KIMBALL – It was a repeat for one, and redemption for the other. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted’s Noah Bundrock and Gwen Helgeson came into the Central MN Conference meet with their sights set on a conference title.
Bundrock, who won it last season as a junior, made it two two-straight CMC titles by taking first place with a time of 17 minutes and 18 seconds. Despite unusually warm temperatures and a challenging course filled with hills, Bundrock dominated the competition finishing a full 10 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Even with a strong performance, Bundrock was a little disappointed in his time.
“The hills were horrible,” Bundrock said. “They hurt so bad, but I had a comfortable lead so it wasn’t like I thought I was going to lose at any time of the race.”
Noah Bundrock powers through to the finish line for his second-straight Central MN Conference title at Kimball Golf Course Tuesday afternoon.
Bundrock came into this season with three goals for the year. One of which was to finish in the top-10 at the Milaca Mega Meet which he accomplished back in September with a fifth-place finish. The next one was to defend his conference title in which he did Tuesday afternoon.
“It feels good,” Bundrock said about knocking off another goal. “It doesn’t feel the same because my time last year was faster. I guess it was different competition and a different course which makes it a little more tough.”
With two goals checked off already, there’s just one left on the list for Bundrock as he heads into the Section 5A meet. That goal is simply to get back to state and improve on last year’s 53rd place finish.
“I really just want to win the section and get close to a personal record,” Bundrock said. “I want be at like a 16:50 at sections because I know that will carry me, especially at the Mora course because that’s a little tougher too. I’m definitely excited.”
On the other side, it was Helgeson getting some sweet redemption as she took home the conference title on the girls’ side for the Lakers. After finishing in second place at last year’s meet where she was beat by just 0.3 seconds to Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball’s Anna Donnay, Helgeson got her moment this year.
“I’ve been working hard this summer and our whole team has been working hard,” Helgeson said. “I think I did pretty well. It felt pretty good to take first.”
Gwen Helgeson got her redemption as she captured the Central MN Conference title this year with an impressive performance at the Central MN Conference meet Tuesday afternoon.
Helgeson crushed her competition finishing 40 seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Like Bundrock, Helgeson had mixed feelings about all of the hills, but powered through.
“All I kept thinking about was the finish,” Helgeson said. “Now I just get to drink water after and just relax for a week and half before sections. You just got to fight through the pain and think positive and that’s how I got through it.”
A conference title is nice for Helgeson, but she still has her sights set on helping her team reach state for a second straight year, as well as shooting her sights on a new personal best.
“I wanted to get under 20 (minutes) today,” Helgeson said. “With the heat and the hills, I just wanted to go for that first place. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter about time. I do want to get under 20 (minutes) though, and I think my teammates want to as well.”
Helgeson wasn’t the only girls runner for the Lakers to find some success. Gracie Mallak showed some incredible toughness and determination on her way to a 7th place finish. Bothered by injuries off and on this season, Mallak earned All-Conference with a time of 21 minutes and 9 seconds.
Brooke Baumann also had a special race for the Lakers. Baumann finished in 12th place with a time of 21 minutes and 47 seconds. Her 12th place finish was good enough for her to be named to the Central MN Conference All-Conference Second Team.
Katelyn Routhier and Erin Brabec also had nice races for the Lakers as they finished in third place overall as a team with 53 total points. Routhier and Brabec just missed being on the All-Conference team as they finished in 16th and 17th respectively.
Senior Thomas Horn was named to the Central MN All-Conference Second Team for the Lakers. Horn finished in 12th place with a time of 18 minutes and 33 seconds. Shortly behind Horn was teammates Nick Czanstkowski, Trevin Olund, and Cole Leukuma. The Lakers finished in third place overall as a team with 82 points.
Central MN Conference Meet
Tuesday, October 17
at Kimball Golf Course
Teams: 1. Maple Lake 42, Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball 43, 3. HLWW 53, 4. Pierz 124, 5. Osakis 149, 6. Paynesville 151, 7. Holdingford 169, 8. St. John’s Prep 226, 9. Royalton 239
Gwen Helgeson (HLWW) 20:16.55
HLWW Varsity Finishes
1. Gwen Helgeson 20:16.55
7. Gracie Mallak 21:09.35
12. Brooke Baumann 21:47.10
16. Katelyn Routhier 22:08.11
17. Erin Brabec 22:10.61
39. Danielle Wood 24:19.32
42. Ivy Fasching 24:42.12
Teams: 1. Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball 23, 2. Maple Lake 43, 3. HLWW 90, 4. Osakis 91
Isabel Greenwald (EV-W/K) 22:58.10
HLWW JV Finishes
14. Amber Lamphere 25:32.51
15. Lily Karg 25:59.10
20. Jordyn Tuchtenhagen 26:19.37
35. Cejay Ulrich 29:19.96
44. Alysha Grow 31:35.68
50. Ariana Riemer 46:56.75
Junior High Girls
Catera Davis (EV-W/K) 8:49.57
HLWW Junior High Finishes
2. Emily Hill 8:58.82
4. Emma Huss 9:28.82
12. Malorie Thorson 10:01.53
Teams: 1. Holdingford 49, 2. Paynesville 81, 3. HLWW 82, 4. Osakis 119, 5. Pierz 140, 6. St. John’s Prep 154, 7. Maple Lake 159, 8. Royalton 203, 9. Eden Valley-Watkins/Kimball 211
Noah Bundrock (HLWW) 17:18.77
HLWW Varisty Finishes
1. Noah Bundrock 17:18.77
12. Thomas Horn 18:33.20
20. Nick Czanstkowski 19:26.02
22. Trevin Olund 19:32.02
27. Cole Leukuma 19:58.42
31. Gerrick Prine 20:16.75
36. Zach Koosman 20:35.41
Teams: 1. Holdingford 22, 2. Maple Lake 33, St. John’s Prep 81
Braden Bomgaars (Hold.) 19:07.92
HLWW JV Finishes
5. Jackson Workman 20:13.60
14. Chad Pauna 22:54.44
23. Andrew Soley 25:39.62
32. Duncan Morang 28:32.71
Junior High Boys
Teams: 1. HLWW 21, 2. Holdingford 49, 3. Maple Lake 63
Caleb Karg (HLWW) 7:43.19
HLWW Varisty Finishes
1. Caleb Karg 7:43.19
2. Chance Greeder 7:49.28
3. Tyler Hill 7:50.28
9. Chase Dieter 8:17.71
10. Dane Klages 8:19.82
18. Mark Anderson 8:56.83
28. Ezekiel Riemer 9:23.53