Cross-Country: Wingers race to middle of Missota packRed Wing boys finish 6th, girls take 5th
By: R-E Sports Staff, The Republican Eagle
In the Missota Conference championship Tuesday, Red Wing cross-country coach Jesse Nelson and the Winger boys had high expectations, thinking they could climb as far as fourth in the championship meet.
But in the 5,000-meter race at the New Prague Golf Course, Red Wing found its pack split up and its place in the standings drop as the Wingers finished sixth with 121 points. Twelve points separated Red Wing from fourth-place Farmington.
Chaska clinched the conference title with 50 points, while Chanhassen (72) and Shakopee (74) rounded out the top three.
“We had high expectations coming in, but unfortunately, we were on the other end of where we thought we’d be,” Nelson said. “We’ll have a chance to right the ship next week at sections.”
Junior Aiden Winn secured All-Missota Conference honors with a fifth-place time of 16 minutes, 51 seconds, while freshman George Nemanich was All-Conference honorable mention with a 17th-place time of 17:19. Marcus Warrington ran the Wingers’ third-best time, finishing 24th at 17:27.
“Marcus was right there (for honorable mention),” Nelson said. “Our top three kids ran solid races. I’m happy with the effort from those guys.”
Chaska sophomore Joey Duerr, who took eighth at state last year, secured the individual title after running a time of 15:55.
Where Nelson hopes to tighten things up is helping the rest of the pack close in as the section championship approaches.
“The goal coming in with Joe (Partington) and Meyer (Beckner) was to stick right with Marcus,” Nelson said. “It didn’t go according to plan with those three today, but I’m confident about where they’ll be at sections.”
Winger girls finish 5th
Junior Lindsay Scribner wrapped up the final All-Conference spot in the girls race, taking 12th place with a time of 15:29 and helping the Wingers to fifth place with a team score of 150.
Senior Kelsee Anderson just missed on All-Conference honorable mention accolades after taking 24th at 15:54. But after the kind of struggles the Red Wing girls have had to endure this season, Nelson was pleased to see his team persevere in the 4,000-meter conference championship.
“The girls faced a lot of adversity, a lot of frustration with injuries and sickness,” Nelson said. “I’m happy with the effort the girls gave. Lindsey had a solid All-Conference time. Kelsee is getting closer to full strength after spraining her ankle at the beginning of the season. She knocked a minute off her time from Alexandria last week.”
Chanhassen won the team title with 39 points, thanks to Anastasia Korzenowski and Grace Loeslie finishing in second and third, respectively. Shakopee (63) and Chaska (75) rounded out the top three.
Three-time Class AA state champion Maria Hauger of Shakopee secured the individual title with a time of 13:35, 58 seconds better than Korzenowski’s second-place time.
Red Wing seventh-grader Elle Bryant (16:35) and eighth-grader Adelle Desutter (16:46) both finished in the top 40, taking 35th and 39th, respectively. With injuries hampering the Wingers all season, Nelson has been encouraged by the youngsters’ ability to keep up with the more experienced field.
“Their biggest challenge is believing they can run at this level,” Nelson said. “We’ve challenged them to take a risk with how they race and don’t be conservative. I’m very happy with how they’ve responded.”
On Oct. 25, Red Wing heads to the Section 1AA championship meet at the Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna.