The Jaguar varsity girls’ cross country team notched two impressive wins at the St. John’s ‘Johnnie Bread’ run and our home Hinckley-Finlayson Invitational.  The Jags have found their stride as the calendar has turned to October and hope to keep continuing this season momentum

The St. John’s course is already difficult enough.  The course winds through the campus’ woods and can be described as featuring rocks, roots and ruts.  This day decided to add a pre-race torrential downpour.  The Jags warm up was interrupted by a thunderstorm which quickly turned the course into a muddy, slippery adventure.  With many other teams riding the rain out on buses and going to the line dry, the Jags went to the line with both uniforms and spikes soaked through. As the teams start and head into the woods, coaches and spectators are left wondering how the race is going and only until the race is nearly finished does everyone get to know.  Reese Hartl was the first Jaguar to emerge, finishing in third place followed by her teammates Raechel Painovich 10th, Sophie Hodena 11th, Autumn Painovich 14th and Haley Geiger 15th.  A tight group finish is always good for the team score and was enough to defeat second place Wadena-Deer Creek and third place Hutchinson. 

At our home meet run at Grand National Golf Course, the meet features all the Great River Conference area teams plus Mora, North Branch, Cambridge-Isanti, and Chisago Lakes.  Again Hartl led the way for the Jags with a second place finish, Hodena was the second Jaguar finishing 11th, Painovich 12th, Corrina Tvedt placed 14th, and Haley Geiger 17th.  The Jags earned the victory by defeating second place Pine City. 

Other notable individual finishes from these meets included 1st place JV finishes for Violet Cox at St. John’s and McKenna Rabe at Hinckley.  Lauren Thom finished 2nd and Ava Anderson finished 10th at St. John’s. Leading the way for the Jaguar boys’ was Griffin Stiel at both meets with 27th and 47th place finishes.

The Jaguar cross country season is starting to come to a close.  The Jags ran in Royalton on the 12th, will run back at Grand National Golf Course on October 19th for the Great River Conference Championship Meet, and the varsity teams will run at Pierz on October 28th for the Section 5A meet and chance to qualify for state.

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