Racing on their home course in the second session of the day’s four, Bemidji boys cross country captured the 2020 Section 8AA team championship Thursday afternoon at Greenwood Golf Course, while senior Nathan Alto won the individual race by a 15-second margin.
Despite a staggered day of racing causing an extra wait to ensure they had won the title, Bemidji finished with 53 points from the placements of its top five finishers to top second place Alexandria’s mark of 64 and Brainerd’s 108 in third place. The top five times for the Lumberjacks combined for a collective mark of 1:25:47.3.
Though no State meet will follow due to COVID-19, the Section title victory capped off a tremendous fall for the Lumberjack boys, who had won all six triangular meets they had run in during the course of the season.
Alto completed his own excellent fall season by flying to the individual title with a time of 16:29.3. Sam Brewer of St. Cloud Apollo followed with a mark of 16:44.2, with Jacob Kleven of Alexandria taking third at 16:52.3.
Nicholas Youso also cracked the top 10 for Bemidji by placing sixth with his 17:02.4 time. Ethan Maish followed in 8th after finishing at 17:07.5.
Team scoring runs for Bemidji also came from Carson Maish (18th place–17:32.8) and Josef Lalli (20th–17:35.3). Brooks Matetich took 24th with a time of 17:41.2 and Isaak McDonald placed 39th after a run of 18:10.5.
The Section championship is the first since 2016 for the Lumberjacks, who finished as runners-up in Section 8AA the past two seasons.
The Section 8AA girls championships will be held today at Greenwood Golf Course, with sessions at 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm. The Bemidji girls will run in the final session of the day beginning at 5pm.