Cross country: Gehl third at Marshall

BY LES KNUTSON The Globe MARSHALL -- Utilizing a strong finishing surge, Murray County Central/Fulda freshman Morgan Gehl moved up from fifth to third in the varsity girls' race of the 17-team Marshall Invitational high school cross country meet ...



The Globe

MARSHALL -- Utilizing a strong finishing surge, Murray County Central/Fulda freshman Morgan Gehl moved up from fifth to third in the varsity girls’ race of the 17-team Marshall Invitational high school cross country meet Monday at Independence Park.

Gehl, one of Minnesota’s premier high school distance runners, ran a stellar time of 19:31.9 over the 5,000-meter course, which included a couple of trips up a very steep hill. Waconia junior Kaleesa Houston (19:30.4) and Marshall sophomore Natalee Sample (19:31.6) were the only runners -- among a total of 96 finishers -- to enter the chute ahead of Gehl.


Marshall (2-4-5-6-10) convincingly won the team title with 27 points, while Waconia (1-8-9-19-21) was a solid second with a score of 58.

In the varsity boys’ race over the same course, Waconia was impressive up front with four consecutive finishers (2-3-4-5), along with a 13th-place team finish, to also tally a winning score of 27. Marshall (1-6-10-14-18) was second with 49 points.

Individually, Marshall sophomore Zachary Matzner was the gold medalist with a winning time of 17:09.7.

Worthington paced by sophomore Adam Koller (ninth overall, eighth team scoring, 17:45.2) finished third in the boys’ team standings with 95 points (8-15-17-27-28). Completing the scoring for the Trojans were sophomore Christian Lietz (17th, 15, 18:07.2), junior Andrew Huber (19th, 17, 18:17.8), senior Jacob Prunty (30th, 27, 18:51.3) and freshman Jordan Melendez (31st, 28, 18:55.0).

Other area individuals who finished among the top 30 included Adrian senior Brady Henning (10th, 17:51.3), MCC/F sophomore Justin Clarke (11th, 17:53.9), Windom Area sophomore Patrick Green (27th, 18:47.4), MCC/F junior Nathan Everson (28th, 18:48.5) and Pipestone Area junior Matthew Dulas (29th, 18:49.2). There were a total of 99 finishers.

Canby/Minneota was fourth in the boys’ team standings with 128 points, followed by Redwood Valley (  135), MCC/Fulda (150), Windom (220), Springfield/Cedar Mountain (224), Lakeview (227), Heron Lake-Okabena (283) and Wabasso (321). Yellow Medicine East, Adrian, Pipestone, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, Southwest Christian and Hendricks were all incomplete.

After the dominance by Marshall and Waconia in the girls’ meet, Canby/Minneota finished third with 87 points, followed by MCC/Fulda (155), Wabasso (197), Redwood Valley (198), Southwest Christian (207), Worthington (207), T-M-B (210), Springfield/CM (219), Windom (228) and Adrian (280). PA, HL-O and Hendricks were each incomplete.

Worthington was again led by sophomore Sena Uli, who placed 11th overall with a time of 21:35.9. Other area runners finishing among the top 30 included Adrian sophomore Moriah Bullerman (19th, 21:54.0), Windom freshman Gracie Bucher (21st, 22:05.7), PA senior Angel Martens (23rd, 22:15.0), T-M-B sophomore Brooke Christian (24th, 22:31.3), PA freshman Jory Strasser (26th, 22:35.8), Worthington senior Jessica Darling (28th, 22:41.2) and HL-O senior Cheyenne Schaffer (30th, 22:44.8).


Completing Worthington’s scoring -- after Uli (11) and Darling (25) -- were freshman Maranda Thier (47, 24:34.9), eighth-grader Jenna Hoffman (52, 24:55.9) and freshman Liz Spiegelhoff (72, 27:06.2).

Freshman Mikayla Johnson (35th overall, 30th team scoring) led Southwest Christian with a time of 22:58.9, followed by junior Audra Homandberg (45th, 37, 23:44.9).

Walu impressive in boys' JV race; Bakke, Veldkamp earn girls' gold


Worthington seventh-grader Mikele Walu ran an exceptional race in the boys’ junior varsity, clocking a stellar second-place time of 18:35.4 in the his first-ever run over 5,000 meters. Marshall junior Karter Wasberg outkicked Walu and notched a winning time of 18:33.2. The third-place time was 19:45.4.

MCC/Fulda seventh-grader Megan Bakke won the junior high girls’ race, completing a 2,000-meter course in 8:12.2 and leading her Rebel teammates to the team title.

SWC freshman Ella Veldkamp ran a 5,000-meter time of 24:02.9 and led the Eagles to the girls’ junior varsity team title.

Worthington seventh-grader Charlie Brands finished third in the junior high boys’ race with a 2,000-meter time of 7:39.8, followed by SWC seventh-grader Jacob Uilk (7:44.0) and PA seventh-grader Caden Strasser (7:46.8) in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

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