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Freshman Kiyanna Miller runs in the Lions Meet of Champions on October 5. Miller helped Alexandria to a fourth-place team finish at the section meet by finishing 24th individually. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)

Another course record falls in Detroit Lakes

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Megan and Bethany Hasz seem to wow the field every time they take the course. That didn’t change at the Section 8AA meet in Detroit Lakes.

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Megan Hasz, first placeBethany Hasz, second placeBoth the twin sisters made some history by setting course records in finishing first and second to punch another ticket to the state meet at St. Olaf this Saturday. Megan finished first on a tough course with a time of 14:05.3, while Bethany was right behind her in 14:09. They dominated the field, including Class AA’s fourth-ranked runner Jenna Truedson of Bemidji. She finished a distant third in 14:41.9.

“Their times that they ran on that course opened up everybody’s eyes,” head coach Mark Nelsen said. “To be 30 seconds ahead of a field of that caliber, the word amazing doesn’t hardly do them justice with their performance here the second part of the season.”

They led the way for an Alexandria team that almost had the depth to head to state as a group. The Cardinals finished just four points off of second-place Bemidji and two off of third-place Moorhead. Alexandria was fourth with 103 points.

“If you compare them to our boys, they probably had a better team race,” Nelsen said of the girls. “To come that close from how far back they were, there were a lot of people who wouldn’t even consider that.”

Kiyanna Miller was 24th overall in 16:01.6 to help Alexandria’s scoring. Ellie Hurlen finished 31st (16:16.5) and Karly Betterman was 45th (16:48.1) and finished as the fifth scorer for Alexandria. Julia Sieling was 68th in 17:11.6 and Hannah Wendel rounded out the Cardinal runners in 81st place in a time of 17:40.8.

“The frustrating thing for the girls is they get within four points and look at each other and think, ‘Jeez, if I would have gotten one more, if I could have run down a couple more girls,’ ” Nelsen said. “There was a little bit of disappointment at first, but I think after they got a chance to see how far they have come since the middle of the season, I think they were very satisfied. It truly was a remarkable team performance for the girls’ team.”

It marks the end of the team season for the Cardinals but the beginning of an exciting time for the Hasz sisters. Both Megan and Bethany know they have a chance to do something special this Saturday at St. Olaf.

Megan is ranked second in the latest Class AA individual polls, while Bethany is right behind her in third. Anna French, a junior from Wayzata, is the only girl ranked ahead of them. 

“It will be exciting to see them go against the best of the state down at St. Olaf,” Nelsen said of Megan and Bethany. “To me, they haven’t been pushed and tested, so it will be fun to see how they respond to that at the state meet.”

The sisters have run some of their best races as the season has progressed this fall. They hope that continues on Saturday morning at St. Olaf with the Class AA girls’ meet scheduled to start at 10.

“They’ve consistently ran well,” Nelsen said. “That’s the big thing. I’ve seen Anna French; she’s posted a couple of fast times, but it just seems like Bethany and Megan, that every time they’re on a course, they’re taking away the course record and running exceptionally good times. Again, they still got to be 100 percent healthy on Saturday. They’ve got to be feeling it and the excitement; they’re going to have to control that, but they’ve been to big meets and big races. The expectations will be high for them, and they set high expectations for themselves.”

SECTION 8AA CROSS COUNTRY MEET

TEAM RESULTS – 1. Willmar, 53; 2. Bemidji, 99, 3. Moorhead, 101; 4. Alexandria, 103; 5. Monticello, 106; 6. Sartell, 121; 7. Brainerd, 144; 8. Rocori, 194; 9. St. Cloud Tech, 216; 10. Little Falls, 289; 11. Detroit Lakes, 303; 12. Becker, 331; 13. Fergus Falls, 385; 14. Thief River Falls, 433; 15. St. Cloud Apollo, 462; 16. Sauk Rapids-Rice, 481

ALEXANDRIA – M. Hasz – first, 14:05.3; B. Hasz – second, 14:09; Miller – 24th, 16:01.6; Hurlen – 31st, 16:16.5; Betterman – 45th, 16:48.1; Sieling – 68th, 17:11.6; Wendel – 81st, 17:40.8

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Eric Morken
Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
(320) 763-1229
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