Girls finish sixth at "world's largest cross country meet"

This article submitted by Erin Aagesen on 9/29/99.

Tiff in crowd Paynesville runners had much success last Saturday at Princeton, dubbed "the world's largest high school cross country meet." The girls placed sixth out of the nearly 40 teams which competed in Class A.

Jen Hess beat out 362 runners to win the meet. Her nearest competitor was Krisit Colbenson of Rushford-Peterson, who trailed Hess by 17 seconds. Hess and Colbenson battled for most of the race, but Hess widened the gap near the end. "I didn't think I was going to win because she was so close to me the whole time," Hess said, of her thoughts during the race. "I went as hard as I could at the end and she [Colbenson] didn't go with me." The end of the race consisted of a sprint up a steep hill right before the finish line. Hess's time was 15:04.

Running in traffic is a factor at the Princeton Invitational. Here, Tiff Rausch, center, and Erin Aagesen, hidden, find room at the start of a race. (File photo)

Kim Hess came in next, in 40th. Her time was 16:35. Erin Aagesen was the third Bulldog to cross the finish line. Her time of 17:05 gave her 67th place. Ten spots behind her, in 77th, was Danielle Lieser. Lieser's time was 17:18. She said, "I really liked the course. It was flat at the beginning, and had some hills at the end. It made it challenging and interesting."

The Milaca area course was made from a plowed farm field. When the meet's former location, Camp-in-the-Woods near Princeton, was no longer able to maintain the demands of such a large crowd, the meet was moved to Princeton's golf course. The golf course, also, could not hold that many people without suffering damage, so the course was moved to a new location.

"I think I liked it better than the old course, but Princeton is fun no matter where it's held," said Tiff Rausch. Rausch came in 115th, with a time of 17:57. Carin Frenchick and Mel Veldcamp followed her. Frenchick placed 150th with a time of 18:37, and Veldcamp placed 165th, in 18:57.

Heather Christensen and Trisha Wendlandt also competed in the 3,200-meter, eighth-grade race. In the middle of their race, while most people were under tents, it began to pour. "It felt like hail," said Wendlandt, who placed 77th in 15:01. Christensen, who placed 59th in 14:17, commented on the rain as well, "At first it felt good, but then my clothes started to droop!"

Individual results
1. Jen Hess - 15:04
40. Kim Hess - 16:35
67. Erin Aagesen - 17:05
77. Danielle Lieser - 17:18
115. Tiff Rausch - 17:57
150. Carin Frenchick - 18:37
165. Mel Veldcamp - 18:57

Varsity team results
1. Visitation - 158
2. Staples-Motley - 177
3. St. Cloud Cathedral - 217
4. Waconia - 225
5. Lake City -249
6. Paynesville -300
7. Milaca -328
8. Minnewaska -348
9. Southwest Star Concept - 352
10. Rushford-Peterson - 363
11. CML - 388
12. Perham - 412
13. Dover-Eyota/St. Charles -431
14. United South Central - 432
15. Madelia-Truman - 519
16. Blue Earth -528
17. Belle Plain -558
18. Mesabi East -558
19. Eveleth-Gilbert -580
20. LC-WM -598
21. Chisholm -611
22. Plainview -616
23. Mayer Lutheran -662
24. Redwood Falls -678
25. Adrian/Edgerton -744
26. Delano -823
27. Pine City - 836
28. Mora - 860
29. Moose Lake/Willow River - 949
30. Trinity - 1,040
31. Barnum - 1,062

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