Cross-country: Young athletes eager to improve for Asbhy-Brandon-Evansville – Alexandria Echo Press

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The Ashby-Brandon-Evansville cross-country teams will welcome younger riders this fall as Emma Erickson and Logan Froemming enter as the only two seniors for boys and girls.

“We are a young team, but we are looking to be competitive overall. Hopefully a few runners will enter the all-conference standings and look to place a few in the sectional competition,” said ABE head coach Robert Bosma. “This team is young, but hungry. Most new athletes to our team join us because they want to become better athletes in other sports and work on being competitive. They are extremely coachable and want to learn strategy.

ABE lost Jayden Hoidahl, Wes Siira (captain of 3) and Abram Fossell to graduate from last year’s squad.

Froemming will be the first athlete in this program to go through the six years of cross country. Bosma said he will be counted on to help young racers learn race strategy this fall. Junior Cohen Reiland and sophomores Donell Lee and August Bredberg also bring back varsity team experience and will be considered to jump for the boys.

“We have a lot of new runners this year, and for the guys’ team it will be difficult to determine who will be the best runner and who will fill the runner role,” Bosma said. “Kenneth Spielman is a freshman who raced in college last year but really came out strong on track and is looking to challenge the upperclassmen every day in practice. He’s been working this summer and looks great. Sophomores Justin Lederman, Darius Grussing, Ben Dusing and Logan Hasman and junior Kaleb Burkey are also new to CC this year. So far they are a great group of guys who have a good attitude every day in training and who want to improve.

Ashby-Brandon-Evansville runner Ashley Paulson heads for the finish line during the Section 6A Championship on October 29, 2021. Paulson is back as a junior this fall to help lead the ABE women’s team .

Eric Morken/Alexandria Echo Press

Junior Ashley Paulson came into practice with good focus and determination, Bosma said. She helped lead the ABE girls a season ago in her freshman year in cross country.

“This year she has high goals for herself and wants to push the peloton of guys in training to prove she can be the best runner here,” Bosma said. “Senior Emma Erickson was out a few years ago and decided to come back this year. I’m really counting on her to push the young girls’ team. Junior Naomi Fournier is a veteran on the track, but this is the first time that she tries the CC Freshman Mary Fossell ran in high school last year and should help push the varsity runners.

Eighth graders Hope Rovang, Connor Dillehay and Ben Myron and 7th graders Chloe Erickson, Rita Fossell, Lauren Thoennes, Lily Volk, Brock Bahls, Cole Johnson and Lochlann Stevens are junior racers trying to earn spots in the junior college and college races.

“A big part of this year is going to be figuring out who to race with and working as a pack,” Bosma said. “With so few runners having college racing experience, it will be interesting to see how they manage their nerves. We rely on the leadership of veterans (Paulson, Froemming, Lee and Reiland) to help the young athletes.

On the boys’ side, Bosma sees Bertha-Hewitt, Otter Tail Central and Parkers Prairie as the best teams in the conference. Pillager, Wadena-Deer Creek and OTC have programs for talented girls.

“The top programs in the section will again be West Central Area, Staples-Motley and Minnewaska,” Bosma said. “There is also many great individual runners in the section. If anyone wants to make it to the state meet, they will have to be quick because there will be some awesome times this year.

Bosma has liked the work ethic he has seen from his riders as they try to bring out the best in themselves throughout the season.

“This team showed up every morning this week with a smile on their face, ready to go early in the morning,” Bosma said. “Over the last 6 years I have had a few who showed up late on the second day of training and then complained of being in pain etc. This year on the second day of training the team was ready to go and wanted to start before training was supposed to start. I was making announcements and a few were starting to walk away for their warm-up laps. The new energy is already a big boost for the team succeed this year.

CROSS-COUNTRY ASHBY-BRANDON-EVANSVILLE 2022

ABE DAUGHTER – SENIOR – Emma Erickson; JUNIORS – Naomi Fournier, Ashley Paulson; FIRST YEAR – Mary Fossell; Grade 8 – Hope Rovang; 7TH-GRADE – Lexie Bitzan, Chloe Erickson, Rita Fossell, Lauren Thoennes, Lily Volk

ABE BOYS – Senior – Logan Froemming; JUNIORS – Kaleb Burkey, Cohen Reiland; SOPHOMORES – August Bredberg, Ben Dusing, Darius Grussing, Logan Haseman, Justin Lederman, Donell Lee; FIRST YEAR – Kenneth Spielman; Grade 8 – Connor Dillehay; Grade 7 – Ben Myron, Brock Bahls, Cole Johnson, Lochlann Stevens

ASHBY-BRANDON-EVANSVILLE CROSS-COUNTRY SCHEDULE

Aug. 29 at Staples-Motley, 10 a.m.

September 6 at Whitetail Run GC, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 12 at LPGE, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Meadowlark CC, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 29 at Pebble Creek GC, 4 p.m.

Oct. 1 at Wheaton GC, 10 a.m.

Oct. 6 at Arvig Park (Perham), 4 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Pine Ridge GC, 4 p.m.

Oct. 18 Conference meeting at Blueberry Pines GC, 4 p.m.

Oct. 27 Vintage (Staples) Chapter Meeting, TBD

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