By Jim Rueda
Free Press Sports Editor
NORTHFIELD — Waseca sophomore Shane Streich turned in one of the top performances of his career on Saturday and it showed in the results of the Class A state boys cross country meet at St. Olaf College.
Streich delivered a time of 15:52.9 to place third overall and help the Bluejays to a third-place team finish. Matt Welch of Proctor was the runaway individual winner in 15:34.0 and Foley’s Charlie Lawrence was second in 15:46.5.
Streich, who finished fifth in 2011, cut about 22 seconds off his previous year’s time.
“I ran the race I wanted to,” Streich said. “I wanted to get out to a fast start and I stayed with the lead pack the whole way.
“It was a nice pace. I was pleased.”
Perham won the boys team title with 37 points. St. Cloud Cathedral was second with 72 and the Bluejays were next at 164.
“We knew Perham and St. Cloud Cathedral were the top two teams,” Waseca coach Gary Meurer said. “Then there was a group of about three or four teams that were pretty even and we ended up at the top of that group. It was a good day.”
Freshman Jesse Delgado was Waseca’s second runner, placing 34th overall in 16:45.0. He was followed by teammates Josh Kimball (48th, 16:56.9); Cole Streich (90th, 17:20.2); Jacob Wilkening (127th, 17:47.1), Dan Livdahl (142nd, 17:57.2) and Joe Mens (163rd, 18:44.5).
St. James’ senior Johnathan Surber finished 14th with a time of 16:21.0. It was two places better than last season and 22 seconds faster.
“My goal was Top 10 but I felt I ran a pretty good race,” Surber said. “I had a good start the first mile and then I lost a little focus on the second. I got it back in the third mile and finished pretty strong.”
Surber plans to run in college and said he’s narrowed his choices to Buena Vista (Iowa), Gustavus Adolphus, South Dakota State and the University of Sioux Falls.
Junior T.J. Schlitz of New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva made a big leap Saturday. He moved from 89th last season to 17th with a time of 16:28.9.
He was happy with his finish but said he still needs to improve.
“I’m not a very mature runner yet,” he said. “I don’t really know how to pace myself when I’m not with other runners. That’s something I still have to learn.”
Madelia-Truman/Martin Luther senior Cade Ekstrom just missed the Top-25 cutoff for All-State honors, finishing 27th in 16:39.4. Mankato Loyola/Cleveland’s Wyatt Elmer ran the best race of his career, placing 52nd in 16:59.6.
“I was pretty nervous before the race but that went away quickly,” he said. “I just wanted to run as fast as I could. That was my only strategy.”
Maple River senior Jack Parsley finished 55th (17:01.5), Madelia-Truman senior Ricki Fenske was 99th (17:24.1), Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial/Nicollet freshman John Roth was 118th (17:40.8) and Tri-City United junior Marty McGuire was 133rd (17:52.3).