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Adrian sweeps Section 3A

A virtual tsunami of blue and gold greeted cross country fans at the finish line Thursday afternoon as the Adrian Dragons girls and boys teams garnered the top positions at the Section 3A cross country meet in Adrian.

A virtual tsunami of blue and gold greeted cross country fans at the finish line Thursday afternoon as the Adrian Dragons girls and boys teams garnered the top positions at the Section 3A cross country meet in Adrian.

The Dragon girls literally ran away from the field scoring 29 points to second-place Luverne with 73. Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin captured third place with 116 points, while Windom (137) and Redwood Valley (144) finished in fourth and fifth, respectively.

"We made (school) history today," Adrian head coach Doug Peterson said following the races. "This is the first girls team in any sport to make it to state from Adrian. It was just a solid team effort from everybody today, we're really excited."

The Adrian harriers scored 60 points to earn first on the boys side with Redwood Valley a close second with 76 points. The Cardinals were followed by Southwest Christian (122) and Luverne (126), while Renville County West earned fifth with 174 points.

In the girls 4,000-meter race, Adrian freshman Morgan Lynn ran out to an early lead and then distanced herself from a small chase pack with 750 meters left to win the event in a time of 15 minutes, 1 second.

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"With about a half mile left to go I just turned it on," Lynn said. "I've been to state as an individual runner before, but I'm really excited to be going as a team."

Luverne sophomore Lexi Jo Heitkamp, who has met Lynn many times in competition, finished second in a time of 15:24.0. Running most of the race in fourth position, Heitkamp made a move with about 400 meters left.

"I ran the best race I could today, the whole team did," Heitkamp said. "I had my eye on Morgan, but she just ran another awesome race today."

Luverne teammates Erica Thier (15:28.0) and Megan Henning (15:30.0) placed third and fifth, respectively, sandwiching Tracy-Milroy-Balaton's Jillian Tholen, who finished fourth in a time of 15:29.0.

Adrian harriers Leslie Stover (ninth), Hailee Heitkamp (11th), McCall Heitkamp (29th) and Natasha Slater (47th) rounded out the Dragons scoring, helping the team finish with an average time of 15:33.4.

RV juniors Anthony Bongard and Justin Peters ran one-two for the Cardinals on the boys' side. Bongard cruised in just under 17 minutes for 5,000 meters at 16:59.0, just edging Peters who finished in a time of 17:02.0.

Bongard, the defending section champion, found the competition a little stiffer this year.

"It was a little tougher this time," Bongard said. "There were a lot of good runners out there, especially the Adrian team. Justin helped push me along and I helped him. It was a good team effort."

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Peters thought he had a chance to overtake Bongard with 200 meters remaining, but as they neared the finish line Bongard was able to pull away.

"I thought I had a shot at him, but toward the end I knew he got me -- I was pretty much spent," Peters said. "I'm happy though, because the last two years I finished 11th."

Renville County West's Casey Lippert (17:02) finished right on the heels of Peters for third place. Thomas Pinkal followed in fourth place with a time of 17:13.

SWC's one-two punch of Brent Van Schepen (17:16) and Devin Van't Hof (17:28) captured fifth and sixth, respectively.

"There were a lot of good individual runners out here today," Van Schepen said. "It was a great day for a race, the wind was a factor at times, but overall it felt really good."

Van't Hof was happy with his run, but a little down that the Eagles wouldn't attend the state meet as a team.

"We had some competition pushing us today -- it was a good race," he said. "We were a little disappointed with the team finish, but we all ran our best."

While no Adrian runners placed in the top five, Brandon Bullerman (eighth), Lee Stover (ninth) and Ethan Wieneke (10th) earned individual trips to state. But the depth of the Dragon squad was the key to winning the team competition.

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Behind Wieneke, Jarrod Boltjes (18:08), Jordan Pater (18:24), Jack Albertson (18:28) and Nathan Reyne (18:35) finished in 14th, 19th, 21st and 24th, respectively.

"On the boys' side, we knew what had to be done," Peterson said. "We knew who the players were from the other teams and we had our sites set on them."

The Dragons now have their sites set on the state meet, slated for Nov. 5 on the St. Olaf College campus in Northfield.

Girls team results

1. Adrian, 29; 2. Luverne, 73; 3. ML-B-O, 116; 4. Windom Area, 137; 5. Redwood Valley, 144; 6. Martin County West, 200; 7 (tie) Springfield/Cedar Mountain, Pipestone Area, 230; 9. H-BC-E, 251; 10. Murray County Central, 272.

Girls individual results

1. Morgan Lynn, Adrian, 15:01; 2. Lexi Jo Heitkamp, Luverne, 15:24; 3. Erica Thier, Adrian, 15:28; 4. Jillian Tholen, T-M-B, 15:29; 5. Megan Henning, Adrian, 15:30; 6. Ann Marie Dykstra, PA, 15:38; 7. Amanda Schoonhoven, PA, 15:39; 8. Debbie Schneiderman, Luverne, 15:40; 9. Leslie Stover, Adrian, 15:49; 10. Amanda Remmele, Redwood Valley, 15:50.

Boys team results

1. Adrian, 60; 2. Redwood Valley, 76; 3. Southwest Christian, 122; 4. Luverne, 126; 5. RCW, 155; 6. H-BC-E, 174; 7. MCW, 196; 8. MCC, 230; 9. JCC, 235; 10. Springfield-Cedar Mountain, 240.

Boys individual results

1. Anthony Bongard, RVHS, 16:59; 2. Justin Peters, RVHS, 17:02; 3. Casey Lippert, RCW, 17:02; 4. Thomas Pinkal, Luverne, 17:13; 5. Brent Van Schepen, SWC, 17:16; 6. Devin Van't Hof, SWC, 17:28; 7. Anthony Drelan, MCC, 17:33; 8. Brandon Bullerman, Adrian, 17:35; 9. Lee Stover, Adrian, 17:43; 10. Ethan Wieneke, Adrian, 17:48.

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