Spectrum sophomore Molly Novotny runs the girls 5,000 meter race during the Section 5-2A championship meet held Thursday Oct. 15-Friday, Oct. 16 at Spring Brook Golf Course in Mora. Novotny finished fourth, finishing in 20:07 and qualified for the Class 2A state tournament. The Minnesota State High School League canceled all state cross country tournaments this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Novotny will be recognized as a participant.

Elks football falls to 0-2 for the first time in seven years after loss to Andover

The Elks are still searching for their first win of the season.

Elk River (0-2, 0-2) lost 22-7 to Andover (2-0, 1-0), the No. 7 team in Section 5A, on Thursday, Oct. 15 at Jerry Schempf Field at Elk River High School. This is the first time that Elk River has started the regular season 0-2 since 2013. 

Neither team could score in the first quarter. With three seconds to go in the second quarter, Huskies junior quarterback Connor Develice found junior wide receiver Weston Knox for a five-yard touchdown reception to make it 7-0 Andover.

Elk River tied the game at 5:45 of the third quarter when senior running back Rahim Avery ran 44 yards for his second touchdown of the season. However, Andover regained the lead with seven seconds remaining in the third quarter when Develice connected with junior wide receiver Ben Kopetzki for a 29-yard touchdown reception. A two-point conversion by senior linebacker Kollin Weikel made the score 15-7 Huskies. Develice and the Huskies put the game away in the fourth quarter when sophomore wide receiver Sam Musungu caught a six-yard pass from Develice to make it 22-7 after the extra point. 

What’s Next

The Elks were scheduled to visit Buffalo (0-2, 0-1) on Friday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. at Buffalo High School after playing Sauk Rapids-Rice (0-2, 0-0) at 7 p.m. at Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School.

Andover will host Buffalo (0-2, 0-1) on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. at Husky Stadium at Andover High School.

Sting cross country teams finish in top five at Section 5A and send two to state tournament

The Spectrum boys and girls cross country teams were busy Thursday October 15 through Friday October 16. The Sting saved the best for last at the Section 5A cross country championship.  There were 18 full teams for the girls and 19 for the boys on cold and windy days at Spring Brook Golf Course in Mora. The Spectrum girl's team finished fourth and the boys' team finished fifth. The Sting girls' third-place team finish was two places better than in 2019 and came close to qualifying for the state meet [the top two teams qualify for the state tournament.] The boys also advanced forward two positions from last year’s 7th place finish.

Spectrum head coach Rick Peterson said both teams rebounded well after finishing second in the Minnesota Classic Athletic Association conference championship meet earlier this season.

"Times were slow throughout the entire field with cold temperatures and a strong wind," Peterson said. "Eleven of our Spectrum runners completed a half marathon last summer and their strength really showed on a tough day for running. I could not be more proud of either team”.

Two Sting runners qualified for the state meet: sophomore Molly Novotny and junior Kyle Haben. Novotny finished fourth in the girls' 5,000 meter race, finishing in 20:07. Haben finished seventh in the boys' 5,000 meter race, finishing in 18:09.

Peterson said both Novotny and Haben battled adversity this season and performed well at the Section 5A tournament.

“Molly (Novotny) battled injuries all summer, however she was determined to make up for lost ground this fall with focus and hard work”, said coach Rick Peterson.  “She finished 28th at the state meet last year and understands what it takes to compete at a high level.  She is an excellent role model for perseverance and resilience”.

"[Novotny] battled injuries all summer," he said. "However, she was determined to make up for lost ground this fall with focus and hard work. She finished 28th at the state meet last year and understands what it takes to compete at a high level. She is an excellent role model for perseverance and resilience.

[Haben] was sick at the section meet a year ago and never got to show what he was capable of. He ran with confidence and drive not to be denied this year.  His work ethic in practices this season has been an example and motivated others to also give their best”.   

Next season, Spectrum will return all seven girls from the section team and five boys.  The MSHSL has announced that there will not be a state cross country meet held this season due to COVID-19 concerns. However, each qualifier will be recognized as a participant.

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