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|Paynesville Press - November 2, 2005|
Keller earns All State honors
Ninth grader Linda Keller became the sixth Paynesville girls' cross country runner to earn All State honors by finishing 16th in the Class A race on Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield.|
Keller and sophomore Kaitlyn Frenchick, who finished 53rd, represented Paynesville at the meet. "Linda and Kaitlyn are outstanding runners," said coach Darrel Carstens. "They ran extremely well at state. Kaitlyn improved from last year by 12 seconds and 14 places. Linda making All State is outstanding in her first year. We (coaches) are very proud of them and are looking forward to next year."
Keller, in her first year in cross country, sprinted towards the front of the mass of 150 runners in the Class A girls' race on Saturday afternoon. At the 800-meter mark, Keller was running in 25th with Frenchick in another clump of runners maybe ten spots back. They held their spots at the 1,600-meter mark and headed towards the back stretch of the 4,000-meter course (roughly 2.5 miles).
Sophomore Kaitlyn Frenchick ran at state cross country for the second straight year, and third time in four years. She improved her time and placing from last year, finishing 53rd in 16:00.
Keller moved up to 20th in the backstretch and then up to 15th coming up the final hill 100 meters from the finish. Ninth grader Ann Marie Dykstra of Pipestone edged Keller at the finish line to take 15th, with Keller finishing 16th a tenth of a second later.
The next nine runners - completing the top 25 that earned All State honors in Class A - all finished within 3.2 seconds of Keller.
The Class A girls' race featured a record pace, first set by junior Nikki Swenson of Dawson-Boyd/LQPV, who was overtaken by senior Bria Wetsch a mile into the race. Wetsch set an all-time meet record with her winning time of 13:54.7. Carrie Tollefson of Dawson-Boyd/LQPV set the record at 14:09.2 in 1994, and senior Elizabeth Yetzger of Lakeville broke that in the Class AA girls' race on Saturday morning with a run of 13:59.3. Swenson (14:15.6) nearly broke Tollefson's time, too.
Keller, covering the state course in 15:27, ran her second best time of the season. Her fastest time was 15:17 in finishing fifth at the Milaca Mega Meet in September.
Keller, the daughter of Debbie and Victor Keller, said she did not have a goal for placing at the state meet. She just wanted to avoid wiping out and to run fast, she said. She was happy to earn All State honors and enjoyed running cross country this year, she added, mostly because the people on the team were fun.
Ninth grader Linda Keller became the sixth PAHS girls' cross country runner to earn All State honors by finishing 16th on Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Keller led this pack of All State runners - the top 25 earn the All State designation - up the final hill and into the homestretch on Saturday afternoon in the Class A girls' race.
Keller, by finishing in the top 25 at state, became the sixth PAHS runner to earn All State honors in girls' cross country, joining: Tina Lang (fifth in 1990, tenth in 1991, and fourth in 1993); Amanda Lieser (19th in 1994); Jen Hess (24th in 1998, third in 1999, first in 2000, and first in 2001); Brooke Schmitz (25th in 2000 and 17th in 2001); and Kacy Nehowig (18th in 2002 and 2003).
Frenchick, the daughter of George and Lynda Frenchick, competed at state cross country for the third time and improved her time and placing again this year. She competed at state with the team in 2002 and finished 117th in 17:40; she qualified as an individual last year and finished 67th in 16:12; and she qualified individually again this year and finished 53rd in 16:00.
Adrian, which had three All State runners, won the Class A team title, beating Staples-Motley and Perham. The Bulldogs' section rivals, St. Cloud Cathedral and Mille Lacs, finished 14th and 16th respectively.
Beth Tacl, a senior from St. Cloud Cathedral, finished fourth overall to lead the Crusaders.
The top-rated Cathedral boys' team, a conference and section rival of the Dogs, won their first team title on Saturday, edging Rochester Lourdes 75-99.
In Class AA, the Willmar boys won their first team title.
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