As a team, St. Michael-Albertville may not be ranked in the top 10 in either of the Class 2A cross-country rankings, but the Knights had plenty of success at the 62nd annual Swain Invitational on Saturday in Duluth.
Braving windy and rainy conditions that Knights coach Gregg Greeno called “the most brutal I’ve seen for a cross-country meet,” junior Chase Cayo set a personal best en route to a victory in the Class 2A boys’ race, covering Enger Park’s 5K route in a time of 15:54.7.
St. Michael-Albertville freshman Lizzy Heil took first place in the Class 2A girls’ race, outpacing South St. Paul’s Sarah Conlon to win in a 4K time of 15:17.2.
“Chase had a great race,” Greeno said. “The conditions were hurricane-like, but he just kept running better and better. It was the second-best boys’ time in school history.”
Heil’s victory was her first of the season and came as something of a surprise because junior Rachel King has been the Knights’ top female runner.
“The course was very hilly and the footing was bad,” Greeno said. “I think it affected Rachel more. But she’ll bounce back.”
Blake winning big
Flying under the football radar this season has been Blake’s 5-1 start. The Bears had one hiccup — a curiously lopsided 59-0 loss to St. Croix Lutheran — but have cruised in their five victories, winning by an average of 20 points per game.
A big reason has been running back Marcus Berg. The 5-foot-9, 190-pound senior has rushed for 950 yards in six games. His two best performances have been his most recent: a 229-yard outing in 34-13 victory over Breck and a 225-yard effort in Friday’s 31-13 victory over Providence Academy.
The Bears need to win just one of their two remaining regular-season games to equal their best regular-season win total since 2005.
DeLaSalle outmuscled in Wisconsin
DeLaSalle’s 16-14 loss to Eau Claire (Wis.) Regis on Thursday could be used a prime example of the value of ball control.
Regis outgained the Islanders on the ground, rushing for 216 yards to just 72 for DeLaSalle, and had a 2-to-1 advantage in total plays from scrimmage, 75-37.
DeLaSalle did have an advantage through the air as quarterback Billy Hart completed 15 of 21 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. But Hart also threw two interceptions, including one at the Regis 10-yard-line in the closing seconds of the game.
Jim Paulsen • 612-673-7737