T-M-B's Ryan Tholen races to second in 419-runner field at Griak CC Meet
FALCON HEIGHTS -- Competing in a huge field of 419 runners in the Maroon Division of the mammoth Roy Griak Cross Country Invitational at the University of Minnesota Golf Course Saturday, Ryan Tholen of Tracy-Milroy-Balaton moved up progressively through the 5,000 meter race, finishing an impressive second with a time of 17:06.
Tholen's performance highlighted local runners in the large meet, which featured six college races and four high school races.
The Adrian girls were the only area team that competed in the higher-level Gold Division high school race, while several area schools ran in the Maroon Division.
Three other area runners earned individual awards in the Maroon race by finishing among the top 20. All four high school races -- including both girls' events -- were run on the same 5,000 meter course, which was chock full of hills and dips.
Racing 1,000 meters more than usual, several area girls found the extra distance to their liking, as T-M-B's Karli Tholen ran the longer race in 20:52 and finished 11th (among 602 finishers), while Petra Nelson of Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin placed 14th with her time of 21:05.
Two Marshall runners, Brooke Wyffels (20:02) and Emily VanKeulen (20:30), finished third and sixth, respectively.
Teamwise, in the girls' Maroon Division there were a total of 47 complete teams.
ML/B-O was 10th with 377 points and Marshall was 14th with a score of 506, while both Hills-Beaver Creek/Ellsworth (41st, 992) and T-M-B (42nd, 1,029) also recorded complete team scores.
The best team score turned in by an area squad was a ninth- place performance by the Adrian boys in the Maroon race.
The Dragons, were paced by the 18th place finish of Chris Reisdorfer -- who was the third area runner to garner a top 20 finish. Reisdorfer ran the course in 17:43.
Jordan Pater (55th, 18:18), Jack Albertson (80, 18:40), Kyle Henning (99, 18:53) and Brett Springman (118, 19:09) completed the Adrian scoring, while Zach Runia (127, 19:13), Jarod Boltjes (156, 19:29) and Tony Reisdorfer (229, 20:03) also completed the course for the Dragons
Adrian's team score of 370 was the fifth best of all Minnesota schools. Marshall was 23rd (604 points), while H-BC/E/E was 24th (636) and T-M-B was 44th (1,107) among the total of 47 complete teams.
Tyler Paulsen (57th, 18:21) and Halden Van Wyhe (60, 18:25) paced H-BC/E/E, while Dustin Verhey (84, 18:41), Andrew Scholten (173, 19:38), Ryan Weitgenant (262, 20:46), Terrence Reid (266, 20:49) and Sam Luze (298, 21:26) also ran for the Patriots.
Alex Jones was T-M-B's second finisher, covering the distance in 19:46 and finishing 189th.
Following up Nelson's fine lead run for the Wolverine girls were the finishes of Karina Fast (40, 21:49), Bethany Nelson (102, 23:01), Nadya Bucklin (108, 23:05), Gretchen Wall (113, 23:07), Karen Herrig (120, 23:15) and Sierra Harder (125, 23:18).
Leading the Patriot girls was Heather Esselink (119, 23:14), followed by Rayna Sandoval (151, 23:40), Jill Weitgenant (212, 24:26), Heather Kerner (228, 24:45) and Courtney Hoogendoorn (282, 26:51).
Lauren Schaar was T-M-B's second girl, clocking a time of 24:11 and finishing 190th.
Adrian girls 28th in Gold Race, Kopplow gets 73rd
Seventh-grader Jordin Kopplow was Adrian's top runner in the 376-finisher girls' Gold race. Kopplow ran a personal- best 5,000 meter time of 20:50, as she finished ahead of 303 runners.
Dragon teammates Austyn Thier (160, 21:48), Hailee Heitkamp (170, 21:53), Natasha Slater (197, 22:16), Alissa Sauer (201, 22:18) and Leslie Stover (236, 22:59) also completed the longer distance.
Teamwise, the Dragons finished 28th -- among 42 complete teams from across the country -- with 674 points.
The top four teams were Greeley West (Colorado), Des Moines Dowling (Iowa), Sioux Falls Washington (S.D.) and Burnsville (Class AA, Minnesota).
Perham, the state's second-ranked Class A team -- behind Adrian -- finished 11th with 417 points
The Dragons beat Perham by a wide margin (93-161) at the Milaca Mega-Meet Sept. 22. But the top two Yellowjacket runners both had outstanding finishes Saturday, placing seventh and 11th respectively.
Adrian is running in the Luverne Invitational Thursday and will face the Cardinals for the first time this season.