Christensen, Paulsen win Patriot cc titles
LARCHWOOD, Iowa -- Both the Murray County Central/Fulda girls and the host Hills-Beaver Creek/Ellsworth/Edgerton boys rode the strength of an individual champion -- along with exceptional squad balance -- to claim team titles Monday at the Patriot Invitational Cross Country Meet at the Larchwood Golf Course.
MCC/F's Laura Christensen, Minnesota's eighth-ranked Class A girls' runner, outdueled Pipestone Area's Ann Marie Dykstra in a contested battle for the gold medal, winning by two seconds. Running on a shorter 2.4 mile course, Christensen clocked a time of 14 minutes, 21 seconds, while Dykstra was timed at 14:23.
It was the third time this season that Christensen and Dykstra have separated themselves from the the rest of the pack and finished a close one-two.
Later, it was H-BC/E/E teammates Tyler Paulsen and Halden Van Wyhe finishing one-two in the boys' three-mile race, leading the Patriots to the team championship. Paulsen ran the course in 16:38, while Van Wyhe was clocked at 16:44.
Six teams competed in the meet on a beautiful autumn day with sunny skies, a light breeze and the temperature at 70 degrees.
MCC/F, which had three of the top seven finishers, won the girls' meet with a low score of 28 points, followed by Worthington (41) and West Lyon (52). H-BC/E/E, PA and Southwest Christian were each incomplete.
H-BC/E/E had a winning score of 32, in the boys' meet, followed by SWC (51), Worthington (108) and MCC/F (109). Both West Lyon and PA were incomplete.
After West Lyon's Theresa Scholten entered the chute in third place (14:42), Worthington's Kaitlin Gerber (14:46) and PA's Amanda Schoonhoven (14:57), finished fourth and fifth, respectively, as the top five girls all bettered the 15-minute mark.
MCC/F's tandem of Lexy Gleis (15:34) and Erica Drealan (15:41) claimed places six and seven, respectively, helping the Rebels post the the team win.
Worthington's Stephanie Behrens (eighth, 15:45), West Lyon's Teresa Klarenbeek (ninth, 15:50) and SWC's Megan DeRuyter (10th, 16:03) completed the top 10.
Backing up the fine runs by Gerber and Behrens for the second-place Trojan girls were Stephanie Jaycox (16th, 16:35), Deann Naab (20th 17:09), Kirsten Aljets (21st, 17:36) and Angela Lowe (24th, 19:13).
SWC's Ethan Spronk (16:50) was third in the boys' race, while teammate Grant Vis (17:11) finished fifth. Dustin Verhey of H-BC/E/E, placed fourth with a time of 17:04, giving the Patriots three of the top four finishers.
Worthington's Aaron Grafing raced to a sixth-place finish with his time of 17:12, followed by Mark Bau of MCC/F (17:21), Travis Snyders of West Lyon (17:33), Kasey Klosterman of PA (17:34) and Mitchell Hart of MCC/F (17:36) in places 7-10, respectively
Okuich Abella was Worthington's second finisher, placing 18th with a time of 18:51, followed by Alex Stewart (19th, 19:14), Tim Zaske (20th, 19:23), Ian Fleace (21st, 19:24), Caleb Fellows (22nd, 19:25) and Alex Myrom (26th, 19:40).
Many of these same teams will run at the Cardinal Invitational in Luverne Thursday.