It was a day of firsts for the Wadena-Deer Creek boys cross country running team when they raced to a first place finish at the annual Johanna Olson Invitational at the Whitetaile Run Golf Course in Wadena on Sept. 3.
It was the first team win of the season for the boys and the first individual race win of the season for Bereket Loer.
He was one of four Wolverines to finish in the top 15 and made it a sweep for the Wolverines. It was the second time in Wadena-DC team history that they swept the event with Kira Sweeney winning the girls race and Loer following with a win in the boys race.
"It felt good, the weather was nice. It's usually pretty hot at this meet," Loer said after the race. "The moderate temperature was pretty good."
Loer said he didn't know the competition, so he took it out with some people. However, he quickly made his move and pulled away from the field on his way to the win. Loer won the race by 13.5 seconds when he finished with a time of 17 minutes and 40.4 seconds.
"It was what I felt, I felt like I was holding back a little too much," Loer said. "I just wanted to leave it out there."
Loer said it's really cool for Wadena-DC to sweep the individual titles at the Invitational.
"It was a great job by Kira, and she ran a heck of a race," Loer said. "It's cool that I could follow it up and keep the winning going."
Loer said it's great to have his teammates pushing him and each other during the race. The Wolverines had five runners receive medals with finishes inside the top 15.
"I'm just excited for the rest of the season and to see what we can do," Loer said. "I think we are all pointed in the right direction. Some people have to work pretty hard, but we are all here to push each other and that's what we do."
Nathan Bervig held off a host of runners at the finish line for a third place finish. He came in with a time of 18:08.0. Lucas Hinojos made up a lot a ground throughout the race and closed strong with an eighth place finish. He came in with a time of 18:17.7. Eli Bervig came in 13th place with a time of 18:54.1, while Joshua Tabery finished in 14th place at 19:09.8 to round out the scoring for the boys team.
Lane Hoefs finished in 24th place with a time of 19:59.2, while Bjorn Brunsberg came in with a time of 20:25.8 for 31st place.
Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton came in second as a team with 70 points, followed by Nevis in third place with 88. Parkers Prairie was fourth with 155, followed by Brandon/Evansville with 157.
Little Falls' Jackson Grant came in second place at 17:53.9, while DGF's Chandler Gray was fourth at 18:08.6 and Nevis' Jack McNamee rounded out the top five with a time of 18:09.0.