State is great for USC/AC cross country girls

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 4, 2002

NORTHFIELD &045; Becca Bryson knew she was supposed to be running near Jamie Klein but, amid the masses of the Minnesota State High School Cross Country Meet, she lost sight of her teammate.

The freshman decided to pick up the pace, hoping to find Klein closer to the leaders. She never did locate Klein. But she found herself an all-stater by the end of the race, helping her school to a best-ever state showing.

Bryson finished 15th overall among the Class A girls, leading United South Central/Alden-Conger to third place in Saturday’s state meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

Email newsletter signup

Senior Sara Bias also earned all-state honors, finishing 22nd overall.

Bryson, who ran No. 4 for the Rebels most of the year, placed sixth among team competitors, clocking 15:42.2. Bias, 11th among team runners, finished in 16:07.0. Following for the Rebels were Megan Jensen, 31st team, 56th overall, 16:36.2; Klein 41st, 69th, 1647.1; Lindsey Ravenhorst (63rd, 100th, 17:17.7; Kallie Rollenhagen, 65th, 102nd, 17:19.3; and Michelle Sonnek, 96th, 137th, 18:23.2. There were 152 runners.

New London-Spicer won with 109 points, followed in the top five by Staples-Motley with 118, USC 152, Canby/Minneota/Lincoln 164 and St. Cloud Cathedral 172.

The Rebels’ third-place finish earned them medals and individual introductions on the awards stage, a first for coach Kent Viesselman, who has coached for 39 years and taken 19 teams to state.

&uot;I’d say we had, out of our top seven, four good performances and three excellent performances,&uot; said Viesselman. &uot;I thought Becca had an exceptional race, and I thought Sara and Megan both ran very, very well. The rest ran well, but those three had what I would call probably their best race of the season.&uot;

Viesselman’s assistant, Joe Guanella of Alden-Conger, said things couldn’t have worked out much better as far as combining with USC for cross country.

&uot;A very good first year,&uot; said Guanella. &uot;We are very much on the same page.&uot;

Viesselman said it has been a particularly enjoyable season, and not just from a success standpoint.

&uot;This has been the easiest bunch of girls I’ve ever had to work with, an execptional group,&uot; he stated. &uot;They’ve worked very hard and been very positive. A lot of it is due to the leadership of seniors Sara Bias and Michelle Sonnek.&uot;

They too said it was an enjoyable year, with the awards ceremony a fitting finish.

&uot;It’s a great ending for a great season,&uot; said Bias.

&uot;It’s a dream come true,&uot; said Sonnek. &uot;It’s a special moment. We have a real blessed team, with a real awesome coach; without him we wouldn’t be here. It’s been fun.&uot;