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W/SWU girls, JCC boys win at Redwood Valley

REDWOOD FALLS -- Great team balance by both the Windom/Southwestern United girls and the Jackson County Central boys produced team titles Thursday for the two promising young squads at the seven-team Redwood Valley Invitational Cross Country Meet.

W/SWU put all five of its scoring runners among the top 11 and edged perennial powerhouse Marshall by one point, 36-37.

Host Redwood Valley was a distant third with 63 points, while JCC (98) and Minnesota Valley Lutheran (129) also had complete teams scores.

The combinations of Sleepy St. Mary's/Sleepy Eye Public/New Ulm Cathedral and McLeod West/Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop were both incomplete.

Later, JCC put all five of its scoring runners among the top 14 finishers and took an 11-point victory in the boys' meet.

The Huskies had a low score of 42, while Redwood nipped Marshall for second, 53-54. MVL (91), G-F-W/MW (131) and W/SWU (152) rounded out the list of complete teams.

Brooke Wyffels of Marshall and Gabi Swoboda of Redwood Valley went one-two in the 4,000 meter girls' race with respective times of 15:24 and 15:39.

After Marshall's Emily VanKeulen entered the chute in a time of 16 minutes flat, the Eagles had the next three finishers as the trio of Chelsea Garrison (16:17), Cassie Cselovszki (16:43) and Meredith Hentges (16:45) took places four, five and six, respectively.

"That was really the key for us," W/SWU head coach Mike Kray said. "Getting both Cassie and Meredith under 17 minutes was nice and then our fifth runner -- Katie Turner -- passed Marshall's fourth runner late in the race to give us the team victory."

Runners from Marshall and Redwood earned places seven and eight, and after JCC's Leslie Handzus (17:06) placed ninth, Eagle runners Kelcey Olson (17:09) and Turner (17:16) locked up the W/SWU win by finishing 10th and 11th respectively.

Brian Byrnes of Marshall won the boys' 5,000 meter run with his time of 17:01, but JCC runners Matt Kocak (17:46), Marc Strom (17:50) and Colin Fischer (17:50) packed together in places four, five and six, respectively.

The Huskies clinched the win when Sam Hendrickson (18:32) and Justin Cook (18:36) finished 13th and 14th, respectively.