USC, USC/A-C cross country teams advance

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 26, 2002

WELLS &045; It was an outstanding day for the United South Central and USC/Alden-Conger cross country teams.

The USC boys took second and the USC/A-C girls finished first in the Section 2A meet at Montgomery Thursday, both advancing to state. Eight runners also qualified for state as individuals.

For the girls, currently rated No. 3 in the state in Class A, it was the best meet of the season. They won with an impressive 27 points, 55 better than second-place Minnesota Valley Lutheran, and each of the Rebels’ top five finishers also qualified for state as individuals. Preseason favorite Madelia-Truman was third with 105 points, followed by Mont-gomery-Lonsdale at 108, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 161, St.

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James 190, Maple River 195, NRHEG 226, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s 239 and Belle Plaine 277.

&uot;To say the girls ran well would be an understatement,&uot; said coach Kent Viesselman. &uot;And to single out one of them would be unfair to the other six. The girls ran well as a team. It was really an outstanding team performance.&uot;

The Rebels had four of the top six finishers, led by Sara Bias, who was the runner-up in 15:29. Following for USC/A-C were Jamie Klein, fourth, 15:48; Becca Bryson, fifth, 15:58; Megan Jensen, sixth, 16:04; Kallie Rollenhagen, 10th, 16:24; Amelia Treptow, 23rd, 17:15; and

Michelle Sonnek, 27th, 17:28.

Although the USC boys saw a streak of eight straight section championships end, the Rebels will make their 10th consecutive trip to state.

They narrowly missed the title, totaling 54 points to Blue Earth Area’s 54. St. James was third with 128, followed by Madelia-Truman with 146, Minnesota Valley Lutheran 157, Maple River 177, Montgomery-Lonsdale 177, NRHEG 186, LCWM 201, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s 224, Sibley East 235, Belle Plaine 282 and Elmore Academy 371.

&uot;Blue Earth is a good team, and ran well,&uot; said Viesselman. &uot;They went 1-2-5 up front, and that’s tough to beat.&uot;

Justin Youngblom continued to pace the Rebels, taking third in 17:02. He advanced to state along with Jake Stenzel, who was eighth in 17:37, and Bob Schmitz, who took 10th in 17:46. Following for USC: Eric Youngblom, 15th, 18:04; Chris Vondracek, 18th, 18:18; Spencer Niebuhr, 24th, 18:39; and Mike Soma, 48th, 19:49.

&uot;This is a special group of young men,&uot; said Viesselman. &uot;A year ago, I would have never guessed we would be where we are today. It would have been nice to keep our string of consecutive championships going, but we ran well, and we’ll take second. I’m sure there are a lot of teams that would trade places with us.&uot;

The USC boys are rated fourth in the state.

The state meet is Saturday, Nov. 2 at St. Olaf College in Northfield. The Class A girls’ race will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the Class A boys at 11.