At the practice before the Section 6A girls cross country championship on Oct. 15, Lexi Bright told West Central Area head coach John Van Kempen that she was going to win it all.

Bright turned in the fastest time of the day at 19:10, which helped the Knights lock up second place as a team behind Staples-Motley. Staples-Motley had 37 points to run away with the title, while the Knights finished with 83 and Albany was third with 102.

“She is so determined and such a competitor that when she says she is going to do something, she’s usually right,” Van Kempen said. “One of the things I love about this team is their sense of accountability for each other. When they know Lexi is up in front, they owe her the same effort.”

Macy Grosz took 12th place for the Knights, with Taylor Bennett not far behind in 16th. Terina Blascyk (20th), Halle Foslien (34th), Sydney Ulrich (37th) and Alexa Blume (80th) rounded out the pack of WCA runners.

“We’ve been telling them all year that they are a good team, but they don’t get a real sense of that when you only race in three team meets all year,” Van Kempen said. “Our seniors and captains on the girl’s team are Brynn Fernholz and Chloe Larue. Their roles have changed over the seasons, but no less important. They did exactly what they needed to do to help our new faces on the team and help inexperienced racers reach our potential. In their six years on the team, the girls’ team has qualified for the state meet four of their six years. A pretty impressive run and a lot of hardware in WCA’s trophy cases.”

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Minnewaska takes fourth

Olivia Danielson paced the Lakers on Thursday with a seventh-place finish (20:46.49). She led the Lakers to a fourth-place team finish in the 22-school field.

Kierra Wilmes wasn’t far behind Danielson in 11th place with a time of 21:00. Sydney Hagen took 21st (21:48.06) before Elsey Hagen finished in 30th (22:09.14). Sydney Perry came in 33rd (22:13.65) before Ava Chevalier took 43rd (22:34.34).

Osakis and A-B-E run hard

The Osakis Silverstreaks may have finished at the bottom of the pack, but watched their three seniors finish their careers on a high note.

Destiny Dorman finished with a time of 26:56.83, while Julianna Collins clocked in at 27:45.52. Anna Wolf took 146th (28:32.27).

Junior Emma Tenhoff was Osakis' fastest runner as she took 125th overall in 25:34.64. Eighth-grader Stephy Marthaler was 144th in 27:56.07 as the Silverstreaks' fourth runner, and Madison Nystrom (28:56.88) and Mackenzie Fiskness (30:12.62) rounded out the pack.

Freshman Lucea Wales led all Ashby-Brandon-Evansville runners in 89th place with a time of 23:48.07 as A-B-E took 21st right in front of Osakis.

Hannah Korkowski (26:43.57) and Courtney Brethorst (26:54.63) crossed the finish line with the second and third fastest team times for A-B-E before Cailey Schlosser (28:00.44) and Kaytlyn Pattrin (29:44.22) rounded out the top five. Emma Erickson (32:04.22) and Kiatta Korkowski (38:51.08) finished out the lineup to end the season.