Seconds for Olson, Ely boys

Wolves’ runners have solid opener at Virginia

Gabriele Pointer, Luke Olson, Jasper Johnston, Raif Olson, James Schwinghamer, Kjetil Middtun (from Norway- living with Mark and Molly Olson) ready to race August 30 in Virginia for the Ely boys cross country team.

by Tom Coombe -

Luke Olson and the Ely Timberwolves served notice during their season-opener.
Olson gave fellow all-stater and Greenway standout Geno Urhbom a run for his money at the Aug. 30 Virginia Invitational.
While Uhrbom won the boys title, Olson came within 12 seconds of the top returning runner in Class A and helped the Wolves to a second-place finish, behind Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin, in the season debut.
Olson was the runner-up on the 5,000-meter course and finished in 16;20.5, while fellow junior and returning state meet participant James Schwinghamer was fourth in 16:57.4.
Two other Wolves were in the top-16 and another placed 22nd as Ely began its quest for a section title.
“It was a great team effort for the boys,” said head coach Jayne Dusich. “It was a good start but we still have some work to do. A good race for Luke.”
Olson, who was 20th in the state last fall, kept on the heels of Uhrbom, a sophomore who took third a year ago.
Uhrbom won in 16:08, Olson was 12 seconds back and five seconds in front of third-place finisher Cameron Stocke, a Virginia eighth-grader.
Schwinghamer opened his junior campaign with a solid effort and was one of just four athletes to finish in under 17 minutes.
The Wolves also showed off impressive depth, allowing them to finish in front of several much larger schools including third-place Grand Rapids, Hibbing, Virginia, Hermantown and Duluth Denfeld.
Freshman Gabriel Pointer placed 13th in 17:37 while sophomore Emmett Faltesek opened the year with a 16th-place run of 18:00.3.
In 22nd was sophomore Jasper Johnston (18:04.9).
Also competing for the Wolves were Raif Olson (32nd, 19:17.5) and Dylan Fenske (41st, 19:30.2
The Ely girls opened the season with a ninth-place finish among 10 teams, but they were missing standout Zoe Devine, who was ill and did not compete.
The top Ely finisher was eighth-grader Phoebe Helms, who was 31st in 23:03.4.
Next up for the Wolves was junior Kalyssa Eilrich (35th, 23:25.8), followed by junior Sarah Isbell (38th, 23:37.1), freshman Gracie Pointer (42nd, 23;54.4), sophomore Julia Schwinghamer (43rd, 23:57.7), sophomore Sydni Richards (50th, 24:28.7) and sophomore Brynn Vollom (25:49.9).
The top junior high boys finisher was freshman Jon Hakala, who took third in the 3,200 meter race in 12:53.7).
Harry Simons (14:14.4) and Leo Stalmer (14:39.1) cracked the 15-minute barrier and were followed by Sam Leeson (15:04.4) and Deegan Richards (15;06.9).
Cora Olson placed 13th (16:12.1) and Sydney Durkin was one spot back (16:14.2) in the junior high girls race.
Other Ely finishers were Juliet Stouffer (30th, 20:03.4) and Katie Pinckney (35th, 24:36.2).
The cross country teams are back in action Sept. 13 at the Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bear Invitational.