UPDATED: Hasz sisters, boys' cross country team advance to state
Megan and Bethany Hasz proved to be the best of the Section 8AA cross country field by a wide margin, and the Alexandria boys' team will join them at the state meet at St. Olaf College on November 2 after the Cardinals took second overall.
Megan finished first with a time of 14:05.3, while Bethany was right behind her in 14:09. Both those times were the fastest ever posted in a girls meet on the Detroit Lakes course. The Hasz sisters created some separation from another standout runner in Bemidji's Jenna Truedson. She came in third in 14:41.9.
The Cardinals finished fourth as a team with 103 points. Kiyanna Miller was 24th overall in 16:01.6. Ellie Hurlen finished 31st (16:16.5) and Karly Betterman was 45th (16:48.1) and finished as the fifth scorer for Alexandria. Julia Sieling was 68th in 17:11.6 and Hannah Wendel rounded out the Cardinal runners in 81st place in a time of 17:40.8. Willmar and Bemidji will be going to the state meet as teams after Willmar took first with 53 points and Bemidji was second at 99.
"Finishing fourth and to be just four points from being a state-qualifying team was disappointing for the girls," head coach Mark Nelsen said. "However, the coaches were so proud of their efforts."
The Alexandria boys continued to see a lot of hard work in the off-season pay off as the Cardinals punched a ticket to state with 94 team points. That was 14 points better than third-place Willmar and 21 points off of first-place Bemidji.
Aaron Runge led the way with a seventh-place finish on the 5K course in 16:58.4 to qualify individually for the state meet. Colton Sailor was 16th in 17:33.3. Trent Piepenburg took 19th in 17:39.9, Austin Thom was 25th (17:48.9) and Jimmy Pfeffer rounded out the Cardinals' top five in 27th place in a time of 17:51.5. Brandon Jerde (32nd, 17:55.5) and Wesley Graves (56th, 18:41) rounded out the lineup for Alexandria.
"The Alexandria boys' team new they were going to be in a dog fight with five exceptional teams battling for two slots to advance," Nelsen said. "It was an amazing race to watch. I'm not sure anyone could tell the team finish order because of the number of quality teams and individuals. Thank goodness for chip timing."
Sam Carlson of Bemidji won the individual boys' title in 16:28. Willmar was third as a team with 108 points and Moorhead was fourth with 124.
"Megan and Bethany and our boys' varsity team are excited about representing their school and the opportunity to compete at the state cross country meet a week from Saturday at St. Olaf College," Nelsen said.