joe Hesse-Withbroe 16:21.6; 14. Jack DeGonda 16:27.3; 15. Ben Wicklund 16:30.5; 17. Lars Dewall 16:40.2; 20. Noah Johnson 16:57.6; 22. Ethan Vargas 16:59.7; 25. Max Korth 17:07.2.