UNC girls run away with conference title
Annika Aho led the field as the United North Central girls cross-country team ran away with the Park Region Conference title Tuesday at Blueberry Pines.
Aho covered the 5K course in a winning time of 20:42, Kate Hendrickson was third in 21:27, Molly Hendrickson took fifth in 22:10, Gabby Hrdlicka finished sixth in 22:11 and Kaarin Lehto was seventh in 22:15 as the Warriors compiled 19 points to top the seven-team field. All five runners earned all-conference honors.
Receiving all-conference honorable mention honors for the Warriors was Maria Isaacson, who finished 10th in 22:34. Anita Lehto rounded out UNC's squad by placing 15th in 23:14.
Ottertail Central finished a distant second with 49 points.
"Expectations were high, but I wouldn't say we thought it would be a runaway like it was," said UNC co-head coach Nick Jasmer. "You never know what will happen out there till the end. The one thing we did expect was for this group of girls to go out there and give it their all, which is exactly what they did."
In the boys meet, Ottertail Central claimed the conference title with 25 points while Wadena-Deer Creek (37) and United North Central (91) followed.
Running for the Warriors were Luke Brownell (14th in 19:22), Joel Isaacson (17th in 20:02), Jack Pietila (20th in 20:22), Eddie Salmen (21st in 20:23), Lyle Brownell (22nd in 20:27), Abram Josephson (23rd in 20:30) and Sam Jackola (33rd in 21:07).
WDC's Noah Ross clocked a winning time of 17:40.
"These boys really stepped up and represented UNC very well. These boys are the future of this boys cross-country program and even though they could have ran the JV race, they came out, ran varsity and placed third. That is amazing," said Jasmer. "I'm so proud of what those boys accomplished. Other cross-country teams are going to have to look out for this boys team in the near future. They are going to be the ones to beat."
Jasmer and co-head coach Nicole Oyster were named Park Region Conference Coaches of the Year.
"We were very pleased with how both teams ran," said Jasmer. "These athletes have worked so hard all season long and at conference you saw it all pay off. They went out there and gave every ounce of effort they had. We're so proud of every UNC runner and proud to be able to coach and work with these amazing runners."
Girls team scores: United North Central 19, Ottertail Central 49, Wadena-Deer Creek 84, Pillager 102, Pine River-Backus 126. Incomplete teams: New York Mills, Parkers Prairie.
1, Annika Aho, UNC, 20:42. 2, Katie George, OTC, 20:53. 3, Kate Hendrickson, UNC, 21:27. 4, Bella Bauck, NYM, 22:07. 5, Molly Hendrickson, UNC, 22:10. 6, Gabby Hrdlicka, UNC, 22:11. 7, Kaarin Lehto, UNC, 22:15. 8, Sidney Lodge, PRB, 22:33. 9, Abbie Radermacher, OTC, 22:33. 10, Maria Isaacson, UNC, 22:34. 15, Anita Lehto, UNC, 23:14. JV: Lora Isaacson, UNC, 24:16; Maddie Bullock, UNC, 24:40; Rachael Smith, UNC, 25:09; Erin Olson, UNC, 27:14; Maddie Thene, UNC, 27:53; Lydia Isacson, UNC, 29:12.
Boys team scores: Ottertail Central 25, Wadena-Deer Creek 37, United North Central 91, Pine River-Backus 117, New York Mills 132, Pillager 145. Incomplete teams: Parkers Prairie.
1, Noah Ross, WDC, 17:40. 2, Bereket Loer, WDC, 17:53. 3, Eli Carlson, OTC, 17:58. 4, Ricky George, OTC, 18:04. 5, Cody Dolezal, OTC, 18:19. 6, Noah Wendland, OTC, 18:23. 7, Donnie Frost, OTC, 18:30. 8, Lucas Hinojos, WDC, 18:36. 9, Marc Hendricks, OTC, 19:01. 10, Luke Sechser, PRB, 19:03. 14, Luke Brownell, UNC, 19:22. 17, Joel Isaacson, UNC, 20:02. 20, Jack Pietila, UNC, 20:22. 21, Eddie Salmen, UNC, 20:23. 22, Lyle Brownell, UNC, 20:27. 23, Abram Josephson, UNC, 20:30. 33, Sam Jackola, UNC, 21:07. JV: Christian Johnson, UNC, 21:09; Brian Keranen, UNC, 23:12.