Area teams prepare for Section 2A meetJACKSON — While most area teams will be competing in Friday’s Section 3A cross country meet at the Adrian Country Club, three area squads will make the long trip to Montgomery today to participate in the Section 2A meet at the golf course there.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
JACKSON — While most area teams will be competing in Friday’s Section 3A cross country meet at the Adrian Country Club, three area squads will make the long trip to Montgomery today to participate in the Section 2A meet at the golf course there.
Jackson Country Central, Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin and Windom/Southwestern United will compete in the 18-school, state-qualifying meet, which begins with the 4,000-meter girls’ race at 4 p.m.
The longer, 5-000-meter, boys’ event starts at 4:45 p.m.
“Everybody is healthy and we are ready to run,” said JCC sophomore Marc Strom, who has been a big part of the success that the Huskies have experienced this fall.
JCC — paced by the lead trio of junior Matt Kocak, sophomore Justin Cook, and Strom — is considered as one of the favorites to challenge for the boys’ team title.
The oncoming JCC girls, led by sophomore Kinbrae Bezdicek, could be in the hunt too, as will both W/SWU and ML/B-O.
Fairmont is considered the girls’ team favorite, but the Eagles and Wolverines look to challenge Blue Earth Area for second place — and a trip to the state cross country meet in Northfield Nov. 1.
Both ML/B-O and W/SWU have good balance and also have quality lead runners, as the trio of Petra Nelson, Karina Fast and Sierra Harder pace the Wolverines, and Merideth Hentges, Chelsea Garrison and Emily Turner have been consistent front runners for the Eagles.
ML/B-O is coming off a strong runner-up performance (behind three-time defending state champion Adrian) in the Red Rock Conference meet. But the Wolverines will be running without fourth runner Karen Herrig, who is at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind.
W/SWU, has posted a pair of impressive victories this season — winning both the Redwood Valley Invitational and the Southwest Conference — but the Eagles finished well behind both BEA and ML/B-O at Fairmont’s I-90 Invitational in early October.
Last year, Fairmont won the girls’ title with 50 points, while BEA edged ML/B-O by three points (73-76) for second. W/SWU was fourth (120) and JCC (176) finished sixth.
In the boys’ meet a year ago, St. James won with a low score of 61. Fairmont, Le Sueur-Henderson and BEA had a fiece battle for second, scoring 91, 93 and 94 points.
JCC was fifth with 113 points. But the Huskies, who are coming off a pair of tie-breaking second-place finishes at the I-90 and Southwest Conference meets, are a better team this season.
In addition to the top-notch lead trio of Kocak, Cook and Strom, the Huskies have solid fourth and fifth runners in juniors Sam Hendrickson and Jon Troe.
Kocak and Strom both qualified individually for last year’s state meet, finishing eighth and ninth, respectively, in the 2007 Section 2A meet at Blue Earth.
Nelson (fifth) and Fast (10th) qualified individually in last year’s girls’ race, while Garrison (11th) just missed.
The top two teams and the first 10 individuals will qualify for this year’s state meet.