MONTGOMERY - The Class A, No. 3-ranked Martin County West Maverick boys cross country team and the No. 4-ranked Fairmont Cardinal girls punched their tickets to the Class A state meet on Saturday, Nov. 2, at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
Both the Mavericks and the Cardinals snagged second-place team finishes behind the Waseca Bluejays to advance to the state meet.
In addition to the Maverick boys and Cardinal girls teams, Martin County West's Brooke Anderson and Morgan Larson also qualified as individual runners after finishing in the top eight in the meet.
HEADED TO STATE — Fairmont runners Iliana Ramon (26), Katiana Fischer (middle) and Jenna Pavich round the corner before heading toward the finish line during the Section 2A cross country meet on Thursday in Montgomery. The trio helped guide the Cardinal girls team to a state bid. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
HEADED TO STATE — Martin County West’s Jonah Mayo sprints toward the finish line during sectional cross country action Thursday in Montgomery. Mayo helped lead the Mavericks to a state team bid. (Photo by Leanna Becker)
"We went on a streak of about six years where we made the state meet each year, but then we haven't the last two years," said Fairmont head coach Bob Bonk. "These girls came into the season motivated and in good shape from summer running. They earned this and it is really exciting to see them do so well."
Martin County West junior Jonah Mayo led the team to second-place honors and helped the Mavericks to their second state meet in a row with a third-place time of 16 minutes, 40.5 seconds.
Dylan Brockman motored to a fourth-place, personal-best finish in 17:01.0, while Matthew Viesselman also snared an all-section honor with an eighth-place and personal-best time of 17:08.4.
"We had a course record for another time we had raced at that course, and all three of our top runners broke that time today," said Martin County West head coach Stannetta Svoboda. "Of course you always want to be in the top two, but the boys were hoping to win. But we beat Waseca last year at section and they beat us at state. So they figured this season they can have the section and we'll beat them at the state meet."
Nick Holm raced for a personal-best 17th-place time of 17:36.6, while Joshua Bjerken finished 19th in 17:45.4 to complete the team score.
Chris Kahler and Ramon Bowie rounded out the Mavericks' efforts with 22nd- and 47th-place times of 17:56.5 and 18:29.2, respectively.
"Ramon just gets bounced around in the pack, and we talked to him about how he needs to run a little more mad, and not let the bigger guys push him around," said Svoboda. "But his goal was to finish in the top 50 and he finished 47th, so he was so excited. He's the only one we have that hasn't been to state yet, so that will be fun."
The No. 2-ranked Bluejays boys were led by junior Shane Streich's first-place time of 15:41.7. Teammates Josh Kimball and Cole Streich raced in with fifth and seventh-place times of 17:01.0 and 17:05.0 to aid the winning effort.
Jenna Pavich topped the Cardinals' second-place team effort with a 10th-place time of 15:59.1.
Iliana Ramon raced in just behind Pavich in 11th with a time of 16:01.2.
"I thought that Jenna and Iliana both did a great job in the race," said Bonk. "They really exceeded our expectations as far as where they'd place and that was great to see."
Katiana Fischer and Emily Haugen were not far behind in 16th and 22nd place with times of 16:12.9 and 16:34.2, providing depth for the Fairmont squad.
"I think the difference today for us was our depth," said Bonk. "We didn't have anyone that finished in the lower half, which was great. I think it really made the difference."
Hannah Johnson completed the team score with a 23rd-place time of 16:36.4.
Molly Hawkins and Sarah Bartz rounded out the Cardinals efforts with 34th- and 42nd-place times of 16:59.5 and 17:18.8, respectively.
"We had run this course earlier in the year and looking at those times compared to today, I think that everyone - both boys and girls - got 1:30 to two minutes faster this season," said Bonk. "And I was thankful for a comfortable margin between second and third place for the girls. The difference between first and second isn't so much, because both go to state. But to have a little cushion was nice."
The Cardinals beat out last season's Section 2A runner-up, Martin County West, by 34 points.
Brooke Anderson ran her second-best personal time of 15:36.8 for fourth place to top the Mavericks, while Morgan Larson also grabbed all-section honors with an eighth-place time of 15:53.8.
"I think that Brooke knew that when we lost a lot of girls to graduation last season that we needed girls to step up. And her and Morgan have been trading on who finishes first for the team," said Svoboda. "They both ran really good races for us today, and I think were disappointed the team didn't make it, but they still did great."
Whitney Smith and Sara Carlson finished 21st and 28th in 16:28.4 and 16:46.0, respectively, for the Mavericks. Morgan Wolter completed the team's third-place scoring with a time of 17:38.3 for 55th place.
"Our captain Sara Calson has done a great job this season, just gotten better each race and today she ran a personal best," said Svoboda. "Today, when the team didn't make it, she said, 'Look how far we've come,' and to have that leadership after losing all but three girls from last year's team. That was great."
Jessica Borg and Nichole Smith rounded out the Mavericks' effort with 56th- and 87th-place times of 17:38.9 and 18:40.3.
Blue Earth Area's Taylor Grandgenett raced across the finish line with a 26th-place time of 16:42.8 to top the girls' 13th-place team finish.
Jenna Stevermer raced in at 17:52.1 for 65th place for the Bucs. Sierra Halvorson, Zoe Thompson and Shayna Stevermer raced to 71st, 74th and 75th-place times of 18:01.9; 18:05.5 and 19:09.1 to complete the Bucs' score.
Mariah Halvorson and Signe Olson rounded out Blue Earth Area's efforts with times of 18:12.2 and 18:35.0 for 76th and 83rd places, respectively.
Blue Earth Area's Isaac Miranda raced to a 20th-place time of 17:52.9 to top the boys' ninth-place score.
Mike Ankeny raced to 30th with a time of 18:07.7, while Zach Vaske grabbed 45th place in 18:29.0. Kyle Mercer and Jordan Stelter completed the Bucs team score with finishes of 19:07.5 and 19:57.9 for 69th and 101st places.
Seth Becker and Adam Buseman rounded out the Bucs efforts with 115th- and 117th-place times of 20:42.9 and 20:46.7, respectively.
Zac Ehlert captured all-section honors with his career-best and 15th-place time of 17:25.5 to pace the Fairmont boys to a 10th-place team finish in the meet.
"Zac ran a career-best and earned All-Section honors, he ran a great race and just missed making the state meet by two seconds," said Bonk. "He did all he could do, he just came up a little short."
Sanguja Hassan raced in with a 48th-place time of 18:29.4, while Kaleb Linse crossed the finish line in 53rd place with a time of 18:42.2.
Christopher Poush and Andrew Moeller completed the Cardinals' score with finishes in 77th and 87th place in 19:15.0 and 19:31.4.
Brian Wilde finished 88th, while Cole Huinker finished 113th with times of 19:31.8 and 20:30.9 to round out the Cardinals efforts.
Hanna Geistfeld topped the Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther girls' effort with a 98th-place time of 19:01.1. Alissa Voyles and Savannah Krenz finished 110th and 117th with times of 19:55.2 and 20:48.7, respectively.
Bekah Rusert and Dakato Debell rounded out the Jayhawks' efforts with 123rd- and 125th-place times of 23:13.8 and 26:18.9, respectively.
Noah Frelich led the Jayhawk boys with a 125th-place finish in 21:12.67. Jeremiah Colon finished 136th in 23:05.16, while Clay Gieseke and Joseph Fenske finished 140th and 141st in 26:28.17 and 26:47.52.
SECTION 2A MEET
Team Standings: 1. Waseca 53; 2. Fairmont 82; 3. Martin County West 116; 4. Mankato Loyola/Cleveland 171; 5. Belle Plaine 176; 6. Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial/Nicollet 204; 7. Sleepy Eye-St. Mary's 213; 8. St. James Area 222; 9. St. Peter 243; 10. United South Central 257; 11. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton 305; 12. Tri City United 306; 13. Blue Earth Area 311; 14. Maple River 340; 15. Minnesota Valley Lutheran 349; 16. LeSueur-Henderson 423; 17. Sibley East-Arlington 455; 18. New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva 493; 19. Madelia/Truman/Martin Luther 573.
Individual Results (132 runners): 1. Tierney Winter (WEM/JWP) 15:01.7; 2. Beth Stevermer (USC) 15:22.09; 3. Kourtney Kulseth (W) 15:35.62; 4. Brooke Anderson (MCW) 15:36.71; 5. Janessa Meuleners (BP) 15:38.07; 6. Sally O'Brien (W) 15:41.04; 7. Allison Breck (W) 15:49.56; 8. Morgan Larson (MCW) 15:53.77; 9. Kyla Haas (MLC) 15:56.13; 10. Jenna Pavich (F) 15:59.08; 11. Iliana Ramon (F) 16:01.13; 12. Ashley Lahti (SJ) 16:01.93; 13. Katie Schilling (SP) 16:04.15; 14. Sara Novak (TCU) 16:04.21; 15. Gabriela Passmore (MR) 16:05.32.
Other Fairmont finishers: 16. Katiana Fischer 16:12.9; 22. Emily Haugen 16:34.2; 23. Hannah Johnson 16:36.4; 34. Molly Hawkins 16:59.5; 42. Sarah Bartz 17:18.8.
Other MCW finishers: 21. Whitney Smith 16:28.4; 28. Sara Carlson 16:46; 55. Morgan Wolter 17:38.3; 56. Jessica Borg 17:38.9; 87. Nichole Smith 18:40.3.
BEA finishers: 26. Taylor Grandgenett 16:42.8; 65. Jenna Stevermer 17:52.1; 71. Sierra Halvorson 18:01.9; 74. Zoe Thompson 18:05.5; 75. Shayna Stevermer 18:09.1; 76. Mariah Halvorson 18:12.2; 83. Signe Olson 18:35.0.
M/T/ML finishers: 98. Hanna Geistfeld 19:01.1; 110. Alissa Voyles 19:55.2; 117. Savannah Krenz 20:48.7; 123. Bekah Rusert 23:13.8; 125. Dakato Debell 26:18.9.
Team Standings: 1. Waseca 50; 2. MCW 51; 3. Mankato Loyola/Cleveland 146; 4. TCU 151; 5. LCWM/N 162; 6. Belle Plaine 182; 7. Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop 187; 8. USC 201; 9. BEA 265; 10. Fairmont 280; 11. SJ 314; 12. NRHEG 316; 13. Maple River 350; 14. Sibley East-Arlington 371; 15. WEM/JWP 411; 16. SESM 421; 17. LSH 437; 18. SP 473; 19. MVL 478; 20. Medford 526.
Individual Results (141 runners): 1. Shane Streich (W) 15:41.61; 2. T.J. Schiltz (NRHEG) 16:29.11; 3. Jonah Mayo (MCW) 16:40.45; 4. Dylan Brockman (MCW) 17:00.96; 5. Josh Kimball (W) 17:00.98; 6. John Roth (LCWM/N) 17:03.51; 7. Cole Streich (W) 17:04.95; 8. Matthew Viesselman (MCW) 17:08.33; 9. Wyatt Elmer (ML/C) 17:14.6; 10. Landon Javens (ML/C) 17:14.8; 11. Marty McGuire (TCU) 17:17.82; 12. Tyler Sassenberg (GFW) 17:18.15; 13. Cody Vacek (SP) 17:22.47; 14. Brandon Albrecht (GFW) 17:23.31; 15. Zac Ehlert (F) 17:25.44.
Other MCW finishers: 17. Nick Holm 17:36.6; 19. Joshua Bjerken 17:45.4; 22. Chris Kahler 17:56.5; 47. Ramon Bowie 18:29.2.
Other Fairmont finishers: 48. Sanguja Hassan 18:29.4; 53. Kaleb Linse 18:42.2; 77. Christopher Poush 19:15.0; 87. Andrew Moeller 19:31.4; 88. Brian Wilde 19:31.8; 113. Cole Huinker 20:30.9.
BEA finishers: 20. Isaac Miranda 17:52.9; 30. Mike Ankeny 18:07.7; 45. Zach Vaske 18:29.0; 69. Kyle Mercer 19:07.5; 101. Jordan Stelter 19:57.9; 115. Seth Becker 20:42.9; 117. Adam Buseman 20:46.7.
M/T/ML finishers: 125. Noah Frelich 21:12.67; 136. Jeremiah Colon 23:05.16; 140. Clay Gieseke 26:28.17; Joseph Fenske 26:47.52.