PREP GIRLS' CROSS COUNTRY: Adrian girls win big at Turkey TrotWORTHINGTON — For the third year in a row, Adrian’s Jordin Kopplow impressively pulled away from the field and won the girls’ individual title of the Turkey Trot high school cross country meet Thursday afternoon at Prairie View Golf Links.
By: Les Knutson, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — For the third year in a row, Adrian’s Jordin Kopplow impressively pulled away from the field and won the girls’ individual title of the Turkey Trot high school cross country meet Thursday afternoon at Prairie View Golf Links.
Kopplow, a smooth-running junior, covered the 4,000-meter distance in 15 minutes and 13.1 seconds as she won her fourth consecutive race of the season, remaining undefeated in 2011.
But as strong as Kopplow’s performance was, she was most excited about how well — once again — her talented, hard-working teammates did behind her.
“I have been able to push the pace and take the lead,” Minnesota’s second-ranked Class A girls’ runner said after the race. “But, what is so nice is to know that my teammates are close behind and working at passing other runners and sticking close to me.”
With the trio of senior Austyn Thier, sophomore Nicole Slater and junior Megan Sauer each progressively moving up during the race, the Dragons put four runners among the top five finishers in the huge 80-runner field.
Not far behind was freshman Morgan Sauer, who finished 11th overall (10th, teamwise) with a time of 16:27.
Jackson County Central eighth-grader Jadin Bezdicek ran an amazing race and finished third overall, clocked at 15:31 — the third fastest time in the strong history of the JCC program.
But the Huskies were incomplete Thursday, so Bezdicek’s finish did not count in the team standings.
Thier, who was running in fifth place halfway through the race, finished strong and claimed second with an excellent time of 15:27.
“It was hard, there were some very good runners out there,” the all-around, multiple-sport AHS athlete said about the meet’s front runners. “I just tried to keep my pace and was able to move up to third. But, catching (Bezdicek) was a challenge. I hadn’t really seen her before, but she’s sure a good young runner. When we came down over the last bridge, I just sprinted hard and was able to hold my pace to the finish.”
Slater and Megan Sauer — who ran together, stride-for-stride, nearly the entire distance — both worked their way up in similar fashion, but were unable to catch Bezdicek.
Slater (fourth, 15:32) and Sauer (fifth, 15:35) were each moved up a position in the team count, giving the Dragons the first four places.
Adding in Morgan Sauer’s 10th-place team score, AHS tallied a mere 20 points (1-2-3-4-10) to claim the team championship — for the third straight year — winning Thursday by 45 points.
“We had a good day,” summed up third-year Adrian head coach John Olson. “As usual, our girls ran progressively stronger during the second half of the race and finished very well.”
Senior Hunter Hieronimus (35, 17:58) and sophomore Haley Howe (42, 18:50) completed Adrian’s top seven.
MCW, ML/B-O finish second and third; Gehl, Hildebrandt run well
Martin County West, which later repeated as the boys’ team champions, finished a solid second in the girls’ meet with 65 points (6-9-13-15-22), led by individual trophy-winning (top 10) performances from a pair of eighth-graders.
Morgan Larson (15:48) was seventh overall, while teammate Whitney Smith (16:23) finished one spot ahead of Morgan Sauer in 10th-place overall.
The Mavericks were third last year with 81 points.
Freshman Lydia Hildebrant paced the Mountain Lake/Butterfield-Odin Wolverines to a third-place team finish this year, as she entered the chute ninth overall with a time of 16:21.
The rest of ML/B-O’s scoring runners finished in a close pack, as the Wolverines tallied 84 points (8-16-18-19-23).
The combination of Murray County Central and Fulda had great lead runs from both Tiffany Gehl (eighth overall, seventh team, 16:03) and Sharia Cheadle (13, 12, 16:48), finishing fourth in the team standings with 109 points.
“Tiffany missed Monday’s meet (at Marshall) because of Fulda’s coronation, which was a good thing as she was crowned the Queen,” noted Rebels’ head coach Dominick Damm. “But, she sure ran a great race (Thursday) and was really digging at the end.”
St. James senior Cheyanne Bowers, Class A’s sixth-ranked runner and last year’s Turkey Trot runner-up, was among the top three for the first half of Thursday’s race, but ended up sixth (overall) with a time of 15:42, leading the Saints to a fifth-place team finish (129 points).
Windom, which put three runners in the top 20, was sixth (144), followed by Worthington (159), Tracy-Milroy-Balaton (197), Southwest Christian (207) and Pipestone Area (279), while JCC was incomplete.
Moore, Darling, Jaycox lead Trojan runners
Merideth Hentges (12, 16:37), Kylie Willard (15, 17:01) and Kelcey Olson (18, 17:15) were the lead trio for the Eagles, while eighth-grader Meredith Moore and freshman Alecia Darling crossed the finish line together (21st, 17:23.7) to lead the Trojans.
“Both Alecia and Meredith utilized their speed well at the end of the race and both had great finishing kicks,” praised WHS head coach Ken Henkels. “I was happy with how those two ran, plus Stephanie Jaycox continued to show her leadership and had a nice race, while Ariana Lopez had her best effort of the season and gave us a good finish from our fourth runner.”
Jaycox, a steady-performing junior was 27th overall with a time of 17:34 and Lopez, a sophomore, clocked a season-best 19:33 and finished 48th (44 teamwise).
The fifth Trojan to score was senior Jennifer Majerus (53, 48, 19:45) who finished just a few places behind Lopez.
Kinzie Myrom (20:27), Hope Reeves (21:36), Mariah Haffield (22:25) and Tyree Murray (22:26) also completed the girls’ varsity race for Worthington.
Morgan De Ruyter (26, 17:29) was Southwest Christian’s top runner, while Nichole Iverson (29, 17:36) was T-M-B’s first finisher and Paige Petersen (54, 19:46) was the lead runner for PA.
MCC/F’s Pankonen wins junior high race, Windom takes team title
MCC/F’s Averi Pankonen, a seventh-grader, won the girls’ 1,600-meter junior high race with a time of 6:16.5.
After SWC’s Elise Ver Hey (6:23) and MCW’s Brooke Anderson (6:28) finished second and third, respectively, Windom’s Christianna Green (6:31), ML/B-O’s Liana Blomgren (6:32.2) and SWC’s Emily Nerem (6:32.5) finished close together in places 4-6.
Windom won the team title with 32 points, while SWC was second (44) and ML/B-O took third place with a score of 50.
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