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Boys Cross Country: Supinski sparks Warriors to third

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sports Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

BAXTER - It all came rushing back to David Supinski Friday.

After double hip surgery erased most of his sophomore and junior seasons, Supinski ran his first cross country meet in a long time. The result was a fifth-place finish during Brainerd's Run for the Melon event at Forestview Middle School.

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The Brainerd Warrior senior, who enjoyed a successful track and field season last spring, looked happy with his 17:39.

"It's a lot longer than the 400 (-meter dash) that I run in track. That's for sure," Supinski said. "It felt good to be back out here. I love these races with so much more of a mental game because it is so much longer."

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  • Run for the Melon
  • Individual: David Supinski paces Warriors with fifth place
  • Team: Flyers finish second
  • Next meet: Brainerd at Bemidji Invite 4 p.m. Friday; Little Falls at Wadena-Deer Creek Invite Tuesday; Crosby-Ironton at Pierz Invite Sept. 15

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Supinski didn't have a time in mind. He just wanted to stay ahead of his teammates and finish strong. He led the pack heading into the woods portion of the race, but came out of the forest in fifth.

Alexandria's Aaron Runge burst out of the trees in first and won the event in 17:05. Upon getting passed by Runge, Supinski didn't let it deter him.

"I just thought, 'Dang! He's fast,'" said Supinski. "I really didn't want to go with him.

"I liked my strategy. It was my first 5K in awhile. I was a little weak in the head. I may have given up earlier than I should have. I thought it was a very good place for me to start the season."

Supinski's place helped Brainerd finish third in its only home event. The Warriors trailed Alexandria and Little Falls. The Flyers were led by Tyler Moore, who ran a sixth-place 17:40. He was followed by Hunter Zupko in seventh and Joshua Kapsner in eighth.

"We wanted to run our top five as a group as long as we could," said Moore. "Our top three separated after about a mile because we wanted to get in front of the large group before we got into the woods. Then the plan was to just stick together, us three, until the end."

Moore said the Flyers treated Friday and the Milaca event earlier this season as workouts toward a successful postseason.

"We're feeling good," said Moore. "Our goal is to get another conference title this year. We think we can do that. And to put a team at state, kind of redemption from last year, would be really cool."

The young Brainerd team has more modest goals, but those look obtainable after Friday. Newcomer Ryan Swartwood placed 10th in 18:02. Peder Smith finished 11th in 18:13. Then Brainerd rattled off six straight finishes starting with Matt Cherne's 20th-place time of 18:34 to Canyon Crochet's 25th-place 18:53.75.

"That was the theme of the day," said Warrior head coach Dave Herath. "We're starting to pack it up. It certainly is optimistic to be as close as we were to Alexandria, who was a state meet team last year and returns everyone and Little Falls. It's fun to have those top three in the top 11 and the next were all very close to each other. That will be a theme for this year. We'll live and die with how well our pack is. That was positive to see. They exceeded theirs and my expectations."

Team scores: 1-Alexandria 37, 2-Little Falls 52, 3-Brainerd 67, 4-Albany 97, 5-Pillager Inc.

Individual winner: Aaron Runge (Alexandria) 17:05

Brainerd results: 5-David Supinski 17:39, 10-Ryan Swartwood 18:02, 11-Peder Smith 18:13, 20-Matt Cherne 18:34.5, 21-Landon Bruggeman 18:38, 22-Matthew Majerle 18:42, 23-Luke West, 3-24-Connor Gunsbury 18:55.5, 4-25-Canyon Crochet 18:53.75, 7-29-Travis Goeden 19:18, 38-Mac Brink 20:04 18:53, 40-Peyton Melby 20:10, 43-Robb Pike 20:28, 49-Grant Anderson 20:49, 52-Grant Kosobud 20:55.5, 55-Spencer Melby 21:23.5, 56-Gabe Raguse 21:30, 59-Parker Fredrickson 21:35, 63-Zach Herrlich 21:51.5, 66-Gunnar Niemeyer 21:55, 77-Pat Kennedy 23:36, 80-Matt Greatens 24:43

Little Falls results: 6-Tyler Moore 17:40, 7-Hunter Zupko 17;40.5, 8-Joshua Kapsner 17:45, 15-Jacob Massmann 18:31, 16-Daniel Palmer 18:32, 35-Caden Brose 19:58.5, 36-Adam Nienaber 20:01, 39-Jonah Ploof 20:09, 41-Evan Athman 10:18, 45-Leo Wilczek 20:39, 54-Aaron Borash 21.23, 57-Gunner Kleinschmidt 21:32, 58-Nolan Zimny 21:32.5, 61-Christian Ganz 21:51, 62-Blake Alholm 21:51.35

Pillager results: 64-Jordan Gulbranson 21:51.75, 76-Brennen Bordwell 23:24

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