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Card cross country: Girls are fourth, boys fifth at Bemidji

Melissa Drown (3) ran her first 4K of her career, finishing in 22nd place for the Cardinal girls' cross country team, which was fourth at the Bemidji Invitational. (Contributed)1 / 2
Brandon Jerde (314) and Colton Sailor (325) finished 26th and 22nd for the Cardinals as they raced to a fifth place team finish at the Bemidji Invitational cross country meet Friday. (Contributed)2 / 2

Getting in a preview of the Section 8AA course Friday, the Cardinal girls' and boys' cross country teams competed at Bemidji, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

"It was great to see how we stacked up against many of the teams from Section 8AA," said head coach Mark Nelsen. "It was an unusually cool early September afternoon, even by Bemidji standards.

"The coaches were very impressed with the attitude of our runners and how well we competed on this challenging course. Many of our runners posted smart races and demonstrated very focused and determined effort. Practically all of our Alexandria boys and girls posted faster performances from the week before at Brainerd.

"In addition, five of our girls and 13 of our 22 boys had personal records," he added. "The cool weather and great course conditions were factors."

The Redbird girls once again saw Megan and Bethany Hasz put together impressive runs and showed why they are ranked Nos. 4 and 5 in the Class AA polls.

Megan, finishing second behind third-ranked Jenna Truedson of Bemidji by just 7.8 seconds, was one second ahead of her sister Bethany, who finished in 14:38.2.

"The Alexandria girls were led by Megan and Bethany as they attempted to reel in Bemidji's Jenna Truedson, who broke her own course record," said Nelsen. "Megan and Bethany never backed off, but were unable to close the gap.

"Melissa Drown ran her first 4K race of her career and looked very impressive, posting a time of 16:12. She will only improve with experience and confidence.

"It was great to have Shelby Iverson back in our varsity lineup," he said. "Shelby is a great athlete and very determined. If she can stay healthy, she will be a force at the end of the season.

"Our girls' team has tremendous potential, but we will need to be firing on all cylinders to compete with the top teams in our section."

Runner of the meet on varsity was Drown.

The Cardinal boys, who were fifth, saw Jimmy Lovrien once again lead the team as he finished 12th.

"Jimmy passed several runners over the final 1,600 meters and will only get faster in the weeks to come," said his coach.

"The coaches were very impressed with our top four runners and 19 seconds separated them. We are hopeful that someone will be able to step up and join this pack by end-season or sooner. Aaron Runge and Brandon Jerde both shattered their best times from last season.

Nelson also pointed out that Colton Sailor continued to improve on his performance of a week ago, running another personal record.

The Cardinals named Jerde and Runge as runners of the meet on varsity.




BOYS' TEAM SCORES - 1. Bemidji 58, 2. Moorhead 84, 3. Grand Forks Red River 118, 4. Grand Forks Central 128, 5. Alexandria 152, 6. Sartell 161, 7. Willmar 165, 8. Grand Rapids 179, 9. Rocori 194, 10. Brainerd 214, 11. Fergus Falls 282, 12. Thief River Falls 295, 13. Bagley/Fosston 353.

INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION - 1. Sam Carlson, Bem, 16:32.4.

ALEXANDRIA FINISHERS - 12. Jimmy Lovrien 17:15.6, 22. Colton Sailor 17:29.5, 26. Brandon Jerde 17:33.2, 27. Aaron Runge 17:34.2, 55. Trent Piepenburg 18:22.9, 70. Austin Thom 19:02.8, 79. Kyle Blank 20:07.2.

GIRLS' TEAM SCORES - 1. Moorhead 74, 2. Willmar 93, 3. Grand Rapids 101, 4. Alexandria 117, 5. Sartell 130, 6. Brainerd 136, 7. Grand Forks Central 172, 8. Bemidji 181, 9. Rocori 228, 10. Hillsboro 250, 11. Fergus Falls 296, 12. Grand Forks Red River 308, 13. Thief River Falls 353.

INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION - Jenna Truedson, Bem, 14:29.4.

ALEXANDRIA FINISHERS - 2. Megan Hasz 14:37.2, 3. Bethan Hasz 14:38.2, 22. Melissa Drown 16:12.1, 42. Julia Sieling 16:05.4, 48. Shelby Iverson 17:05.9, 56. Karly Betterman 17:20.2, 59. Emily Thul 17:23.7.