Knights, Panthers shine at the Gopher Valley Conference meet

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 19, 2006

It was a good day for USC/AC at the Gopher/Valley Conference cross country meet at Camp Omega near Waterville last Thursday.

The Rebels dominated the boys&8217; varsity competition scoring just 29 points to outdistance the nearest team by 51 points. Bryan Hauge (2nd), Jacob Elmer (3rd), Jordan Haroldson (5th), Shane Bias (8th), Pete Trio (11th) and Eric Klein (14th) all earned all-conference recognition by virtue of finishing in the top 15 in the field of 57 runners.

&8220;The boys looked very strong on a really challenging course,&8221; USC/AC head coach Kent

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Viesselman said. &8220;It was good to see Jacob Elmer running well again, and I was also impressed with a range of just 65 seconds on a very hilly course.&8221;

The girls also looked good, even though they were edged by a scant three points by a veteran team from LCWM/N.

The Rebels were again led by Amber Erickson, who finished third overall in the field of 54 runners.

Joining Erickson in the top 15 and earning all-conference honors were Andree Escherich (9th) and Nicole Klein (15th).

&8220;When I think of where we started from back in August, I’m amazed with the progress our girls team has made,&8221; Viesselman said. &8220;We ran to win it, and we performed as well as I had hoped, but LCWM/N returned a veteran team and had to run their best meet of the season to edge us. I&8217;m really proud of the girls on our team and how they&8217;ve matured as competitors is such a short time.&8221;

The boys&8217; dominance was even more obvious in the junior varsity competition, where they swept the top six places to record a perfect score. They were

led by Paul Little and Jonathan Leland.

The JV girls also looked good. Seventh-grader Abby Trio finished first with eighth-grader Lindsay Johnson placing third.

The NRHEG girls&8217; cross country team finished fourth while the boys were ninth.

The girls had three all-conference runners in Karla Lewer, Danielle Krueger and Heather Schmit.

Lewer finished sixth in 17:37, Krueger took 12th in 18:15 and Schmit was 13th in 18:20.

Ashley Mortenson took 38th and Heather Malakowsky was 42nd.

The boys&8217; team was led by all-conference honorable mentioni Josh Schroeder in 20th place with a time of 20:32. Nick Barnett placed 45th, Brandon Schlaak was 47th and Josh Beatty took 48th.

Both cross country teams will be competing in the Section 2A meet in Montgomery Thursday, with the top two teams and the top 10 individuals advancing to the state meet. The girls&8217; varsity race is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.