Boys cross country: Bears run 5th in Milaca Mega

Bear senior Ernie Mattson and sophomore Luke Williams hold their medals for fourth and seventh place.

White Bear Lake placed fifth among 25 teams, behind three conference rivals, in the Milaca Mega Meet on Saturday, competing in Division 1, the top of four divisions.

Top five were Roseville Area 121, Hopkins 122, Mounds View 124, Stillwater 134, and the Bears 162.

The Bears were led by Ernest Mattson in fourth place (16:00) and Luke Williams in seventh (16:11) among 172 runners.

“We have a great dynamic duo in Ernie and Luke this year. They are really running great at this time and training well,” coach Dan Kovacich.

Michael Hoffman placed 47th (17:23), Isaac Kolstad 50th (17:27) and Sador Wondeson 58th (17:32).

Hoffman lost his shoe 200 meters into the race when spiked by another runner, Kovacich said, and had to “tough it out” with one bare foot over some hard surfaces.

The Bears' four to six runners ran within five seconds of each other and that pack is getting faster, Kovacich noted.

“It was a good test for us, running against many of Minnesota's top ranked teams in Roseville, Hopkins, Mounds View and Stillwater,” Kovacich said. “I was pleased with our place and effort. It shows we are still one of the better teams in the state, but need to keep working hard.”

Next is the Alexandria Meet of Champions on Oct. 9.

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