The top four teams at this meet earned the right to advance to the section race held in Paynesville this Friday, Oct. 25.
The varsity team ran very well, finishing in third place. They were only three points behind the Morris Tigers. The team had to be mentally prepared. They knew they had to be in the top four and there was tough competition.
The Bulldogs went out fast and attacked the course with attitude. All seven runners were in the top fifteen runners through the first few turns of the course. The runners used each other for motivation to keep the strong pace. The team's fourth, fifth and sixth runners crossed the line within two seconds of each other.
The first Bulldog to cross the line was junior Dan Johnson. He ran a great race, finishing in 11th place. Johnson has had an outstanding season, finishing as the team's first runner eight times out of the ten races so far.
Freshman Jean-Luc Trees was the second runner. He finished in 14th place. Trees covered the fast, flat 3.1 mile course in 17:58. He will be a valuable member of the team this Friday and in years to come.
Senior Doug Utsch finished in 15th place, close behind Trees. Utsch has been an important member of the team all season. The positive attitude and motivation that he brings to every practice is an invaluable part of the team's sucess.
Aaron Wendlandt wore the next black and white uniform across the line. He finished in 17th place. Wendlandt, last season's MVP, was the team's fourth runner in his first race of the season. Wendlandt has been out of the races due to a back injury. The team is glad to have him back, since he will help the team a great deal this Friday.
The team's fifth and final scorer was senior Ryan Louis. Louis ran an awesome race in 19th place to give the Bulldogs a competitive score of 76.
Senior Matt Jorgensen crosed the line right behind Louis, in 21st place. The two were separated at the finish line by a New London-Spicer runner. All three crossed the line within the same second. However, the tiny Wildcat gave Jorgensen a little shove at the line and stepped ahead of him.
All-conference runner Andrew Heinen was the team's seventh runner, in 22nd place. Heinen is pumped up for this Friday.
The section race held at the Koronis Hills Golf Course this Friday will include the top eight teams from the section. The top two teams at this race will advance to the state championship in November.
1) Albany, 59
2) Morris, 73
3) Paynesville, 76
4) New London-Spicer, 78
5) Sauk Centre, 81
6) Minnewaska, 173
7) Pelican Rapids, 215
8) Ortonville, 241
9) BBE, incomplete
11) Dan Johnson, 17:41
14) Luc Trees, 17:58
15) Doug Utsch, 18:01
17) Aaron Wendlandt, 18:09
19) Ryan Louis, 18:11
21) Matt Jorgensen, 18:11
22) Andrew Heinen, 18:25
Because there is no junior high race at sub-sections, all of the Bulldogs' remaining runners ran in the junior varsity race.
Eighth grader Clayton Lang was the race champion, finishing in 18:22. Chad Hollander was second and Josh Frenchick was sixth. Eric Werlinger and Eric Rausch were the team's next runners in 9th and tenth places. Ryan Flanders was next in 12th. Eric Korman was 19th. Travis Flanders and Adam Utsch were next with 21st and 29th. Andrew Jones ran a strong race and finished 33rd out of a big field of runners.
The boys junior varsity team was the sub-section champions.
You are invited to come to the race on Friday, Oct. 25, at Koronis Hills and see the area's top runners.
The Paynesville Bulldogs have a strong shot at going to state. They would like to carry on the Paynesville cross country tradition. The more people out there screaming ìGo Bulldogs!î on Friday, the better.
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