Grand Forks Central runners Karly Ackley and Leif Larsen are off to fast starts in 2014.
Both Larsen and Ackley won their respective divisions on Saturday in Hillsboro, then did the same on Thursday at Lincoln Park.
Larsen, a junior, won the boys with a time of 16:35 to lead the Knights to a third place finish, while Ackley, a sophomore, won the girls with a course record time of 14:59 to help the Knight girls win the meet.
Ackley had some help in leading the girls to the first place finish - the Knights finished with four out the top five placers totaling an unheard-of 19 points.
Ackley finished ahead of teammates Alexis Roehl (2nd), Mandy Williamson (4th) and Rachel Torrey (5th). Rachel Cox finished seventh to round out the Central scoring.
“Before the race I told them to go out and put a show on,” Central coach Sean Allan said, “and they went out and scored 19 points. That’s probably the lowest we’ve ever scored as a team.
“To score 19 when you’ve got a quality team like Fargo Davies here… that’s just amazing. The girls just ran really, really well today. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
For Ackley, who separated herself from the pack at around the half-way mark, it wasn’t her best performance. But it was close.
“It felt a little harder than normal,” Ackley said. “But I was still close to my PR so I’m OK with that.
“It’s kind of an unexplainable feeling. It feels good just to know that you can do these things, but at the same time it’s kind of a lot of responsibility because after a certain point people sort of expect it from you. So it’s a lot of pressure, but it’s an awesome feeling.”
Larsen, who finished in a time of 16:35 after separating himself after the first mile, is glad he gets the chance to win some races.
“I think it went well,” said Larsen. “I surged a little early there… but overall it went really good.
“Last year we had Camron Roehl (who now runs for NDSU) on the team and he was always kind of top dog, so it feels nice to be able to win races now.”
Larsen paced the Central boys to a third-place finish behind Red River (second) and Fargo Davies (first).
Roughrider coach Richard Dafoe was pleased with how his team ran.
“This is the first time we ran with all of our top guys,” Roughrider coach Richard Dafoe. “I think they did well. We’ve got some good leadership from some of our older guys and a few younger guys that are really stepping it up and making a difference for us so it was fun to watch.”
Allan added that he hasn’t been surprised with the success of Ackley and Larsen.
“They train there (near the front),” he said. “They want to race there, they both are super hard workers and extremely competitive. They get what they put into it… and they’ve worked hard.”
Prep cross country
At Northwood Golf Course
Rugby 53, Hatton-Northwood-Thompson 111, Lisbon 128, Grafton 144, Griggs County 174, Central Cass 189, Larimore 198, Carrington 201, Mayville-Portland 206, Pembina County North 212, Four Winds 220, Northern Cass 223, Devils Lake 266, Dunseith 303, Barnes County North 308, New Rockford-Sheyenne 314
Top 10 runners
1. Tanner Berhardt, Rug, 22:45.51; 2. Nolan Hovland, Rug, 17:44.02; 3. Josh Thompson, Graf, 18:16.78; 4. Nick Pedersen, HNT, 18:36.84; 5. Jaylen LaRock, FW, 18:47.18; 6. James Hollister, NC, 19:01.08; 7. Austin Konschak, Car, 19:05.04; 8. Alex Henton, GC, 19:18.02; 9. Tristian Nelson, MP, 19:24.89; 10. Tayler Goettle, Lis, 19:31.04
Surrey 71, Rugby 72, Grafton 125, Devils Lake 149, Hatton-Northwood-Thompson 153, Carrington 154, Lisbon 182, Barnes County North 185, Larimore 211, Mayville-Portland 223, Four Winds 228, New Rockford-Sheyenne 234, Griggs County 239, Dunseith 239, Northern Cass 240, Pembina County North 256
Top 10 runners
1. Cailee Peterson, MP, 16:50.14; 2. Amanda Jarrett, Car, 16:52.70; 3. Allison Foster, Rug, 16:53.45; 4. Grace Bachmeier, Sur, 16:56.05; 5. Jessica Johnson, Graf, 17:00.58; 6. Mackenzie Holkesvig, HNT, 17:06.40; 7. Allison Klein, Sur, 17:10.27; 8. Samantha Wieland, BCN, 17:22.99; 9. Mattea Vetsch, DL, 17:25.78; 10. Lana Krack, HNT, 17:32.67