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Packers run to another first place

Kyle, Kevin Dammen first and third at Mankato West Invitational

Post-Bulletin staff

MANKATO — The Austin High boys cross country team ran to a first-place finish in the Mankato West Invitational on Tuesday.

This was the second straight meet in which the Austin Packers have finished in first-place. Austin (32) took the top spot, with Rochester Mayo as the runner-up, Mankato West in third, and Mankato East finishing out the field for the boys meet.

There were also five girls teams on hand for the event. Rochester Mayo finished first on the day, and Austin (192) placed fifth for the girls meet.

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The Austin boys were once again led by Kyle and Kevin Dammen. Kyle Dammen was the top individual finisher for the meet with a time of 16 minutes, 33 seconds, and his brother Kevin placed third.

Christian Folken of the Packers was the fourth individual finisher. Tim Erickson of Austin was also in the top 10 for individuals with a ninth-place finish in the boys race.

"It was another great day for the boys team," Austin coach Tony Einertson said. "Kyle led from the gun to run a career best time. When we were talking about the race (yesterday), we talked about how he needed to get out a little harder in the first mile.

"Kyle took the race out in just under five minutes for the first mile and the rest of the boys followed along. Kevin and Christian also ran under 17 minutes in the meet. This is the first time that either of them have accomplished this. "

Erickson also ran a career best time in his ninth-place finish. Ben Bachmeier of the Packers finished 15th, Brandon Holtorf was 19th, and Travis came in 27th place. All of these runners also ran their career best times or very close to them.

On the girls side, the Packers celebrated the return of their top runner, Haley Splinter, who had missed the previous meet due to a leg injury. Splinter was the top individual for Austin with a 17th place finish on the day.

Kaitlyn Carrol, Katelyn Harder, and Lauren Thompson of Austin all finished right next to each other in the girls race. Martha McDermott placed 52nd for the Packers.

"Haley returned from injury to run a career best time of 16:19 to finish 17th among a very competitive field," Einertson said. "Kaitlyn, Kaitlyn and Lauren continue to drop their times as they took another 20 seconds off their season best times. Martha also returned from injury to run a fine time of 18:57."

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Austin runners now have a week off now before taking to Owatonna a week from Thursday to run in the Ev Berg Invitational.

MANKATO WEST INVITATIONAL

BOYS

Team results

Austin 32, Rochester Mayo 47, Mankato West 48, Mankato East 92.

Top 10 individuals

1. Kyle Dammen (A) 16:33; 2. Keaton Wendreth (RM) 16:41; 3. Kevin Dammen (A) 16:44; 4. Christian Folken (A) 16:44; 5. Aaron Ventoefer (MW) 17:01; 6. Kole Burton (MW) 17:04; 7. Clay Thomas (RM) 17:05; 8. Riley Maco (RM) 17:05; 9. Tim Erickson (A) 17:07; 10. Ryan Erdman (ME) 17:09.

Other Austin results

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15. Ben Bachmeier 17:27; 19. Brandon Holtorf 17:40; 27. Travis Hawley 18:13.

GIRLS

Team results

Rochester Mayo 30, Mankato East 43, Mankato West 57, Rochester John Marshall 152, Austin 192.

Top 10 individuals

1. Laura Hughes (MW) 15:01; 2. Amanda Blain (ME) 15:32; 3. Sarah Reen (RM) 15:55; 4. Hilary Neska (RM) 15:58; 5. Bailey Thompson (ME) 16:02; 6. Andrea Lrwagie (RM) 16:03; 7. Sara Lungrenn (ME) 16:04; 8. Francis Payne (RM) 16:04; 9. Leah Karsten (RM) 16:05; 10. Holly Hankens (MW) 16:09.

Austin individuals

17. Haley Splinter 16:19; 40. Kaitlyn Carrol 18:07; 41. Katelyn Harder 18:09; 42. Lauren Thompson 18:11; 52. Martha McDermott 18:57; 74. Cami Longueville 21:34; 77. Amanda Mattick 21:48.

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