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Dragons score season-opening victories at Wolverine Invite

MOUNTAIN LAKE -- Impressively taking five of the top eight spots in the girls' 4,000-meter race Wednesday afternoon, the Adrian Dragons won the season-opening Wolverine Invitational at the Mountain Lake Golf Course and showed area cross country fans why they claimed the Class A state title last November.

Adrian turned in place cards 3-4-6-7-8 to register a low score of 28 points, outdistancing second-place Waseca -- which also had five runners in the top 15, including the individual champion (Hannah McGraith, 15:31) -- by 12 points.

The Dragons' Morgan Lynn (15:55) and Leslie Stover (15:56) finished third and fourth, respectively. Fairmont's Taylor Rather (15:54) passed the duo in the final 200 meters with a strong finishing kick.

Hailee Heitkamp (16:23), Erica Thier (16:25) and Megan Henning (16:29) packed together and took sixth, seventh and eighth places, respectively.

"That was a nice team run for our girls," Adrian head coach Doug Petersen said. "We had just over a 30-second time spread between our first and fifth runners, which is the closest it's ever been."

Worthington's Kaitlin Gerber ran a fine race to earn a medal, as she placed 10th with a time of 16:39. The top 15 runners in each race received medals.

Also running for Worthington were Allison Jaycox (69th, 19:56), Deann Naab (70th, 20:00) and Angela Lowe (97th, 22:16). The Trojans finished with an incomplete score.

Murray County Central's Laura Christensen progressively moved her way up throughout the race and placed 12th out of 113 runners with a time of 16:46.

Team Results

1. Adrian, 28 points; 2) Waseca, 40; 3) Fairmont, 85; 4) Blue Earth, 142; 5) Windom, 201; 6) Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin, 221; 7) United South Central/Alden-Conger, 239; 8) Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial/Nicollet, 246; 9) Murray County Central, 307; 10) Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, 358; 11) Jackson County Central, 363; 12) Martin County West, 377. Incomplete teams: Maple River, Westbrook-Walnut Grove/Red Rock Central, Southwest Christian, Worthington.

Wieneke leads Dragon boys to victory

Receiving a very impressive lead run from Ethan Wieneke, Adrian completed the sweep of the meet by winning the boys' team title with a low score of 64.

Wieneke ran side-by-side with Kegan Marble of Waseca for most of the race before Marble (17:06) pulled away in the final 800 meters to win the 5,000-meter contest. Wieneke finished second in a personal-best time of 17:16.

"Ethan's run was probably the best ever by one of our boys at this meet," Petersen said. "That's an excellent time for the first meet of the year."

Adrian's Nate Reyne (17:39) turned in an impressive eighth-place finish and Jack Albertson (18:20) earned the last medal by placing 15th.

Jared Boltjes (18:34) and Jordan Pater (18:50) took place cards 18 and 21, respectively, to solidify the Dragons' scoring.

Paced by a strong run from Brian Juber, Worthington finished 11th in the team standings with a score of 288 points. Juber led the Trojans with a time of 19:05, which was good enough for 29th place.

Okuich Abella (56th, 20:35), Alex Stewart (64th, 21:11), Tim Zaske (68th, 21:28) and Cody Reese (71st, 21:38) were Worthington's other scoring runners.

Worthington's Travis Pedersen (82nd, 22:29), Alex Myrom (97th, 24:07) and Caleb Fellows (101st, 25:29) also competed among the 112 runners.

Tracy-Milroy-Balaton's Ryan Tholen ran a strong race, finishing fifth with a time of 17:33.

Grant Vis from Southwest Christian ran his first career cross country race in impression fashion, finishing 11th in a time of 18:07.

Nate Ellens (18:13) of Murray County Central finished with a strong kick and placed 13th.

Team Results

1) Adrian, 64 points; 2) Waseca, 91; 3) Fairmont, 93; 4) USC/A-C, 102; 5) Blue Earth, 107; 6) LC-WM/N, 215; 7) MCW, 230; 8) MCC, 256; 9) T-M-B, 264; 10) Maple River, 279; 11) Worthington, 288; 12) W-WG/RRC, 361. Incomplete teams: Southwest Christian, JCC, Windom, ML-B-O.