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Hasz sisters dominate the Lions Meet of Champions

Alexandria’s Megan and Bethany Hasz wowed the rest of the field in taking first and second, respectively, at the 41st Lions Meet of Champions on Saturday afternoon.

The Hasz sisters handled a course that was running a little slow after the rain that hit the area over the past few days. Rain wasn’t an issue come race time and Megan finished in 13:59.7, just ahead of Bethany in 14:01.2. Defending champion Jenna Truedson of Bemidji was a distant third in a time of 14:23.9.

“I feel really good about it,” Megan said. “I was really hoping to win obviously, and it was good with all the competition here to do that well.”

Both girls knew how they wanted to attack the course and went out and executed.

“Considering the field, it was very impressive,” Alexandria head coach Mark Nelsen said. “With the other ranked girls from around the state that are here, they’ve won their fair share of races, but I think Bethany and Megan, they love this course. They love running at home, so they were pretty jazzed up for it. I think those are [personal records] for both of them on this course, and it was not really a fast course. It was pretty soft because of the rain. A lot of coaches were talking about them. Pretty impressed. There was a lot of wow factor out there.”

The Alexandria girls ended up taking 12th as a team with 258 points. Bemidji won the team title with 124 points and Mounds View and Roseville rounded out the top three teams, respectively. Ellie Hurlen took 79th (16:39.9), Karly Betterman was 82nd (16:43.1), Kiyana Miller 94th (17:11.1), Julia Sieling 101st (17:22.9) and Emily Thul 104th (17:27.8) to round out the Cardinal girls.

Alexandria’s Trent Piepenburg took home the top finish for the Cardinal boys in leading them to an 11th-place finish out of 20 teams. Piepenburg finished 28th overall in a time of 17:24.9.

“Trent was phenomenal,” Nelsen said. “He led our boys off the line. He’s just having an amazing season. He continues to be one of our front runners. We did run without Aaron Runge today. Aaron’s been our top runner the last couple meets. We just kept him out. He’s had a little bit of a lower leg issue going on, so we just felt it would be not to his or the team’s advantage to take a risk of making it worse with conference and section coming up.”

Colton Sailor was the second fastest finisher for Alexandria in a time of 17:44.3. That was good for 40th place overall. Brandon Jerde was 48th (17:53.6), Austin Thom 74th (18:20.7), Jimmy Pfeffer 87th (18:35.3) and Eric Branch took 106th (19:16.0) to finish things off for the Alexandria boys.

Stillwater ran away with the boys’ team title, finishing with 68 points. Mounds View was a distant second with 109 points and Bemidji took third with 127.

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.

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