Card girls' cross country: Piepenburg leads CardsAlexandria was seventh at Fergus, West Central Area girls finish 20th.
Class AA’s second-ranked Jamie Piepenburg cruised to an easy win at the John Hermes Invitational in Fergus Falls Thusday, helping her Card girls’ cross country team to a seventh place finish.
Her time of 14:14.7 was nearly a half-minute faster than second place finisher Erica Seidenkranz of Monticello, the No. 3 ranked runner in Class AA.
“Jamie continues to demonstrate why she is one of the top runners in Minnesota and bettered her time from last year by 29 seconds,” said Alexandria head coach Mark Nelsen.
“[We] competed without three of our varsity runners,” he said. “We continue to be challenged by injuries, but remain hopeful that we can be at full strength for the end season run.”
Eleven of Alexandria’s runners posted season best performances, including freshmen Karly Betterman and Julia Sieling.
“We are excited about the potential for these two young runners as they gain more experience and confidence,” said Nelsen.
Shelby Iverson cracked the 16:00 mark for the first time in her high school career, taking 18 seconds off her previous best time, while Kaci McCoy and Kristin Egenes both had excellent races, running their personal bests.
Iverson, Egenes and Sieling were named Cardinal runners of the meet.
The West Central Area girls finished 20th as a team, but exactly what their coach was hoping for.
“We [were] hoping for a middle of the pack showing,” said Knight coach John VanKempen. “Just because our competition comes from much larger schools is not a legitimate reason to back down. We need to run with the underdog attitude and act like we have something to prove, and we do.
Kylee Fernholz, a freshman, was the top runner for the Knights, finishing 82nd.
“She [Fernholz] chased down fellow ninth grader Ashton Blair (92nd) in the last half mile to beat her by 20 seconds,” said VanKempen. “Ashton has been our most consistent girl this year, and she gave us a great effort today.”
The Knights’ final finisher on the day was Megan Andreason, who came in 145th.
“Megan was in a lot of pain during her race,” said her coach. “I don’t think I ever have been as proud of one of our runners as I was of Megan today. She could have easily quit and no one would have said anything, but she gutted it out.”
GIRLS’ TEAM SCORES - 1. Monticello 46, 2. Brainerd 105, 3. Moorhead 121, 4. Little Falls 178, 5. Bemidji 187, 6. STMA 192, 7, Alexandria 201, 8. Park Rapids 232, 9. Perham 248, 10. Sartell-St. Stephen 275, 11. Detroit Lakes 285, 12. Becker 310, 13. Fergus Falls 324, 14. Rocori 344, 15. Jamestown (ND) 372, 16. Pelican Rapids 391, 17. Wahpeton (ND) 446, 18. Breckenridge 486, 19. Sauk Rapids-Rice 520, 20. West Central Area 530.
INDIVIDUAL WINNER – Jamie Piepenburg, Alex, 14:14.7.
ALEXANDRIA RESULTS – 1. Piepenburg, 21. Shelby Iverson 15:58.4, 59. Karly Betterman 17:00.2, 59. Julia Sieling 17:00.7, 65. Kaci McCoy 17:06.0, 83. Kristin Egenes 17:24.5.
WEST CENTRAL AREA RESULTS – 80. Kylee Fernholz 17:22.0, 90. Ashton Blair 17:42.7, 117. Tee Rudnitski 18:49.7, 212. Holly VanKempen 18:56.0, 122. Mikaylah Stark 19:00.1, 129. Katie Poyzer 20:23.2, 131. Megan Andreason 24:31.7.