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Holdingford and Royalton got their seasons fired up Thursday, at the Maple Lake Invitational at Ney Park Reserve.

The Huskers brought back third- and fourth-place finishes, respectively, in the girls and boys varsity races. The Royals came in seventh in the team scoring on the boys’ side and, though they did not field enough runners to qualify for the team rankings, got some stellar individual performances from their girls.

Royalton junior Sara Daleiden made her mark in the season-opener. She blazed through the 5K race in 20:21.73, good for second place as an individual. Teammate Erin Borash was not far behind. The senior took ninth, giving the Royals a pair of top-10 racers, when she finished at 21:58.22.

On the team end, Holdingford ended the race with 103 total points, good enough for third place out of nine total. Mound-Westonka (33) and Annandale (74) took first and second.

The Huskers were paced by eighth-grader Loretta Hrosla, who finished sixth among team participants when she crossed the finish line at 22:29.6. Marissa Hartung added just 17 points to the team score when she finished in 23:53.9.

Brea Worlie was close on Hartung’s heels, finishing the race in 24:06 for 22nd among team runners. Lorraine Hrosla (27th, 24:35.6) and Alyssa Young (31st, 25:01.7) capped off Holdingford’s team total.

In the varsity boys race, Holdingford came in fourth among complete teams with 108 points, while Royalton claimed seventh with 171. Annandale (29), Mound-Westonka (44) and St. John’s Prep (73) earned the top three spots out of eight teams.

Royals Head Coach Michael Marschel said soggy conditions made for a tough day on the course.

“The Royals didn’t race super well,” he said. “The course conditions were very muddy and slow.”

The Huskers were led in their fourth-place run by Joe Guthrie, a sophomore at Upsala High School. Guthrie reached the finish line in 19:14.6 for 13th among team runners. He was able to bunch up a bit with teammate Aidan Pellet, who took 15th at 19:22.4.

Dawson Hofer, a seventh-grader, was the youngest runner to tally points for his team. He was the third Husker to finish, coming in at 19:51.4, good for 22nd place. Senior Cohl Clear (27th, 20:23) and junior Anders Aleckson (31st, 20:41.8) also made their marks on the team score.

Royalton’s top finisher among the boys was senior Jacob Leibold, who finished in 20:16.8 for 26th place. Marcus Hayes (33rd, 20:53.8), David Fountain (35th, 21:16) and Lane Olson (36th, 21:17.2) packed up to help keep the Royals’ score down.

Isaac Neutz rounded out the team total with a 40th-place finish of 22:45.1.

Both teams will be back in action at 4:15 p.m. Thursday in Holdingford.

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