Card cross country: Alexandria girls fourth, boys fifth at Lucky Lindy Invite
In a meet featuring some of the elite cross country teams in the state, the Cardinal girls brought home fourth place from the Myron Ahle Lucky Lindy Invitational in Little Falls while the boys came in fifth.
“This year’s meet had one of the toughest fields and [was one of the] most competitive meets we have competed in,” said head coach Mark Nelsen. “There were 21 schools represented and nine of these programs have earned a state ranking in this early season from their respective classes.
“In addition, there were 13 individual runners who have been ranked in state.”
And at the forefront of those state-ranked runners were Alexandria’s Megan and Bethany Hasz, ranked fourth and fifth respectively in the State Class AA polls.
The freshmen twins raced against No. 3 ranked Jenna Truedson of Bemidji for the second straight week, and once again, the three finished at the top of the field.
“They [Hasz twins] ran aggressively, taking the race out and challenging Truedson, who beat them the week before,” said Nelsen. “The race between Bethany, Megan and Truedson came down to the final 400 meters, and Truedson was able to pull away.”
The three runners finished less than six seconds apart, with Truedson running a 14:20.2, M. Hasz at 14:24.8 and B. Hasz at 14:26.0.
“Every girl had her season best time,” said Nelsen of the Cardinals. “Eight of 15 girls’ races were career best times. The coaches were excited to see Megan and Bethany both improve on their best times from a year ago.
“Melissa Drown continues to improve and race like a veteran,” he added. “She also improved on her best time and is racing with confidence.
“Becca Mateer [on junior varsity] had a phenomenal race, taking almost two minutes off her previous best time and breaking 17:00, and earning a spot on our varsity. Her effort gave us seven girls under that mark.
“This girls’ team has the most depth that any Alexandria girls’ team has had in recent years.”
On varsity, Drown finished 29th in the race, while Shelby Iverson was 40th, Julia Sieling 44th, Karly Betterman 52nd and Emily Thul 71st.
Iverson earned runner of the meet honors on varsity for her performance.
The Cardinal boys had an excellent fifth place finish, led by Jimmy Lovrien’s 28th place individual finish.
“Twenty-one of the 22 races were season best times,” said the head coach. “Thirteen of 21 were career best times. The coaches were very impressed with these races and efforts. This was our best boys’ varsity team effort of the 2012 season.
“Most noticeable was the average time of our top five runners, and the smallest gap of our top five this season.”
Lovrien was followed by Colton Sailor in 37th, Aaron Runge in 38th, Brandon Jerde 43rd, Trent Piepenburg 54th, Austin Thom 80th and Eric Branch 100th.
“Trent was the most improved runner of our top five, breaking 18:00 for the first time in his high school career,” said Nelsen. “Colton and Aaron both continue to take seconds off their best races.
“Aaron lost his shoe in the final 400, but this did not impact his finish.
“Jimmy Pfeffer, who took a fall and was injured last week, came back with a very good [junior varsity] race, taking 20 seconds off his best race and earning a spot back on our varsity.”
Piepenburg was named varsity runner of the meet for his race.
Alexandria will be at Rocori tomorrow, Thursday.
MYRON AHLE LUCKY LINDY INVITATIONAL
GIRLS’ TEAM SCORES – 1. Monticello 80, 2. Hopkins 115, 3. Sartell-St. Stephen 117, 4. Alexandria 118, 5. St. Cloud Cathedral and Brainerd 149, 7. Grand Rapids 161, 8. Perham 173, 9. Little Falls 226, 10. Bemidji 149, 11. Rocori 260, 12. Detroit Lakes 281, 13. St. Cloud Tech 319, 14. Sauk Rapids-Rice 421, 15. United North Central 432, 16. Fergus Falls 435, 17. Becker 455, 18. St. Cloud Apollo 477.
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION – Jenna Truedson, Bemidji, 14:20.2.
ALEXANDRIA RESULTS – 2. Megan Hasz 14:24.8, 3. Bethany Hasz 14:26.0, 29. Melissa Drown 16:06.5, 40. Shelby Iverson 16:30.0, 44. Julia Sieling 16:32.2, 52. Karly Betterman 16:41.8, 71. Emily Thul 17:18.5.
BOYS’ TEAM SCORES – 1. Hopkins 46, 2. Perham 48, 3. St. Cloud Cathedral 70, 4. Bemidji 128, 5. Alexandria, 200, 6. Sartell-St. Stephen 202, 7. Monticello 207, 8. Grand Rapids 229, 9. Brainerd 275, 10. Rocori 276, 11. Little Falls 320, 12. St. Cloud Tech 333, 13. Roseau 355, 14. Foley 384, 15. Detroit Lakes 389, 16. Fergus Falls 404, 17. Staples-Motley 439, 18. St. Cloud Apollo 499, 19. Becker 509, 20. Sauk Rapids-Rice 573, Incomplete – United North Central.
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION – Joe Klecker, Hopkins, 15:36.5.
ALEXANDRIA RESULTS – 28. Jimmy Lovrien 17:11.6, 37. Colton Sailor 17:24.7, 38. Aaron Runge 17:27.7, 43. Brandon Jerde 17:33.9, 54. Trent Piepenburg 17:49.3, 80. Austin Thom 18:37.3, 100. Eric Branch 19:14.9.