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Section 7AA & 7A cross country championships: Fast finishes lead the pack

CLOQUET -- Kailee Kiminski felt rundown throughout much of the fall sports season. Doubling as an Esko cross country runner and soccer player had its downside.

"It's been pretty tough," the Esko junior said. "I like putting 100 percent into anything I do, so by putting 100 percent into soccer and cross country I got tired a lot. After soccer practice, I just wanted to go home and go to bed."

But all that extra running paid off Thursday as Kiminski crossed the finish line first at the Section 7A girls cross

country meet at Cloquet Country Club. Kiminski was in control throughout the 4-kilometer race, winning in 15 minutes, 20 seconds to secure a third consecutive trip to the Class A state meet next week in Northfield, Minn.

Her teammates won't be joining her, however, as the Eskomos placed third in the team competition behind first-place South Ridge (97 points) and runner-up International Falls (101). The top two teams qualified for the state meet.

Esko's soccer team lost in the section playoffs, leaving Kiminski with just one sport to focus on the past week. Esko coach Jerimy Hallsten said that allowed her to recoup her energy.

"This is the most rested she's been all year, not having to do two sports," Hallsten said. "Putting in three hours a day, it's going to take its toll on her."

But soccer provides an added bonus for Kiminski, who was 15th at last season's state meet. The constant sprinting on the soccer field allows her to have a deadly kick in cross country. That's why Hallsten only stresses endurance work at cross country practice.

"I realize that later that day she's going to be sprinting up and down the soccer field, so she's definitely getting her quick workouts in," he said.

Kiminski led the first lap and then allowed Carlton freshman Erika Fox and International Falls freshman Lexi Erickson to catch up in a three-runner pack.

"I don't like running by myself," Kiminski said. "I heard people behind me and I said, 'OK, I'll just pace with them.'"

The three ran together until Kiminski broke away with about 400 meters to go and finished nearly 5 seconds ahead of Fox.

"She ran a very smart race -- she didn't try to win it in the first few (kilometers)," Hallsten said. "She looked like she was feeling out the competition. She ran the first loop safe, turned it on during the second loop and outsprinted them at the end."



Mesabi East senior Sam Johnson bided his time in the 7A race, waiting to see who would go to the front and when he should make his move.

"I was letting the first kids settle in where they wanted to go and I just fit in where I felt I would race best," Johnson said after winning the 5-kilometer run in a personal-best 16:42.4. "It's like fitting in a piece of the puzzle."

Johnson qualified for his third state meet and hopes to forge a better finish than 42nd last year. He ran at ease Thursday, overtaking the lead pack by the second mile and cruising to a 14.6-second victory.

"I felt like I was running strong -- you could say I was on cloud nine out there running on my own," he said.

Eveleth-Gilbert junior Reed Melicher, who competes with Johnson on the Virginia Area ski team in the winter, was second in 16:57.0.

"Even though we're not on the same team, it feels like it when we're running because we're always pushing each other to do the best we can," Johnson said. "It was great to know he finished right behind me."

Crosby-Ironton, with four of the top eight individuals, claimed team honors with 40 points. Defending champion Proctor also qualified for the state meet by finishing second with 53 points. Fourth-place Zach Smith and seventh-place Jacob Welch, whose older brother Matt won last year's race, were the Rails' top finishers.


Marvel leads Cloquet

boys to team title

Cloquet senior Dylan Marvel says he's only golfed three times in his life and never at Cloquet Country Club.

But that doesn't mean he's ignorant of the course layout.

Marvel finished second in the Section 7AA boys race and led the Lumberjacks to the team title and a berth in next week's Class AA state meet.

Marvel was timed in 16:20.1, crossing behind winner Andy Magnuson of Chisago Lakes. Lumberjacks teammates Isaac Boedigheimer was fourth in 16:29.0 and Jace Anderson sixth in 16:40.9. Cloquet totaled 61 points to finish well ahead of Chisago Lakes (86).

"It's a lot more fun going as a team," Marvel said. "We're with each other every day in practice, and you're killing the guy (running) next to you and he's dying, too.

"So today, not only were you thinking about how much you're hurting during the race, but how much the other guys are hurting and how much it means to them."

Duluth East junior Keaton Long (ninth) and Hermantown junior Ryan Kero (10th) also qualified for the state meet.

  • Forest Lake, led by individual winner Emma Benner, captured the 7AA girls team title. Benner's time of 14:38.7 edged North Branch's Rhianna Rinke. Elk River also qualified for the state meet, while Northland individuals advancing included Grand Rapids senior Erin Baker (fourth), Cloquet freshman Anja Maijala (eighth), Duluth East sophomore Phoebe Koski (ninth) and Grand Rapids sophomore Maddie Peart (10th).


    At Cloquet Country Club

    Boys (5,000 meters)

    Teams (top 2 advance to state)

    1. Cloquet, 61; 2. Chisago Lakes, 86; 3. Andover, 109; 4. Forest Lake, 148; 5. Elk River, 157; 6. Duluth East, 161; 7. Grand Rapids, 193; 8. Cambridge-Isanti, 199; 9. Big Lake, 238; 10. Hermantown, 276; 11. St. Francis, 284; 12. Zimmerman, 289; 13. Princeton, 343; 14. Hibbing, 345; 15. North Branch, 362; 16. Duluth Denfeld, 398.

    Individuals (state qualifiers)

    1. Andy Magnuson, CL, 16:11.8; 2. Dylan Marvel, Cloq, 16:20.1; 3. Nathaniel Souher, BL, 16:22.3; 4. Isaac Boedigheimer, Cloq, 16:29.0; 5. Chris Meadow, And, 16:36.3; 6. Jace Anderson, Cloq, 16:40.9; 7. Grant Olsen, SF, 16:44.1; 8. Lucas Trapp, ER, 16:44.3; 9. Keaton Long, DE, 16:45.6; 10. Ryan Kero, Herm, 16:46.4; 11. Connor Gagne, Zimm, 16:47.0; 12. Jordan Jeandron, Zimm, 16:48.9.

    Other Cloquet qualifiers: 23. Conner Denman, 17:12.1; 26. John Waltjer, 17:23.6; 83. Nick Tomhave, 19:04.7; 91. Rand Bieri, 19:17.4.

    Girls (4.000 meters)

    Teams (top 2 advance to state)

    1. Forest Lake, 50; 2. Elk River, 81; 3. Grand Rapids, 114; 4. Duluth East, 139; 5. North Branch, 163; 6. Andover, 182; 7. Big Lake, 199; 8. Chisago Lakes, 201; 9. Princeton, 216; 10. Cloquet, 238; 11. Zimmerman, 247; 12. Duluth Denfeld, 331; 13. Cambridge-Isanti, 337; 14. St. Francis, 342; 15. Hermantown, 433; 16. Hibbing, 434.

    Individuals (state qualifiers)

    1. Emma Benner, FL, 14:38.7; 2. Rhianna Rinke, NB, 14:41.5; 3. Rachel Ness, ER, 14:53.8; 4. Erin Baker, GR, 14:56.8; 5. Madeline McKeefry, And, 14:57.3; 6. Caroline Schoessow, FL, 14:58.8; 7. Allison Bartlett, FL, 15:00.5; 8. Anja Maijala, Cloq, 15:04.8; 9. Phoebe Koski, DE, 15:13.4; 10. Maddi Peart, GR, 15:14.3; 11. Bree Erickson, CI, 15:15.3; 12. Kennedy Warner, ER, 15:17.1; 13. Nikki Jurek, Zimm, 15:21.2.


    At Cloquet Country Club

    Boys (5,000 meters)

    Teams (top 2 advance to state)

    1. Crosby-Ironton, 40; 2. Proctor, 53; 3. Esko, 101; 4. Eveleth-Gilbert, 128; 5. Mesabi East, 132; 6. Cook County-Two Harbors, 151; 7. Moose Lake-Willow River/Barnum, 164; 8. Virginia, 204; 9. Duluth Marshall, 235; 10. Ely, 247; 11. International Falls, 286; 12. South Ridge, 301; 13. Cromwell/Floodwood, 339; 14. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin, 447; 15. Wrenshall, 448; 16. Mountain Iron-Buhl, 486.

    Individuals (state qualifiers)

    1. Sam Johnson, ME, 16:42.4; 2. Reed Melicher, EG, 16:57.0; 3. Will Goodwin, CI, 17:02.9; 4. Zach Smith, Proc, 17:06.0; 5. Jude Severson, CI, 17:11.4; 6. Isaac Carlton, CI, 17:18.7; 7. Jacob Welch, Proc, 17:18.8; 8. John Stokman, CI, 17:27.5; 9. Garrett Sargent, Proc, 17:28.1; 10. Pentti Hanlon, DM, 17:28.1; 11. Daniel Radtke, ME, 17:30.9; 12. Kody Stevens, Proc, 17:45.7; 13. Trenton Menor, Esko, 17:50.2; 14. Chase Peterson, MLWRB, 17:52.9; 15. Seth Prigge, Ely, 17:53.3; 16. Joey Chmelik, CCTH, 17:59.7.

    Other Crosby-Ironton qualifiers: 18. Gabe Smith, 18:01.9; 60. Jack Nierenhausen, 19:56.5; 75. Tommy Thompson, 20:18.4.

    Other Proctor qualifiers: 21. Boston Gilderman, 18:07.9; 48. Thomas Otterson, 19:31.4; 64. Brian Tracey, 20.00.4.

    Girls (4,000 meters)

    Teams (top 2 advance to state)

    1. South Ridge, 97; 2. International Falls, 101; 3. Esko, 121; 4. Moose Lake-Willow River/Barnum, 127; 5. Mesabi East, 133; 6. Crosby-Ironton, 140; 7. Cook County-Two Harbors, 200; 8. Ely, 235; 9. Proctor, 245; 10. Greenway/Nashwauk-Keewatin, 256; 11. Duluth Marshall, 266; 12. Eveleth-Gilbert, 282; 13. Carlton, 299; 14. Deer River/Northland, 315; 15. Virginia, 354.

    Individuals (state qualifiers)

    1. Kailee Kiminski, Esko, 15:20; 2. Erika Fox, Carl, 15:24.9; 3. Lexi Erickson, IF, 15:27.3; 4. Margaret Stokman, CI, 15:27.9; 5. Nicole Tekippe, MLWRB, 15:42.5; 6. Emma Greenlee, ME, 15:47.1; 7. Abbey Whiting, ME, 15:53.3; 8. Molly McKusker, CI, 15:55.9; 9. Sydney Raboin, IF, 15:56.4; 10. Ellyssa Peterson, GNK, 15:57.7.

    South Ridge qualifiers: 13. Gracelynn Otis, 16:12.3; 17. Anna Hall, 16:28.9; 19. Hannah Simek, 16:32.3; 21. Taylor Joyal, 16:38.9; 27. Rachel Land, 16:53.2; 56. Lily Hall, 17:38.7; 57. Elizabeth Poskie, 17:38.9.

    Other International Falls qualifiers: 16. Amy Auran, 16:28.7; 23. Lexi Owen, 16:47.7; 50. Faith Black, 17:30.6; 60. Jenna Anderson, 18:02.7; 65. Lexi Edwards, 18:19.2.

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