AUSTIN EDITION - Groh hurt, Packers finish last
OWATONNA -- The Austin boys cross country team caught a bad break, literally, at the Big Nine Meet on Thursday.
Austin's top runner, senior Kevin Groh, missed the meet with a broken foot as the Packers placed 10th in the 10-team event.
"We were hoping it was just a sprain in his foot," Austin coach Tony Einertson said. But Groh's foot is broken and he will not run again this season, which now consists of just one more meet.
"He wasn't only our leader (physically), but mentally as well," Einertson said.
Mankato West won the meet with a stellar score of 34. Rochester John Marshall was second with 52. The Packers had 256 points.
"When you take out your top guy, you literally added 45 to 50 points to your team score," Einertson said.
"A 10th-place finish, it doesn't really reflect the kind of season we've had," the coach added. "It's not where the boys belong, but it's unfortunately where we ended up."
Sophomore Isaac Van Proosdy had Austin's top finish. He was 39th overall in 17:49.2. It was his best conference finish in three varsity seasons.
"He's just a sophomore, so that was a nice finish for him," Einertson said.
Jake Rausch (52nd), Matt Bartholomew (54th), Ojulu Ogilla (55th) and Andy Sundal (56th) ran in a tight pack for Austin.
"They all worked extremely hard," Einertson said. "In the end they passed a few guys."
Rausch had a time of 18:30.2, which was his fastest time by 20 seconds.
"He ran an excellent race," Einertson said.
The Packers will compete in the Section 1AA meet on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m. The meet will again be a Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna.
BIG NINE CONFERENCE
(at Brooktree Golf Course, Owatonna)
Boys team scores
Mankato West 34, John Marshall 52, Faribault 73, Owatonna 115, Winona 129, Mayo 163, Century 212, Mankato East 213, Albert Lea 230, Austin 256
1. Elliott Heath (W) 15:40.6; 2. DeyChak Wuol, Mankato West 15:55.0; 3. Seyfu Hassan (JM) 16:12.2; 4. Ryan Slack (MW) 16:15.8; 5. Sam Schmidt (F) 16:18.8; 6. Kevin Langlie (JM) 16:25.7; 7. Matt Long (MW) 16:32.2; 8. John Brust (MW) 16:42.7; 9. Peter Hoffman (M) 16:43.0; 10. Alex Prieve (F) 16:44.9.
Austin: 39. Isaac Van Proosdy 17:49.2; 52. Jake Rausch 18:30.2; 54. Matt Bartholomew 18:54.2; 55. Ojulu Ogilla 18:55.5; 56. Andy Sundal 18:57.8; 66. Cameron Hunter 19:22.0; 68. Brian Forman 19:28.4.