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|Paynesville Press - September 25, 2002|
Bulldogs take seventh at Milaca
Eighth grader Kacy Nehowig and ninth grader Brooke Schmitz ran to top ten finishes at the Milaca Invitational on Saturday, leading the Bulldogs girls' cross country team to a top ten finish in what is dubbed "the world's largest cross country meet."|
The Bulldogs competed in Class A - which featured 46 teams, making it the largest meet the girls will compete in this season, even larger than the state meet - and finished seventh.
Staples-Motley won the meet with a team score of 106. Two-time state champion New London-Spicer finished fourth at 178, and the Dogs' sectional rival St. Cloud Cathedral was fifth at 181. Paynesville's score was 227.
"We ran very well with a very young team," said coach Darrel Carstens, who led the Dogs to a second place finish at state in 2001. "I believe we are in position to make a strong run at the big meets in the second half of the season."
Rachel Stangler, an all-state runner from Albany, was one of the few who beat the Bulldogs' Kacy Nehowig and Brooke Schmitz at the Milaca Invitational. Stabgler was third overall at the state-caliber meet, Nehowig was fourth, and Schmitz was seventh. Nehowig is now rated seventh in the state and Schmitz 11th.
Nehowig placed fourth overall, her fourth top five finish of the season, in a time of 15:10. Schmitz finished five seconds later, in seventh, just missing the top five for the first time all season.
Nehowig is now rated seventh individually in the state in Class A, and Schmitz is rated 11th. "Kacy and Brooke looked very strong and are definitely two of the top girl runners in the state," said Carstens.
The rest of the Paynesville runners made their first appearance in the varsity race at the Milaca Invitational. (The meet was previously held in Princeton).
Seventh grader Brittni Schmitz (35th) and eighth grader Tanis Beireis (46th) finished nine seconds apart for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs' team score was completed by eighth grader Krista Wendroth, who finished 136th. Seventh grader Melanie Koerner (180th) and ninth grader Sheena Hoekstra (181st) completed the lineup for Paynesville. "I was pleased with the performances of all the young runners," said Carstens.
The Bulldogs proved they belong in the state's elite despite missing two varsity runners (senior Nicole Flint and seventh grader Kaitlyn Frenchick). The Dogs have also lost sophomore captain Kim Hess, who has left the team.
This week, the Bulldogs will host their only home meet of the season. On Thursday, the Dogs will host a meet at Koronis Hills Golf Course. It starts at 4:30 p.m.
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