Senior Kevin Wulfekuhler paced the Storm Lake High boys cross country team to a fourth place finish here Tuesday in the season-opening Spirit Lake Invitational.
Wulfekuhler took sixth individually, completing the 5 kilometer course in 16 minutes, 44 seconds. Wulfekuhler beat 51 runners in the field and medaled.
Also medaling for Storm Lake was sophomore Federico Mendoza, who took 11th place in 17:22, and Ryan Lovstad, who took 16th in 17:32.
Hull Western Christian took top honors in the boys varsity race with 41 points. They were followed by Spirit Lake (59 points), Spencer (70 points) and Storm Lake (94 points.
"It was a good meet for the guys," said SLHS cross country coach John Brostad. "Kevin's summer running really showed Tuesday. This was a tough meet with lots of state qualifying teams and runners competing."
Wulfekuhler's time of 16:44 was a personal best. Other Storm Lake boys varsity runners, their places and times were: Dan Christiansen, 29th, 18:16; Joe Cullen, 32nd, 18:27), Adam Sorbe, 37th, 18:54 and senior Adam Kelly (39th, 19:08).
The Storm Lake girls, meanwhile, were led by freshman Christine Becker, who took sixth out of 61 runners Tuesday. She finished the 3K race in 17:02, medaling in the process.
Becker's performance led the Tornado girls to a seventh-place finish in the ten-team race.
"The girls showed showed solid improvement from last year," Brostad said.
Also for the SLHS girls, Heather Douglas was 31st in 19:02, Abby Mohr 32nd in 19:04, Amanda Cavanaugh 39th in 19:40, and Lindsey Dreher 51st in 21:14.
Senior Ashley Solem took 52nd in 21:33, and junior Julie Manatham was 53rd in 21:45.
The SLHS JV boys team took second place as a team, finishing a point behind Spirit Lake.
According to Brostad, Spirit Lake runners came in 1-2-3-13-14, while the Tornado runners went 4-6-7-8-9.
Sophomore David Brady had an outstanding race for the Tornado JV, taking fourth in 18:53, a career best.
Also medaling were Nate Tucker (6th place, 19:05), Phil Becker (7th, 19:07), Eric Sievers (8th, 19:14), Geoff Ullrich (9th, 19:15), Dan Higgins (10th, 19:19) and Daren Koehler (11th, 19:21).
Other SL JV boys runners and their places and times were: Jesse Munger (17th, 19:43); Jared Brashears (18th, 19:48), Derek Brock (22nd, 19:58) and Justin Cullen (25th, 20:14).
The Storm Lake ninth grade boys also had a good meet, Brostad said. Taylor Anderson was eighth out of 23 runners, medaling in 19:50. Peter Winterton was 15th in 22:08 and also gained a medal.
Spencer Darrow just missed medaling, taking 16th in 22:09. Thomas was 22nd in 26:51.
The lone SLHS girls JV runner was Alyssa Larson, who took 37th out of 52 runners in 22:24.
Brostad added that of the 22 SLHS boys who ran, ten had career-best times and 12 gained medals.
"It was a great way to start the season for both teams," Brostad said.