The suspense of the Section 6, Class 1A cross country meet disappeared three years ago.
For the eighth straight year the Staples-Motley Cardinal boys, and for the third straight year the S-M girls, annihilated the competition Thursday at Staples to advance to the Class 1A state meet Nov. 2 at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
Chad Brever, back in action after an injury, led S-M with a second-place time of 16:39. The Cardinals finished with 21 points. Second-place Perham finished with 85.
"Chad ran and was our No. 1 runner," said Cardinals coach Gene Mattila. "He's just getting back into form. Greg Liebl (Montevideo) and Joe Radinovich of Crosby-Ironton are the two top runners. If you look at our (Mid-State Conference) meet Chad was right with Radinovich."
The Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines finished fifth. They trailed Sauk Centre and Montevideo, both of whom were ranked during the year.
"This is a tough section," said W-DC coach Terry Olson. "I don't know if there are many sections with this many good teams."
W-DC's Rocky Jantzen finished eighth to advance to the state tournament with a time of 16:51.
"The past four or five meets he's run against the kids he needed to run with and beat them in (Thursday's) race," said Olson. "They were all practicing for this one and he ran with the group that he needed to. In fact, he beat a kid or two that he had not beat all season."
Chad Brever of Staples-Motley sprinted to the finish line in the Section 6, Class 1A boys' cross country meet Thursday at Staples. Brever finished second.
The story once again was the Cardinal boys, who had four top five and six top 10 finishers. Behind Brever was Charlie Farber's 16:42 for third, Dan Huebsch was fourth in 16:43, Isaac Landecker fifth in 16:44, Dan Freeman seventh in 16:57 and David Reichel ninth in 17:07.
"The boys are working real hard yet," said Mattila. "We won't start tapering until Tuesday.
"For them to run a 16:45 average, we had five guys break 17 minutes, that's putting in a good effort on our course. They're real excited about what they did and they deserve to be."
Hannah Landecker won for the second race in a row to lead the Cardinal girls to the title with 41 points. New London-Spicer, one of two teams to beat the Cardinals in last year's state tournament, finished second with 50 points.
Landecker's time of 15:10 was just shy of her personal best, but Mattila was still impressed.
"To run a 15:10 is phenomenal," he said. "She beat three girls that are ranked in the state."
Steph Jares finished fifth in 15:35, Liza Milless was 10th in 15:48 and Courtney Robinson was 11th in 16:08.
"The girls are ecstatic," Mattila said. "I don't think you could express how happy they are. There was a lot of doubt because we lost a few runners."
Two of the Cardinals' top girls are out. Brittany Brenny suffered two stress fractures and is doubtful for the state meet and Amanda Reichel could return from her injury.
"The girls are sitting right about where we want them to be," said Mattila. "As much as we would like these girls (Brenny, Reichel) back, the team knows they don't need them to win."
Boys' team scores -- 1-Staples-Motley 21, 2-Perham 85, 3-Sauk Centre 97, 4-Montevideo 1-4, 5-Wadena-Deer Creek 140, 6-New London-Spicer 149, 7-Morris 165, 8-Lac Qui Parle Valley 197
Individual winner -- 1-Greg Liebl (Montevideo) 16:16
Staples-Motley results -- 2-Chad Brever 16:39, 3-Charlie Farber 16:42, 4-Dan Huebsch 16:43, 5-Isaac Landecker 16:44, 7-Dan Freeman 16:57, 9-David Reichel 17:07, 14-Dan Sveom 17:24
Wadena-Deer Creek results -- 6-Rocky Jantzen 16:51, 19-Brock Puskarich 17:37, 32-Andy Hay 18:13, 38-Eric Asfeld 18:36, 45-Matt Cary 19:02, 48-Nolan Buresh 19:14, 50-Zach Maas 19:24.
Girls' team scores -- 1-Staples-Motley 41, 2-New London-Spicer 50, 3-Sauk Centre 88, 4-Perham 99, 5-Wadena-Deer Creek 133, 6-Lac Qui Parle Valley 138, 7-Morris 167, 8-Montevideo 178
Individual winner -- Hannah Landecker (SM) 15:10
Staples-Motley results -- 5-Steph Jars 15:35, 10-Lisa Milless 15:48, 11-Courtney Robinson 16:08, 14-Kayla Smith 16:28, 46-Kelsey Griffith 18:20, 50-Amy Bernstrom 18:42
Wadena-Deer Creek results -- 18-Christina Tabery 16:49, 22-Avery Buresh 16:58, 25-Rachel Papilon 17:11, 27-Amanda Bristlin 17:19, 41-Shelby Tabery 18:04, 43-Samantha McGrane 18:10, 51-Morgan Paulson 19:09.
Next meet -- Class 1A state meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield Nov. 2.
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