Card cross country: Hasz twins 1-2 at Rocori Invitational
With a total of 23 season bests efforts between the boys and the girls, the Cardinal cross country teams have seen continued improvement each week as the girls finished second and the boys third at the Rocori Invitational cross country meet Thursday afternoon.
"Sixteen of our 19 boys either equaled or surpassed their season best effort," said head coach Mark Nelsen. "Our girls had seven of 14 meeting or beating their season best, and many of our other runners missed theirs by a few seconds."
GIRLS TAKE TOP TWO SPOTS
Megan and Bethany Hasz gave Alexandria a 1-2 punch Thursday, taking the top two spots in the girls' division as Alexandria finished second behind Willmar by nine points.
"Willmar had 24 seconds separating their top five, and put five runners in front of [our] number four [runner]," said Nelsen. "Willmar had a great pack and that was the difference in the team score."
Megan ran a 14:30, while Bethany put in a time of 14:33.
"Megan and Bethany ran very smart and patient races," he said. "They were challenged at the start of the race by runners from three different schools. They stayed patient and stuck to their race plan, and eventually separated themselves by over 40 seconds from the third place runner."
Third for the Cardinals was Shelby Iverson, who came in 11th overall with a time of 16:03, while Julia Sieling was 20th with a time of 16;32, Karly Betterman was 21st in 16:34, Emily Thul 23rd in 16:51 and Grace Griffin in 27th in 17:12.
"Shelby Iverson ran her best race of the season, improving over 25 seconds," said Nelsen. "Shelby ran with great focus over the final 1K and was able to pass several runners, including three from Willmar.
"Emily Thul also had her best race of the season. She is getting stronger each week."
For their efforts, Iverson and Thul were named the varsity's runners of the meet.
BOYS FINISH THIRD
Just five runners competed for the Cardinal boys' varsity team, which came in third.
"This is not recommended and provides little room for error," said Nelsen. "The five boys that competed stepped up and ran extremely well.
"We were forced to make a race start decision and not race Jimmy Lovrien and Austin Thom, who have been bothered by what we hope are minor leg issues.
"Colton Sailor did a great job leading our team off the line and battling into the top 10," he added. "As did teammate Aaron Runge, who ran very well over the final 800 meters, and also finished in the top 10.
"This is a young group of runners and they will only continue to improve with training and experience."
Sailor was ninth and Runge 10th individually with times of 17:24 and 17:27, respectively.
Brandon Jerde was 13th in 17:38, Jimmy Pfeffer was 19th in 17:59 and Trent Piepenburg was 20th in 18:00.
For his effort, Runge was named the varsity runner of the meet.
ROCORI INVITATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY
GIRLS' TEAM SCORES - 1. Willmar 46, 2. Alexandria 55, 3. Annanadale 66, 4. Little Falls 76, 5. Rocori 118, 6. St. Cloud Apollo.
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION - Megan Hasz, Alex, 14:30.0.
BOYS' TEAM SCORES - 1. Monticello 44, 2. Willmar 45, 3. Alexandria 71, 4. Rocori 87, 5. Little Falls 102, 6. Annandale 170, 7. St. Cloud Apollo 180.
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION - Tom Seifert, Wil, 16:44.0.