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Marshall gets SWC sweep

WORTHINGTON -- Showcasing good depth in both the boys' and girls' races on a cold and windy Tuesday afternoon, the Marshall Tigers swept the Southwest Conference cross country meet at Prairie View Golf Links.

Placing five runners in the top eight, the Tiger girls won with a low score of 24 points. Luverne placed second with 62 points, followed by Windom (94), Redwood Valley (106), Jackson County Central (142) and Worthington (161). Pipestone Area was incomplete.

The Tiger boys had a tougher time winning, as Redwood Valley's one-two punch of Justin Peters and Anthony Bongard paced the Cardinals to a score of 34 points, one more than Marshall's low total of 33 points.

JCC placed third with 77 points, and Worthington was fourth with 121 points. Luverne (140), PA (144) and Windom (175) rounded out the team scoring.

Marshall's Brooke Wyffels won the individual title for the third year in a row, running the 4,000-meter course in 14:55. She earned an early lead, and gradually pulled away from the rest of the field.

Luverne's Lexi Jo Heitkamp was Wyffels' closest challenger, as she placed second with a time of 15:08. She was comfortably ahead of a pack of four Tigers for much of the race.

PA's Ann Marie Dykstra -- who ran right with that pack before pulling away late -- finished third with a time of 15:23, while teammate Amanda Schoonhoven moved her way up and used a fine finishing kick to place seventh (the last all-conference spot) with a time of 15:42.

Windom's duo of Alex Potter (15:49) and Chelsea Garrison (16:08) finished ninth and 11th, respectively, sandwiching Luverne's Kayla Raddle, who was 10th with a time of 16:05.

Debbie Schneiderman of Luverne earned the final all-conference honorable mention position by placing 14th with a time of 16:16.

Worthington's Kaitlin Gerber (16:18) just missed cracking the top-14, as she paced the Trojans with a 15th-place finish.

Also finishing as a scoring runner for the Trojans were Milena Bartelmess (29th, 17:08), Allison Jaycox (45th, 17:57), Deann Naab (48th, 18:01) and Katie Hanselmann (65th, 19:40). Angela Lowe (76th, 22:27) also competed for the Trojans.

Peters (16:51) and Bongard (17:16) dominated the 5,000-meter boys' race by finishing first and second, respectively.

JCC's Matt Kocak ran an impressive race, as he kept moving his way closer to a pack of five Marshall harriers. He ended up beating three of them, finishing fifth overall with a time of 18:26.

PA's Kasey Klosterman finished 10th with his time of 18:41, just edging JCC's duo of Colin Fischer (11th, 18:42) and Marc Strom (13th, 18:44).

Worthington's Brian Juber claimed the final individual award, placing 14th with a time of 19:10.

Okuich Abella (23rd, 20:03) was the next Trojan to cross the finish line, followed by Alex Stewart (28th, 20:16), Tim Zaske (35th, 20:38), Travis Pedersen (39th, 20:50), Alex Myrom (52nd, 21:24) and Caleb Fellows (67th, 22:36).