Cross-Country: Winn headed to state for Wingers
Red Wing had a shot to finish in the top two Thursday at the Section 1AA boys cross-country meet at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna.
The Wingers were close but couldn't quite close the gap and came in third place with 151 points, behind runner-up Rochester Century (125 points) and section champion Owatonna (53). The top two teams qualify for the Class 2A state meet.
"The boys ran outstanding," Red Wing head coach Jesse Nelson said. "We got personal records out of ... five of seven runners.
"The boys really responded from a disappointing Missota meet. This is the first time we've beaten Lakeville North in my time. I can't say enough how the kids ran. We ran the best race of the year; we just got beat by a better team."
Despite not making it as a team, Nelson was pleased to have Aiden Winn finish in sixth place overall and make the state tournament individually. Winn, a junior, ran the race in 16 minutes, 28.1 seconds.
"I'm really happy for Aiden," Nelson said. "He deserves it. His dedication and commitment has been the best I've ever had and he's rewarded for that with a trip to the state meet."
Winn will compete at the Class 2A state boys cross-country meet Saturday, Nov. 3 at Saint Olaf College in Northfield.
Red Wing sophomore Marcus Warrington finished next in 28th place, junior Joe Partington was 32nd, sophomore Meyer Beckner took 40th and ninth-grader George Nemanich finished 45th while dealing with an injury. Nemanich got tangled with another runner early in the race and he struggled the rest of the way, Nelson said.
"That takes an energy toll out of you and the mental toll," he said. "He got hurt a little."
Junior Darrick Jackson placed 52nd and junior Ryan Schnaith was 73rd for the Wingers. Only Nemanich and Schnaith didn't put up personal record times.
"Our top eight are all coming back," Nelson said. "The boys have their goal set for next year already. I know this group is committed to put the work in."
On the girls' side, Red Wing's Lindsay Scribner missed qualifying for state by the smallest of margins.
Scribner placed 14th overall in 15:38.7, 1.4 seconds away from the final state entrant, Maricia Pacheco of Farmington.
"We knew it was going to be close," Nelson said. "I had a feeling it would be right there. I thought we'd be the last one in or the last one out but unfortunately she was on the wrong end. But she gave a good effort. It was close, unfortunately she worked hard all summer and fall and she came up a little short."
Senior Kelsee Anderson also put up an impressive time for the Wingers, coming in 19th, even after missing a month with a severe ankle sprain. She shaved almost 10 seconds off her time from the Missota Conference meet last week to finish in 15:45.5.
"She couldn't run for a whole month," Nelson said of Anderson. "We have that whole month back, it would have been a whole other situation and for Lindsay too. She'll surely be missed. She's meant a lot to our program."
Red Wing ended in 10th place out of 16 teams. Seventh-grader Elle Bryant placed 52nd, eighth-grader Adelle DeSutter was 66th, junior Hailee Johnson took 9th, eighth-grader Mariah Hall finished 92nd and junior Emily Dech came in 102nd for the Wingers.