Running in rather blustery weather last year were Tristan Bierschenk (left) and Blake Stoks, right. Both are back to help the boys squad again this year.

Boys facing larger challenges than girls

The Canby-Minneota boys are facing a whole different challenge than the girls. The have only a few experienced veterans with a mixture of younger runners. “Our biggest strength is determination,” said Coach Allyson Pesek.

“This team of boys has some experience but will be looking to some younger runners to help make them a competitive team in our area,” she said.

“They are determined to work together to fill in the gaps we have from losing a great group of runners from last season,” the coach added. Two seniors, Sean Dilley and Alexander Full, are team captains.

Both seniors, they will be expected to lead the younger runners as they grow and try to become competitive. Among the younger runners are Blake Stoks, a sophomore who finished 12th in the Camden Conference last year. He also was 20th in the section meet out of 146 runners.

The only boy to qualify for the state last year was Jared Josephson and he graduated last spring. He placed 122nd out of 176 runners. Last year, the boys were second in the Camden Conference and fifth in the Section 3A meet out of 21 teams.

So, with a little effort, it’s possible to attain those goals this year. Another returning runner with experience is Tristan Bierschenk, a sophomore, who a couple of times placed in the top five for Canby-Minneota.

But the fact is, “The boys are building. We only have three returning runners from our seven that competed last year in the sections,” said Coach Pesek.

She added, “The boys want to be competitive. I have a few individuals with goals of making it to the state meet as well. However, ultimately, they want to remain one of the five best teams in our section.” Both the boys and girls began their quests on Monday in Cottonwood with the girls placing first and boys taking third.

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