Packer boys win CC invite

Published 10:03 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Austin's Zach Fadness leads the field through the back portion of the course en route to a win in the boys' varsity race of the Austin Invitational Tuesday afternoon at River Oaks Golf Club. - Eric Johnson/

The Austin boys cross country team had standout performances from two of its most improved runners in taking first and the Austin girls took third at the Packer Invite at River Oaks golf course Tuesday.

The Austin boys had four runners finish in the top-10 as Zach Fadness won his first ever varsity race to lead the team.

Fadness, a senior in his first year out for cross country, took the lead at the one mile mark, then fell to third late in the race before taking over to win by five seconds over Albert Lea’s Steve Kreun.

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“I’ve always run on my own, but once you get conditioned you can go faster, and it helps so much,” Fadness said of running cross country. “I pushed it into the wind when they were slowing down and gained some ground. Then they caught me, but I just stuck with it and got them at the end.”

Austin also got a boost from junior Dylan Diekman, who took fourth and is coming on strong as of late.

“I wasn’t really expecting this, I was just kind of in cross country to get in shape for wrestling. I was thinking I was just going to be on JV,” Diekman said. “It’s a lot of fun and you get close to the teammates.”

Diekman said that cross country should give him quite a bit of help during wrestling season.

“It doesn’t do much for muscular endurance but I don’t think I’ll be out of breath during any matches this year,” he said. “I think it’s a good idea for a lot of wrestlers to do it.”

Pacelli took fifth out of five teams as Drew Chapek took 29th to lead the team.

In the girls race, Austin’s Haley Splinter was in second place coming down the stretch, but Albert Lea’s Bailey Thompson passed her and beat her by three seconds.

Austin's Haley Splinter runs with a group of runners during the girls' varsity race of the Austin Invitational Tuesday at River Oaks Golf Club. - Eric Johnson/

“I was trying, but I’ve had a cold and it’s down in my chest,” said Splinter, who took third. “It was a good race and I was right behind two really good girls. I’m happy with that.”

Albert Lea’s Chrissy Monson won the race.

Splinter, who missed a meet last week, is hoping to get her health back in line and start improving her times again.

“I’m getting better but it’s still bugging me,” she said. “I’ve just gotta keep running, that’s all you can do.”

The Pacelli team didn’t have enough runners for a team score, but freshman Madeline Kraemer had a strong showing as she was with the top five for the first half of the race and finished eighth overall, against some tough competition.

Kramer finished with a personal best time of 16:33.

“It was fun and it had a big race feel,” she said. “You hear about these runners a lot so you kind of know where you’re at when you’re running with them. It was one of my strongest runs of the year and it’s great motivation (keeping up with them) and now I feel like I know them a little more.”


Austin boys: Zach Fadness (first, 17:36); Dylan Diekmann (fourth, 17:56); Nate Schwab (sixth, 18:14); Max Gillen (eighth, 18:29); Andrew Baker (13th, 18:53); Gabe Deyo (14th, 18:58)

Pacelli boys: Drew Chapek (29th, 20:07); Stephen Juenger (38th, 10:53); Jonathon Koppa (53rd, 21:51); Kevin Juenger (66th, 23:31); John Ethen (72nd, 24:27)

Austin girls: Haley Splinter (third, 15:45); Madison Overby (fourth, 15:50); McKenzie Besel (sixth, 16:15); Kaitlynn Carrol (21st, 17:39); Justice Tabor (22nd, 17:51); Anissa Zynda (29th, 18:26); Martha McDermott (30th, 18:27)

Pacelli girls: Madeline Kraemer (eighth, 16:33); Sarah Kahle (26th, 17:59); Annie Holtz (27th, 18:16); Katherine Ethen (47th, 19:56)