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Somerset boys take fourth at MBC cross country meet

Sophomore Andrew Thurmes (left) was Somerset's top finisher at the Middle Border Conference meet, placing 15th.

The Somerset boys cross country team completed a major one-year turnaround by placing fourth in the 2012 Middle Border Conference Cross Country Meet in Amery last Thursday.

This was the first finish in the upper half of the conference in several years for the Somerset boys team. Somerset's girls placed seventh in this year's meet.

Somerset's boys were sixth in last year's conference meet and they graduated their top three runners. With some effective recruiting and an influx of freshmen, the Spartans took a competitive step forward this season.

Sophomore Andrew Thurmes was the top finisher for the Spartans at the conference meet, placing 15th. He missed all-conference honors by two seconds.

Seniors Josh Verdeja, Keenan Strom and Emmitt Foster placed 26th, 27th and 31st for the Spartans. Freshman Ethan Baillargeon took 30th. The Spartans were without their lead runner, freshman Brandon Mondor, who was unavailable for the meet.

Somerset's girls were paced by senior Grace Becher, who finished 19th at the conference meet. That's one place better than her finish at the meet a year ago.

Rounding out Somerset's top five in the meet were Yosselyn Moncada in 38th, Carrie Kulibert in 39th, Kat Ryther in 41st and Maggie Becher in 42nd.

The Spartans return to action this Friday when they compete in the Barron Division 2 Sectional Meet. The boys sectional race will begin at 4 p.m., with the girls race starting 45 minutes later.