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Runge helps Alex CC to first

The Alexandria boys’ cross country team used its depth again to run to a first-place finish, while the girls finished second behind only Sartell at the Fergus Falls Invite last Thursday. 

Aaron Runge led four Alexandria runners who finished in the top 10 with a fifth-place finish. Runge ran the 5K course in 17:16.1, while Trenton Piepenburg was not far behind in sixth place with a time of 17:29.1. Colton Sailor was seventh in 17:30.8 and Austin Thom 10th in 17:43. Brandon Jerde rounded out the top five for Alexandria with a 13th-place finish in 17:52.4.

“The varsity boys top five only had a 36-second gap between them, which is a 20 second improvement from last week,” head coach Mark Nelsen said. “Trent Piepenburg did a great job leading the team in the first mile. Colton Sailor ran strong and had one of his better races of the season, only 15 seconds away from his time last week with the course being about 30-plus seconds slower than Rocori last week.”

The Hasz sisters had another impressive run by dominating the field, beating their nearest competitors by more than a minute and 30 seconds. Megan came in first in a time of 14:23.9, while Bethany was right behind her in 14:24.4. Sartell’s Shelby Hall was third in a time of 16:00.

“The coaches were impressed,” Nelsen said. “Bethany and Megan had two amazing times for this course. Ellie Hurlen and Kiyana Miller were also very impressive running very good times on this course.”

The Cardinals were without the services of Emily Thul and Julia Sieling with what Nelsen said he hopes will prove to be minor injuries. Hurlen and Miller helped fill that void with 12th and 17th place finishes, respectively. Hurlen finished in 16:45.5 and Miller came across the finish line in 17:05.7. Karly Betterman rounded out the top five for Alexandria with a 21st-place finish in 17:19.9.

The Fergus Falls meet was a final tune-up before Alexandria hosts its Meet of Champions on October 5 at Arrowwood. Racing action that day will begin at 10:30 a.m. with many of the top runners from around the state set to attend.


BOYS’ TEAM STANDINGS – 1. Alexandria, 41; 2. Little Falls, 86; 3. LPGE, 116; 4. Sartell, 127; 5. OTC, 146; 6. Jamestown, 176; 7. Pelican Rapids, 191; 8. Detroit Lakes, 196; 9. Frazee, 235; 10. Fergus Falls, 245; 11. Park Rapids, 257; 12. Wahpeton, 269

ALEXANDRIA – Runge – fifth, 17:16.1; Piepenburg – sixth, 17:29.1; Sailor – seventh, 17:30.8; Thom – 10th, 17:43; Jerde – 13th, 17:52.4; James Pfeffer – 18th, 18:07.4; Eric Branch – 23rd, 18:37.1

GIRLS’ TEAM STANDINGS – 1. Sartell, 28; 2. Alexandria, 53; 3. Park Rapids, 94; 4. Detroit Lakes, 124; 5. WCA, 124; 6. Little Falls, 150; 7. Jamestown, 176; 8. Fergus Falls, 196; 9. Frazee, 224; 10. Breckenridge, 254

ALEXANDRIA – M. Hasz – first, 14:23.9; B. Hasz – second, 14:24.4; Hurlen – 12th, 16:45.5; Miller – 17th, 17:05.7; Betterman – 21st, 17:19.9; Megan Shulstad – 29th, 17:33.2; Jeann Miller – 65th, 21:49.5

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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