Hill, Stocke come out on top at Blue Devil Invite

Virginia freshman Cameron Stocke finished first Wednesday at the 2019 Blue Devil Invite in Virginia.

VIRGINIA — Many area teams kickstarted their 2019 cross country season Wednesday at the Blue Devil Invite at the Virginia Golf Course.

The pace was set by area favorites Ava Hill of Mesabi East on the girls’ side and Virginia’s Cameron Stocke on the boys’ side.

The Mesabi East girls team finished as team champions with 62 points thanks to Hill and three other finishes inside the top 10, while the Ely boys were miles ahead of the other teams, putting all five of their scoring runners inside the top 10 and finishing with 29 points.

Stocke crossed the finish line first with a time of 16:21.2 to lead for Virginia. The Devils finished in second with 93 points.

Ely’s Luke Olson was 16 seconds behind Stocke, finishing at 16:37.7. Teammate James Schwinghamer was third (17:03.7), Emmett Faltesek was sixth (17:35.3), Jasper Johnston eighth (17:40.0) and Gabriel Pointer finished 11th but scored in 10th with a time of 18:05.9.

Aaron Nelson was the top runner for Mountain Iron-Buhl, finishing in fifth with a time of 17:24.1. Ranger teammate Jeffrey Kayfes finished ninth on the day with his time of 17:47.8.

Inside the top 15, Virginia’s John Kendall finished 13th (18:41.0) and Andrew Larsen of Eveleth-Gilbert was 15th (18:49.1).

MI-B’s Andy Nelson ended his day in 17th with a time of 18:56.3. Eveleth-Gilbert’s Jared Delich also finished inside the top 20 with a time of 19:04.0, enough for 18th place.

Virginia’s Dallas Hammer finished third for the Blue Devils with a 21st place finish (19:13.2). Mesabi East’s Carter Skelton was the top runner for the Giants, finishing in 22nd with a time of 19:14.8.

On the girls’ side, Mesabi East senior Hill picked up right where she left off Wednesday after crossing the finish line first with no competitors in sight.

Hill broke the tape with a time of 19:45.1, over 45 seconds in front of her nearest competitor, Addie Peterson of Hermantown (20:31.0). That finished helped guide the Giants to a team victory, as well as two other top 10 finishes from Mesabi East.

The Giants’ Lydia Skelton finished in fourth, stopping the clock at 21:02.6 with freshman teammate Bella Thomas coming in ninth (22:05.6).

Eveleth-Gilbert’s Natalie Fultz crossed the finish line in fifth with a time of 21:06.2. Also inside the top 10, MI-B's Liz Nelson was sixth (21:09.6), while Ely’s Zoe Devine stopped the clock at 21:28.5, enough for eighth.

The Blue Devil girls placed two runners inside the top 10 with Alex Wercinski taking seventh place with a time of 21:19.7 and her teammate Kaari Harsila taking 10th at 22:17.7.

Just behind Harsila was teammate Emma Lamppa, who took 11th with her time of 22:18.6. Mountain Iron-Buhl’s Brooke Niska was next locally, taking 14th with her time of 22:46.0.

Other area athletes inside the top 20 include Eveleth-Gilbert’s Amara Wilcox in 16th (23:00.0) and Ely’s Phoebe Helms in 20th (23:12.0).

Just inside the top 25 were MI-B’s Ava Butler in 24th (23:52.7) and Chisholm’s Allaya Regorich (24:05.2).

Virginia was the next highest placing girls’ team in fourth with a score of 98. Ely finished fifth at 102, while Mountain Iron-Buhl was sixth at 111.

On the boys’ side, Ely and Virginia finished on top with Mountain Iron-Buhl finishing fourth (94). Eveleth-Gilbert finished seventh (175) while Mesabi East was eighth (215).

Area runners will be back in action next Thursday at the GNK Invite at the Eagle Ridge Golf Course in Coleraine.

Blue Devil Invite, Virginia

Girls’ team results: 1, Mesabi East, 62; 2, Hibbing, 71; 3, Hermantown, 93; 4, Virginia, 98; 5, Ely, 102; 6, Mountain Iron-Buhl, 111; 7, Grand Rapids, 149.

Boys’ team results: 1, Ely, 29; 2, Virginia, 93; 3, Duluth Denfeld, 94; 4, Mountain Iron-Buhl, 94; 5, Grand Rapids, 115; 6, Hibbing, 136; 7, Eveleth-Gilbert, 175; 8, Mesabi East, 215; 9, Hermantown, 231.

Girls’ individual results (top three plus top half local finishers): 1, Ava Hill, ME, 19:45.1; 2, Addie Peterson, Herm, 20:31.0; 3, Brita Birkeland, Herm, 21:00.4; 4, Lydia Skelton, ME, 21:02.6; 5, Natalie Fultz, EG, 21:06.2; 6, Liz Nelson, MIB, 21:09.6; 7, Alex Wercinski, Virg, 21:19.7; 8, Zoe Devine, Ely, 21:28.5; 9, Bella Thomas, ME, 22:05.6; 10, Kaari Harsila, Virg, 22:17.7; 11, Emma Lamppa, Virg, 22:18.6; 14, Brooke Niska, MIB, 22:46.0; 16, Amara Wilcox, EG, 23:00.0; 20, Phoebe Helms, Ely, 23:12.0; 21, Sydney Durkin, Ely, 23:16.5; 24, Ava Butler, MIB, 23:52.7; 25, Allaya Regorich, Chis, 24:05.2; 27, Kora Forsline, ME, 24:14.5.

Boys’ individual results (top three plus top half local finishers): 1, Cameron Stocke, Virg, 16:21.2; 2, Luke Olson, Ely, 16:37.7; 3, James Schwinghamer, Ely, 17:03.7; 5, Aaron Nelson, MIB, 17:24.1; 6, Emmett Faltesek, Ely, 17:31.7; 8, Jasper Johnston, Ely, 17:40.0; 9, Jeffrey Kayfes, MIB, 17:47.8; 11, Gabriel Pointer, Ely, 18:05.9; 13, John Kendall, Virg, 18:41.0; 15, Andrew Larsen, EG, 18:49.1; 17, Andy Nelson, MIB, 18:56.3; 18, Jared Delich, EG, 19:04.0; 21, Dallas Hammer, Virg, 19:13.2; 22, Carter Skelton, ME, 19:14.8; 26, Rylen Niska, MIB, 19:21.0; 28, Raif Olson, Ely, 19:24.2; 29, Ethan Bremner, Ely, 19:40.9; 30, Dylan Johnson, Virg, 19:45.6; 32, Matt Koski, Virg, 19:45.6

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