Going up against ninth-ranked (Class AA) Monticello in its home meet for your first meet of the year is a daunting challenge, but one that the Marshall girls cross country team met head on Thursday.
The Tigers fell just shy of Monticello, taking second place with a team score of 63 points. Monticello had a score of 50.
"We've got a really young team, but we've got a really good team," Marshall girls' cross country coach Marie Sample said. "I'm looking for some leadership. I'm yet to see where that is coming from, but we're mostly eighth-graders, a freshman and sophomore so we're working on that.
"Today we were beat by Monticello who is ranked ninth in state, but we were only beat by 13 points. Just shifting a couple places around and we were right with them. The difference between us and them right now is that they have older kids. They just have a little more experience and they have some good leaders. But we had some great performances from our kids and I'm really proud of them."
Freshman Claire Boersma paced the Tigers with a time of 15 minutes, 32 seconds, placing her sixth overall. Nichole Sample was the second Tiger to cross the finish line at 16:12 and in 11th place overall, while Jackie Turner (16:15) and Morgan Radel (16:30) placed 12th and 13th respectively. Sydney Blomme placed 21st with a time of 17:06 to round out the Tigers scoring. Marah Hart (25th at 17:15) and Jenna Christianson (27th at 17:18) were also in the field for the Tigers on Thursday.
St. Michael-Albertville came in third, but nearly 40 points behind Marshall at 101, despite the top two individuals in the meet. Rachel King set the standard for the girls' with a time of 14:47. Anoka (126)and Big Lake (144) rounded out the top five team scores.
On the boys side, Hutchinson ran away with the team title, clearing second-place STMA by 27 points. STMA's 77 points were eight clear of Monticello, which came in third. Marshall, meanwhile, edged out Coon Rapids for fourth place by a lone point 111 to 112.
Blaine Moran had the best time for the Tigers, finishing 10th after 17:24 in what new head coach Brian Leibfreid said was not the best day for the Tigers. Leibfreid also noted that his team looked exhausted during the race, crediting the heat with adding an extra burden to an already tough race.
Andrew Bell placed 16th overall for the boys, finishing in 17:45, while Mike Larson was the third Tiger to finish (placing 21st with a time of 18:20). Wade DeAustin (23rd in 18:29) and Chase VanKeulen (41st at 19:06) rounded out the scores for Marshall. John Botsford (48th) and Mason Reese (59th) also ran for Marshall, finishing in 19:21 and 19:47 respectively.
Both Marshall boys and girls teams will be back in action on Monday when the Tigers host their home meet at Independence Park.
Girls Team Results: 1. Monticello 50, 2. Marshall 63, 3. St. Michael-Albertville 101, 4. Anoka 126, 5. Big Lake 144, 6. Annandale 147, 7. Irondale 158, 8. Hutchinson 190, 9. Rogers 196, 10. Robbinsdale Cooper 230.
Top 10 Individuals: 1. Rachel King (STMA) 14:47; 2. Lizzy Heil (STMA) 14:56; 3. Amber Seidenkranz (Monticello) 15:21; 4. Mariah Betzler (Monticello) 15:28; 5. Courtney Alama (Annandale) 15:30; 6. Claire Boersma (Marshall) 15:32; 7. Elizabeth Schlafke (Annandale) 15:39; 8: Brooke Rasmussen (Monticello) 15:43; 9. Shelby Kline (Big Lake) 15:59; 10. Alexis Fritz (Anoka) 16:04.
Marshall Individual Results: 6. Claire Boersma 15:32, 11. Nichole Sample 16:12, 12. Jackie Turner 16:15, 13. Morgan Radel 16:30, 21. Sydney Blomme 17:06, 25. Marah Hart 17:15, 27. Jenna Christianson 17:18.
Boys Team Results: 1. Hutchinson 50, 2. St. Michael-Albertville 77, 3. Monticello 85, 4. Marshall 111, 5. Coon Rapids 112, 6. Rogers 178, 7. Irondale 180, 8. Anoka 196, 9. Robbinsdale Cooper 201, 10. Big Lake 247, 11. Annandale 289.
Marshall Individual Results: 10. Blain Moran 17:24, 16. Andrew Bell 17:45, 21. Mike Larson 18:20, 23. Wade DeAustin 18:29, 41. Chase VanKeulen 19:06, 48. John Botsford 19:21, 59. Mason Reese 19:47.
After cancellations due to high temperatures, area cross country teams were finally able to compete in their first meet Thursday night in Tracy.
Of the seventeen teams that participated CML took home both team titles. On the girl side, the Lancers were led by Leah Jessen and Natalie Dinius finishing fourth and seventh, respectively.
The boys team scored an impressive 35 points placing all five runners in the top 10. Travis Dinius placed third followed by McKinley Johansen (fifth), Wyatt Johansen (eighth), Anthony Wollum (ninth) and Josue Loes (10th).
Girls Team Standings: 1. CML 70; 2. LQPV 84; 8. Adrian 200; 9. MCC 200; 10. TMB 220.
Individuals: 1. Kayla Huhnerkoch (RV) 15:33; 2. Nicole Slater (A) 15:53; 3. Alysia Freetly (LQPV) 15:57; 4. Leah Jessen (CML) 16:25; 5. Kelly Kvaal (LQPV) 16:36; 6. Claire Sulflow (MON) 16:42; 7. Natalie Dinius (CML) 16:55; 8. Bethany Rosemeier (BEN) 17:05; 9. Alicia Darling (WOR) 17:09; 10. Nicole Bunting (RV) 17:10.
Boys Team Standings: 1. CML 35; 4. MCC 146; 5. YME 184; 8. LQPV 210.
Individuals: 1. Ryan Phillips (RV) 16:59; 2. Matt Jirele (WOR) 17:43; 3. Travis Dinius (CML) 18:03; 4. Jacob Carrol (YME) 18:12; 5. McKinley Johansen (CML) 18:19; 6. Michael Sudu (PAS) 18:21; 7. Anthone Luft (WOR) 18:24; 8. Wyatt Johansen (CML) 18:28; 9. Anthony Wollum (CML) 18:32; 10. Josue Leos (CML) 18:39.