Rebel girls’ earn conference title

Published 9:12 am Friday, October 21, 2011

USC girls’ cross country team, the 2011 Gopher Valley Conference champions. From left to right: Tikvah Schwartz, Bethany Koziolek, Amber Klein, Emily Mantor, Abby Trio, Andree Escherich and Hannah Goemann. -- Submitted photo

The United South Central girls’ cross country team put together their best team performance of the season, winning the Gopher Valley Conference Championship by 20 points over Martin County West.

For the Rebels’ the title was the first conference cross country championship for the girls since 2004.

“It was a very solid team effort,” said Kent Viesselman, USC’s head coach. “Without a doubt, our best of the year. We went into the race feeling that if everything went perfectly we could win by about 20 points, and that’s what happened.”

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Hannah Goemann and Emily Mantor crossed the finish line together to place 3rd and 4th to lead the Rebels to the title. Bethany Koziolek, 10th, and Andree Escherich, 11th, also earned all-conference recognition.

Twenty-fourth finishing Abby Trio cut over 30 seconds off her best time to finish out the scorers for USC.

Dylan Baumann led the boys’ with a fourth place finish.

“Dylan was running in seventh place the first half of the race, but ran a strong second half to move into fourth,” Viesselman said. “There are a number of very good runners in the conference this year.”

Also competing for the Rebels were Eric Redman, 34th, Adam Stevermer, 39th, Brett Stevermer, 40th, Raul Gonzalez, 44th, and Brian Klein, 52nd.

“Team-wise, it was one of our better performances of the season,” Viesselman said.

Goemann, Mantor, Koziolek, Escherich, and Baumann all earned All-Conference recognition, with Abby Trio receiving Honorable Mention, by virtue of their performances.

Next Thursday the Rebels travel to Montgomery to compete in the Section 2A Championships and the right to represent Section 2A at the state meet on Nov. 5.

The top two teams and the top 10 individuals advance. The Section 2A Meet will be held at the Montgomery Golf Course with the girls’ varsity race slated to begin at 4 p.m.