Two to the finish: Gemar, Ellingson go 1-2 as Moorhead boys cross country team wins section title
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - Multiple first-place finishes have become routine for Moorhead boys cross country runner Lukas Gemar. Watching teammate Glen Ellingson finish second has become routine for Gemar. That was the case - again - with the Moorhead...
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - Multiple first-place finishes have become routine for Moorhead boys cross country runner Lukas Gemar.
Watching teammate Glen Ellingson finish second has become routine for Gemar. That was the case - again - with the Moorhead duo anchoring their team to a first-place finish at the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 meet on Friday at the Pebble Lake Country Club. Sophomore Taylor Janssen finished third in the girls meet to advance to the state meet at St. Olaf's University for the second year in a row.
In all, Moorhead once again returns to the state meet with Gemar looking to win state for the second time in three years.
"It's super-exciting not only because of what I did individually, but team-wise too," said Gemar, who won the section race for a second straight year. "I just hope at the state meet we can put down some really low scores and beat some of the Cities schools."
Gemar's wish would not be far fetched given his accomplishments. He surprised the state by winning the state meet when he was a sophomore. As a junior, he finished 39th only because he ended up breaking a bone in his foot while running the race.
He rebounded from the injury to have a summer where he ran countless miles.
Experiencing injury and overcoming it is why Gemar cared more about Ellingson's performance than his own.
After Gemar crossed the finish line, he turned around and waited so he could cheer Ellingson.
He fought through a crowd of well-wishers to hug his good buddy, who like him, was coming off an injury-plagued year.
"Last year, I fell off my bike and bruised my hip," Ellingson said. "It meant I could train and run for a while and that was hard. This summer I just worked as hard as I could to get better."
A second-place finish proves that. So does Gemar's statements about Ellingson.
It had been a month into the season and Gemar kept talking about the strides Ellingson was making.
He didn't know for sure how Ellingson's season would turn out, but he knew it'd be a good one.
The same can be said for Janssen, who is a sophomore.
"Oh my God, to come in and run as well as I did, this is the greatest moment of my life," said an excited Janssen. "I'm happy that I am going to state but I almost want to cry because my teammates are not coming with me."
The idea of not running at state prompted some of the Moorhead girls runners to cry minutes after finishing the race.
Those runners were comforted by their parents and were later thanked by their teammates and other parents for what they did.
Now, the focus becomes the state meet. Blake said Moorhead will keep their same routine before heading to the state meet on Thursday.
"Everyone's going to take Sunday off," Blake said. "Even Lukas will take Sunday off. Monday we are going to go hard and get ready for state."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548