Austin teams take fifth at Big Nine meet

Published 10:18 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Austin senior Max Gillen crosses the finish line at the Big Nine cross country meet Tuesday in Owatonna. -- Ian Stauffer/People's Press

The Austin boys and girls cross country teams each took fifth at the Big Nine Invite in Owatonna Tuesday.

The Packer girls placed three runners in the top-15 en route to their best conference finish in six years.

Haley Splinter was third, seventh grader Madison Overby was ninth, and McKenzie Besel was 14th. All three hit personal best marks and they all made the All-Big Nine team.

Austin's Haley Splinter runs at the Big Nine Meet in Owatonna Tuesday. Splinter finished third. -- Ian Stauffer/Owatonna People's Press

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“Haley ran a very smart race as she sat fifteen seconds behind the leaders and ran strong the whole way,” Austin head coach Tony Einertson said. “It was a nice accomplishment for the girls to take fifth.”

Seventh grader Justice Tabor took 38th overall in her first ever varsity race.

Nate Schwab led the Packer boys as he took 16th overall and with a personal best time that was 25 seconds faster than his old mark.

“Nate had been struggling a little down the stretch, but today he was right back where he belongs,” Einertson said.

Zach Fadness and Dylan Diekmann also ran personal best times and all three of Austin’s top runners made All Big Nine honorable mention.

Austin boys results: Nate Schwab (16th, 17:10.7); Zach Fadness (19th, 17:19.7); Dylan Diekmann (29th, 17:38.5); Max Gillen (43rd, 18:17.1); Andrew Baker (47th, 18:25.6); Gabe Deyo (48th, 18:28.0); Joe Gerber (59th, 18:54.4)

Austin girls results: Haley Splinter (third, 15:14.7); Madison Overby (ninth, 15:37.6); McKenzie Besel (14th, 15:51.7); Justice Tabor (38th, 16:43.4); Anissa Zynda (57th, 17:41.2); Kaitlynn Carrol (58th, 17:41.5); Martha McDermott (61st, 17:48.5)