Kyle Stevens is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, Kyle worked at the Owatonna People’s Press, as well as KWLM and KLFN in Willmar. You can contact Kyle by phone at (651) 301-7879, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter @RE_KStevens.
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Led by top-ranked Wayzata, second-ranked Edina, as well as perennial contender and third-ranked Stillwater, all but three of the state’s top 10 teams will be in attendance at the Class AA state cross-country meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield. And while those teams harbor championship aspirations, the difference in expectations between last week’s Section 1AA meet, and Saturday’s state meet is like night and day for the Red Wing boys cross-country team.
Many of the names will be familiar, but only one is expected to win. When Cannon Falls senior Emi Trost toes the starting line at the Class A girls cross-country meet Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield, the logical conclusion would be that Trost will be the first to cross the finish line. Ranked No. 1 all season, Trost will be competing in her fifth state meet.
For a time, Lake City was a hotbed for high school cross-country. But in recent years, the Tigers have fallen on tough times. A school accustomed to trips to the state meet, Lake City had a brief run in the mid-2000s, culminating with a state appearance in 2007. But since then, the Tigers have not had much success. That has changed. The Lake City girls team placed second in the Section 1A meet, clinching a spot in the state meet.
ROCHESTER – The final score will read three games to none, but the match was much better than that. The second set, in particular, was a win for Kasson-Mantorville, and a loss for Cannon Falls. But it was much more than that.
With 10 seniors, 2013 was to be the season where everything came together for the Goodhue volleyball team. The Wildcats did indeed make an impressive run through the regular season, earning a bye into the Section 1A-East quarterfinals where Goodhue topped Rushford-Peterson in four games. But Saturday, in the semifinals, the third-seeded Wildcats ran into a buzz-saw from Mabel-Canton, falling in three sets, 25-16, 25-23, 25-20, to the seventh-ranked, and second-seeded Cougars. “It was such a good ride,” said first-year Goodhue head coach Lindsey Mace.
OWATONNA, Minn. – For the first time since 1999, the Red Wing boys cross-country team will head to the state tournament. And, for the first time since 1998, the Wingers will do so as section champions. Led by senior Aiden Winn, the Wingers captured the Section 1AA title by beating the field at Brooktree Golf Course. Red Wing’s 90 total points were just enough to claim the championship as Lakeville North came in with 91 points.
BYRON, Minn. – Ryan Thompson’s 1-yard quarterback sneak with 5 minutes, 48 seconds remaining lifted Byron over Red Wing, 7-0, in Tuesday’s Section 1AAAA quarterfinal. Thompson scored three plays after connecting with Wyatt Nelson on a 40-yard pass to get the Bears to the Wingers’ 7-yard line. For more than three quarters, it appeared as though the Wingers would be the team to break through with a scoring play.
DODGE CENTER – Kurt Gadient and the Zumbrota-Mazeppa offense needed to have an efficient game against Triton Wednesday night.
In this era of spread offenses, the line of scrimmage can get lost among quick-hitting passes to the flat and long bombs down the field. But those few yards on either side of the ball are where games are still won or lost. “I knew it was going to be that whoever controlled the line of scrimmage was going to win the game tonight, and Pine Island did that,” said Z-M head coach Willie Rauen. “They came to play and kind of took it to us.” Pine Island certainly controlled the line play, dominating with the power run game while holding Zumbrota-Mazeppa to fairly low rushing totals.
The Goodhue and Lake City volleyball teams have had wildly different seasons, which becomes obvious when one takes a glance at both records and rosters. The Wildcats are closing in on 20 wins while the Tigers have limped to just two victories.