PREP GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY: Schandelmeier, Hohn, Kopplow earn All-State
NORTHFIELD -- A trio of area girls cross country runners finished among the Top 25 Saturday, earning individual All-State honors at the state high school cross country meet at St. Olaf College. The Adrian Dragons placed eighth in the team standings, completing a remarkable string of eight consecutive upper-half team performances in the annual 16-team event, which featured 175 runners this year.
Luverne eighth-grader Madison Schandelmeier turned in the best race among all Section 3A runners, as she claimed an individual medal (Top 10) by placing an impressive ninth with a 4,000-meter time of 14:56.6.
"It was a lot of fun, I love it," Schandelmeier said, this year's Southwest Conference champion and Section 3A runner-up, about her state-meet race. "It was a fast pace, but I went out right away with the leaders, as best I could and stayed with Kayla (Huhnerkoch, the Section 3A champion from Redwood Valley). Then, I started my kick early and was able to pull away from her and had a strong finish."
Huhnerkoch finished 11th, clocked at 15:01.6.
The next Section 3A runner to enter finish was Luverne junior Makayla Hohn, who also positioned herself well early in the race and ran steady all the way, placing 18th with her time of 15:17.3.
"I learned how to race at the state meet." declared Hohn about improving 13 places from last year and 19 spots from her 37th-place finish two years ago as a freshman. "This time, I knew how fast to go out, without burning out early, yet getting in a good position for the rest of the run."
Hohn was 31st at last year's state meet as a sophomore, clocked at 15:35.6, which was a 16-second improvement from her time of 15:51.7 in 2010.
Schandelmeier placed 28th last year as a seventh-grader, running the same course in 15:33.3.
"Both Madi and Makayla had outstanding runs," Luverne head coach Pete Janiszeski said. "They ran smart and hard, completing tremendous seasons with great races as they each improved significant places from last year."
"This is just a phenomenal experience," Hohn said. "It's so exciting. My goal was to make All-State, so I am really happy about that."
Kopplow leads Adrian, is four-time All-Stater
Adrian senior Jordin Kopplow capped a stellar six-year career for the Dragons with one of her best races, earning a fourth All-State individual honor by finishing 21st with her fastest-time ever on the St. Olaf course at 15:21.3.
Kopplow claimed previous All-State distinction (awarded by the state cross country coaches association) in 2007 (12th, 15:28.9), 2009 (8th, 15:30.2) and 2010 (16th, 15:24.6).
"It was perfect weather today," exclaimed Kopplow about her fast time. "I am happy about getting All-State again, but also very proud of our team for placing as well as we did. Every runner on our team gave it a great effort and we had a nice team finish."
In the team scoring, Kopplow placed seventh and the Section 3A runner-up Dragons (7-15-30-67-85) recorded a team total of 204 points, which put them ahead of eight teams, including Section 3A champion Canby/Minneota/Lincoln, which finished 11th with a score of 237.
Section 2A runner-up Martin County West, which defeated the Dragons at the Worthington Turkey Trot (Sept. 15), was 12th with 255 points.
"Getting eighth as a team is a pretty good accomplishment," said AHS head coach John Olson. "The girls all ran well, as both Jordin and Morgan Sauer ran their fastest-times ever on the state-meet course and both Anna Serrao and Jada Elias ran personal all-time bests.
"So, we're happy with how our season ended. We finished ahead of two teams -- Canby and MCW -- who had beaten us in earlier meets and not many programs can claim eight straight top-eight team performances at the state meet."
Junior Nicole Slater was Adrian's second runner Saturday, placing 38th overall (15th in the team scoring) with a fine time of 15:36.9, as she finished ahead of 137 runners.
Sophomore Morgan Sauer broke 16 minutes and placed 30th in the team scoring with her time of 15:52.4.
Senior Megan Sauer, who has been battling bronchitis for the past couple of weeks, was Adrian's fourth runner (67th team scoring), clocked at 16:39.6, while Serrao, a seventh-grader, completed the Dragons' scoring (85th team scoring) with a time of 17:12.6.
Elias, a freshman (96, 17:47.5) and seventh-grader Hannah Bullerman (105, 18:18.8) were Adrian's sixth and seventh runners.
Klassen, Blomgren set pace for Wolverines
Mountain Lake Area runners Whitney Klassen and Liana Blomgren represented the Wolverines individually at Northfield.
Klassen, a junior, finished 94th overall with a time of 16:08.7, while Blomgren, an eighth-grader, made a strong state-meet debut, clocking a time of 16:31.2 and finishing before 55 runners in 120th-place overall.
Klassen was 52nd last year, running the course in 15:54.0.
Esko won the team title with a low score of 115 points (2-5-26-38-44), while Annandale edged Minnehaha Academy, 150-151, for second.
Waseca was a close fourth with 157 points, followed by Dover-Eyota (184), The Blake School (187) and Perham (194).
Close behind Adrian was Rochester Lourdes (206) and Holdingford (212).
Behind MCW were Spectrum (257), Warroad (267), Albany (282) and International Falls (302).
Clare Flanagan, a senior from Blake, won the individual race with a sparkling time of 14:04.1.
Cannon Falls' junior Emi Trost (14:16.5) and St. Cloud Christian junior McKenzie Holt (14:29.8) placed second and third, respectively.
Alaysia Freetly, a sophomore from Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd (19th, 15:19.9) and C/M/LH senior Amanda Grengs (25th, 15:27.3) joined Schandelmeier, Huhnerkoch, Hohn and Kopplow as All-State runners from Section 3A, giving the section six of the state's Top 25.