Hess, a junior, finished the 4,000-meter course in 14:52, nearly 30 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Angie Mattke of New London-Spicer. Her teammate, Tia Nowaki, was third, as the Wildcats won as a team.
Hess won nine of 11 races last fall for the Bulldogs and finished third at the state meet.
Paynesville also got strong varsity finishes by two junior high runners. Seventh grader Brooke Schmitz made the top ten in her first varsity race. She was tenth in 16:10. Kim Hess, an eighth grader, was 17th overall in a time of 16:48.
Completing the varsity lineup for the Bulldogs were Trisha Wendlandt, 54th, in 18:54; Mesa Frenchick, 61st, in 19:24, and Mellody Veldkamp, 69th, in 19:29.
Due to an injury and a school suspension, the team only had six runners who could compete at Morris. Sophomore Danielle Lieser is injured.
Even so, the Bulldogs finished sixth as a team at Morris. NL-S won with 65, and Wadena-Deer Creek was second with 77. Coach Darrel Carstens said both are state contenders.
Marshall, a Class AA school, was third at 81. Sauk Centre, a conference and section rival for the Bulldogs, was fourth at 110. Perham was fifth with 126, and Paynesville was sixth with 143.
Carstens is still looking for more female runners to give the team some depth.
The Bulldogs run tomorrow at the golf course in Brooten. The meet, which starts at 5 p.m., is hosted by Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa High School.
1. New London-Spicer - 65
2. Wadena-Deer Creek - 77
3. Marshall - 81
4. Sauk Centre - 110
5. Perham - 126
6. Paynesville - 143
7. Minnewaska - 168
8. Montevideo - 222
9. Canby-Minneota-Lincoln - 242
10. Morris - Inc.
11. Pelican Rapids - Inc.
12. Lac qui Parle Valley - Inc.
13. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton - Inc.
1. Jenny Hess - 14:52
10. Brooke Schmitz - 16:10
17. Kim Hess - 16:48
54. Trisha Wendlandt - 18:54
61. Mesa Frenchick - 19:24
69. Mellody Veldkamp - 19:29
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