Wadena-Deer Creek’s Lucas Hinojos is very familiar with the cross country course at the Whitetail Run Golf Course. After all, it’s the junior runners home golf course. His familiarity with the course helped him realize when the time was to close the gap and make his move. He surged from the middle of the field to a fourth place finish at the annual Johanna Olson Invitational on Sept. 7.
Hinojos tied his course personal record when he crossed the finish line with a time of 18 minutes and 10.8 seconds. Staples-Motley’s Emmet Anderson set a blistering pace with a first place time of 16:54.1. He was followed by teammate, Hunter Klimek, who finished with a time of 17:22.2. Little Falls’ Jackson Grant was third at 18:04.3 and it was Hinojos, who came in fourth, holding off Staples-Motley’s Ben Bartzcak at the line.
“I think I paced it pretty well,” Hinojos said. “I was cruising it the whole time until about the last 400 and then I started to kick it in.”
Hinojos used his knowledge of his home course to his advantage. He said he knew the newer runners like to get off to a fast start and eventually fade away. If he paced it, he said it would be a good race.
“I just saved a lot, so I could really kick it down the last 100,” Hinojos said. “I like running here. I know it pretty well. I know where all the hills are and I know where everything is.”
Staples-Motley finished first as a team. They finished with 27 points. The Wolverines came in second with 77 points. Ottertail Central followed behind with 79 points. Little Falls was fourth and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton came in fifth. It was the best finish for the Wolverines as a team in this meet in nearly two decades.
Hinojos said the goal for the Wolverines is to make it to state.
“We have a lot of good runners,” Hinojos said. “One just came back from vacation and still ran well, which is a good thing.”
Bereket Loer earned a top 10 finish for the Wolverines as well. He finished seventh overall when he crossed the line in a tight battle with Ottertail Central’s Eli Carlson. Loer finished with a time of 18:15.7.
Isaac Ries finished in 20th place at 19:06.3, followed by Joshua Tabery at 19:15.1. Jayson Young finished in 31st at 19:45.7, while Eli Bervig closed with a time of 19:50.7. Wyatt Peterson rounded out the varsity field for the Wolverines with a time of 21:31.8 for 60th place.
Next action for the Wolverines will be a trip to Ada-Borup. The Wolverines will compete for the first time in that meet on Sept. 13 at 4 p.m.
Johanna Olson Invitational
Boys Team Results
Staples-Motley 27, Wadena-Deer Creek 77, Ottertail Central 79, Little Falls 121, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 142, Park Rapids 177, Brandon/Evansville 222, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle 249, New York Mills 252, Border West 276
Individual Top 10 Results
1 Emmet Anderson, S-M, 16:54.1; 2 Hunter Klimek, S-M, 17:22.2; 3 Jackson Grant, LF, 18:04.3; 4 Lucas Hinojos, WDC, 18:10.8; 5 Ben Bartczak, S-M, 18:11.7; 6 Eli Carlson, OTC, 18:15.4; 7 Bereket Loer, WDC, 18:15.7; 8 Cade Dawson, DGF, 18:20.8; 9 Tanner Robben, S-M, 18:22.7; 10 Bentley Christensen, S-M, 18:31.6.
4 Lucas Hinojos, 18:10.8; 7 Bereket Loer, 18:15.7; 20 Isaac Ries, 19:06.3; 23 Joshua Tabery, 19:15.1; 31 Jayson Young, 19:45.7; 33 Eli Bervig, 19:50.7; 60 Wyatt Peterson, 21:31.8.