The Fergus Falls Otter girls ran to a final finish of 11th place in the Section 8AA Cross Country meet in cold, windy conditions on Friday in Bemidji. The meet was divided into 4 different races to keep the total number of runners on the starting line to 28.
Emily Nuss led the Otters with a season best time of 20:11.4. “Her finish placed her in the top 8 of individual finishers overall,” reported Head coach Niki Welde. “In a normal year that would be a state qualifying finish. I am really proud of Emily's race today. She ran aggressively keeping contact with the lead runner for 3/4 of the race. She was left a bit alone in the last half mile, needing to race against the clock. All of our girls had valiant races. Sierra Hatlewick ran within a second of her season best. She had an outstanding senior season. Ainsley Hansen dropped the most time off of her season best with her strong finish today. Julia Anderson ran in her first Section meet as a 7th grader. I'm so proud how well she took on her role on the Varsity team this year. Naomi Anderson ran within 4 seconds of her best. She also had a breakout season for a young runner. Becca Schindler and Ellia Soydara had excellent races both dropping more than 15 seconds off their best.”
Willmar eighth-grader Erin Eilers was the individual champion with a time of 18:50.6 and Alexandria junior Aleah Miller was runner-up with a time of 18:54.2. Third place went to another Willmar eighth-grader, Lauren Eilers (19:18.1), and fourth and fifth place went to Alexandria runners Emma Ecker (19:29.5) and Jaelyn Miller (19:30.7). Taelor Dummer (19:49.9) and Giselle Jahner (19:52.6) of Alexandria finished ninth and tenth, respectively, while their teammate Brynn Kosters (20:04.9) was thirteenth.
The strong showing by the Alexandria girls’ gave them a first place team finish with 30 points. Willmar was second with 65, followed by Rocori (95), Sartell-St. Stephen (138), Monticello (164), Moorhead (181), Bemidji (196), Becker (209), Brainerd (233), Little Falls (258), Fergus Falls (259), Detroit Lakes (312), Foley (326), St. Cloud Tech (341) and St. Cloud Apollo (360).
Full results are available at http://www.herostiming.com/.