The Austin Packers boys’ and girls’ cross country teams played host to a six-team invitational at the Mower County Fairgrounds to open their respective seasons Tuesday, and in the boys’ competition, the Packers finished in third with 95 points behind Owatonna, who was first with 23 points and Rochester Mayo, who was second with 69 team points. After Austin it was Faribault in fourth with 100 points, Albert Lea was sixth with 111 points and Simley was seventh at 137 points.
Thomas Herrick was the highest finisher individually for Austin, as he took ninth with a time of 18:21.4, Joseph Garry was 14th with a time of 18:50.4, Thomas Asmus was 15th for the Packers at 18:51.4, Jackson Barry was 32nd with a time of 19:43.8, Kaden Murley was 36th with a time of 19:56.6 and Ryder Bergstrom took 44th with a time of 20:34.6.
In the girls competition, Austin was fifth with a team tally of 92 points, while Owatonna made it a sweep for first place with 43 points, Mankato West was second with 63 points, Faribault was third with 66 points, followed by Rochester Mayo with 86 team points, and after Austin, it was Rochester Century in sixth with 169 points.
Marissa Shute ran the best time for Austin at 21:59.2, which gave her 10th place individually, Nadia Vaughn was 12th with a time of 22:20.2, Cassidy Shute took 21st for the Packers with a time of 23:11.8, Grace Vortherms was right behind in 22nd at 23:13.13, Lillyan Weise took 45th for Austin with a time of 25:17.2 and Lily Quandt was 61st for Packers with a time of 26:22.
The boys’ cross country team will return to action on Friday, September 10th in a nine-team invitational at Faribault with the host Falcons, Albert Lea, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington Kennedy, Burnsville, Farmington and Heritage Christian Academy, while the Packer girls cross country team will be off until Thursday, September 16th in a 28-team invitational hosted by Rochester Mayo at Eastwood Golf Course.