Esko’s Shady runs to state girls cross country titleUnheralded Esko sophomore Marisa Shady won the Minnesota Class A high school girls cross country title Saturday morning at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.
By: Kevin Pates, Duluth News Tribune, Pine Journal
Unheralded Esko sophomore Marisa Shady won the Minnesota Class A high school girls cross country title Saturday morning at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.
Shady came into the meet ranked No. 8. She had been unranked until winning the Section 7A meet Oct. 29, and then bettered her time by one second to win the state championship in 14 minutes, 45.4 seconds for 4,000 meters.
“I thought I’d have a chance to get in the top 10, but never did I think I’d have a chance to win,” she said afterward.
Shady said she stayed in the middle of the pack throughout the early stages of the race and made her move around the 1.75 mile marker.
“I took the lead and I never looked back,” she said.
It was the first individual title by a Duluth area girl since Kendall Wheeler of Duluth East claimed the Class AA title in 1998, and it was the first title by an Esko girl.
Although Shady surprised herself by winning the race, Esko coach Jerry Zimny was anything but shocked.
“It wasn’t really surprising,” Zimny said. “We expected her to be in the lead pack and when you’re in the lead pack, anything can happen. She looked really good when she went by.
“It was just awesome. She ran really smart, made a move and took off from there. She works hard and has a lot of experience.”
That performance helped the Eskomos to fifth place in the team competition. Marisa’s sister, Esko freshman Erika Shady, was 17th in 15:45.
Fairmont junior Lauren Friese was second overall, six seconds behind Marisa Shady, in 14:51.5.
The Esko boys placed sixth in Class A, led by junior Jackson Lindquist, 17th in 16:36.8 for 5,000 meters. Mounds Park Academy senior Mason Ferlic, ranked No. 2, won in 15:47.6 and Proctor sophomore Matt Welch was 13th in 16:31.3. Top-ranked Perham won the team title.
Section 7 champion Adam Zutz, a St. Francis senior ranked No. 4, won the Class AA boys championship in 15:33.4 and top-rated Wayzata won the team title. Duluth Central senior Matt Kero was 81st in 16:57.9.
Top-ranked Shakopee senior Maria Hauger took the Class AA girls title in 14:18.9 and top-rated Eden Prairie won the team title. Grand Rapids freshman Erin Baker was 36th in 15:19.4.