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Hibbing's Garrity puts aches and pains aside

Knee problems and shin splints slowed Hibbing's Tatum Garrity for much of the 2007 high school cross country season. Coach Dan Pullar said Garrity rarely ran consecutive days because of pain, and otherwise cross-trained on a stair-stepper or jogg...

Garrity
Tatum Garrity of Hibbing runs to the finish line of the Swain Invitational Varsity Girls Class AA race Saturday at the Enger Park golf course. She placed third overall. [Clint Austin/News Tribune]

Knee problems and shin splints slowed Hibbing's Tatum Garrity for much of the 2007 high school cross country season.

Coach Dan Pullar said Garrity rarely ran consecutive days because of pain, and otherwise cross-trained on a stair-stepper or jogged in a pool wearing a vest.

"My goal is to run a whole season as strong as I can without getting hurt," Garrity said Saturday. "I'm still icing my knees almost every day, but so far I've been able to run every day."

Garrity, a junior, was the top Northland finisher in the 58th Swain Invitational at Enger Park Golf Course, placing third in the Class AA girls 4,000-meter race in 15 minutes, 47.3 seconds. Champlin Park senior Steph Sjostrom won in 15:31.6.

Eighty teams and 2,496 runners in 12 races competed on a nearly perfect sunny, 50-degree day.

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Forest Lake won the Class AA girls team title, while two-time defending champion Grand Rapids was third. Other team winners were Minneapolis South in Class AA boys, Holy Family Catholic of Victoria, Minn., in Class A girls and Blake of Hopkins, Minn., in Class A boys.

Other individual winners were Minneapolis South senior Robel Kebede in Class AA boys (16:00.8 for 5,000 meters), Osceola (Wis.) senior Brea Tinney in Class A girls (15:33.1) and Blake junior Paul Koullick in Class A boys (16:42.7).

Girls

Hibbing hadn't faced powerhouse Grand Rapids this season until Saturday, and Garrity came out on top in the matchup as Grand Rapids junior Kayla Erickson was sixth and sophomore teammate Morgan Illikainen was 16th.

Sjostrom gained her first win of the year by coming from behind and is looking toward the Section 5AA meet Oct. 23.

"My goal is to get back to the state meet and place in the top 20," said Sjostrom, who was 49th in 2007.

Osceola's Tinney led from start to finish in a dominating win.

"I just wanted to get out fast and push the pace. I was by myself, but I kept pushing," said Tinney, fourth in the 2007 Wisconsin Division 2 meet.

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Carlton ninth-grader Lindsey Dahl-Holm was ninth in 16:22.5.

boys

Kebede injured a hamstring in the 2008 Minnesota Class AA track meet and trained little during the summer, yet won a second straight Swain title, although on a revised course.

"I'm 100 percent healthy, but I'm still getting into shape," said Kebede, ranked No. 4 in Class AA.

Grand Rapids senior Pat Richie was fourth in 16:34.5 and Duluth East senior Reuben Verdoljak was 11th in 16:53.8.

Blake is ranked No. 8 in Class A, but looked like No. 1 as Koullick and senior teammate Stewart Richardson went 1-2. Top-ranked Mora was second 76-137.

"We've won all our meets this year and we're looking to win the state meet," said Koullick, whose victory was the first of his prep career.

Cromwell-Floodwood junior Jordan Smith was ninth in 17:07.9.

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* Results in prep summaries

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