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Nevis freshman qualifies in first year of program

As a seventh-grader in 2007, Bryon Schuldt became the first member of the Nevis boys track and field team to qualify for the state Class A meet. On Friday, Schuldt became the first member of the Nevis boys cross-country team to qualify for the st...

As a seventh-grader in 2007, Bryon Schuldt became the first member of the Nevis boys track and field team to qualify for the state Class A meet.

On Friday, Schuldt became the first member of the Nevis boys cross-country team to qualify for the state Class A meet.

The Nevis freshman finished third at Friday's Section 8A meet at Park Rapids' Headwaters Country Club to advance to state. Schuldt covered the rain-soaked 5,000-meter course in 17 minutes, 7 seconds to give the Tigers a state participant in the first year of having a high school cross-country program.

"I knew the only thing that could hurt him was to go out too fast. Bryon is very competitive and would have liked to go out with the leaders and try to win the section title. The problem with that is if he goes out too fast and struggles, he could fall out of the top 10," said Nevis head coach Tom Stambaugh. "We wanted him to run a safe race. The nice thing about coaching Bryon is he is very talented, but he also listens to what I tell him to do. I wanted him to go out around 5:20 for the first mile and stay near the top 10. He hit the mile in 5:20 and was in 11th place. He moved up to third with about three-quarters of a mile to go. He ran very well."

Teammate Hunter Schroeder challenged for a state berth before finishing 15th in 18:04.

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"Hunter had never run a race before this season and to get 15th is just a super job. He was very disappointed because he really wanted to go to state. He has only been running for nine weeks and to run as fast as he did is quite amazing. He has a lot of talent and has a very high pain tolerance," said Stambaugh. "I was very proud of both boys. I had a great time helping these two young men learn how to race this year. I could not have had two better kids to work with. They worked hard, did all that I asked and had a lot of fun. It will be interesting to see where cross country will go in the future at Nevis."

Perham won the section title for the third year in a row with 31 points. Staples-Motley was second with 58 points while United North Central (eighth with 228 points) and Park Rapids (ninth with 234 points) followed in this 16-team meet. Perham is rated No. 4 in the latest state Class A poll.

Leading Park Rapids were Derek Werner (26th in 19:02) and Levi Erickson (28th in 19:05). Bryce Klasen (57th in 19:56), Zac Haugland (59th in 20:01) and Giacomo Siciliani (64th in 20:28) rounded out the Panthers' team score. Kyle McBrady finished 95th in 22:27 and Jeff Johnson was 96th in 22:55.

"The boys ran well. By the time they ran, they had been out in the elements for some time. It was just a soggy mess," said Park Rapids head coach Kerry Johnson. "As far as times went, Derek, Bryce and Zac ran their best times. Levi, Giacomo and Kyle were just seconds away. Jeff ran a good race in his first section meet. They all ran really good races considering the conditions. We seem to do best when the challenges are greatest. Whenever they ran a hilly course, they would post some of their best times. When water was flying up over the wheels of the lead cart, they still ran a great race. They're just a hard-working bunch and they continued to push all season. I hope we can get some more boys out so we can continue to improve."

Leading United North Central were Jonathan Miller (17th in 18:17) and Derek Pihlaja (22nd in 18:56). Rounding out the Warriors' team score were Matt Skoog (55th in 19:54), Alex White (56th in 19:56) and Jeremy McDonald (78th in 21:13).

Senior Moses Heppner of Warroad, who is rated No. 9 in the state, led the field with a winning time of 16:42. Junior Jordan Bendson of Staples-Motley was second in 16:56 while Schuldt took third. The other state qualifiers were Perham junior Sam Stoll in 17:13, Staples-Motley junior Gunner Johnson in 17:19, Perham sophomore Keith Schornack in 17:21, Perham senior Alex Barney in 17:29, Perham sophomore Klaus Weber in 17:32, Thief River Falls sophomore Brendan Skime in 17:34, Warroad junior Joey Olson in 17:35 and Perham sophomore Brandon Karels in 17:50.

The state Class A meet will be held Saturday morning at 11 at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

Boys team scores: Perham 31, Staples-Motley 58, Warroad 119, Pelican Rapids 158, Bagley/Fosston 161, Roseau 163, Thief River Falls 172, United North Central 228, Park Rapids 234, Wadena-Deer Creek 283, Pillager 298, East Grand Forks 299, Hawley/Ulen-Hitterdal 319, Lake of the Woods 353, Frazee 403.

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State qualifiers

1, Moses Heppner, Warroad, 16:42. 2, Jordan Bendson, Staples-Motley, 16:56. 3, Bryon Schuldt, Nevis, 17:07. 4, Sam Stoll, Perham, 17:13. 5, Gunner Johnson, Staples-Motley, 17:19. 6, Keith Schornack, Perham, 17:21. 7, Alex Barney, Perham, 17:29. 8, Klaus Weber, Perham, 17:32. 9, Brendan Skime, Thief River Falls, 17:34. 10, Joey Olson, Warroad, 17:35.

Nevis results

3, Bryon Schuldt 17:07. 15, Hunter Schroeder 18:04.

Park Rapids results

26, Derek Werner 19:02. 28, Levi Erickson 19:05. 57, Bryce Klasen 19:56. 59, Zac Haugland 20:01. 64, Giacomo Siciliani 20:28. 95, Kyle McBrady 22:27. 96, Jeff Johnson 22:55.

United North Central results

17, Jonathan Miller 18:17. 22, Derek Pihlaja 18:56. 55, Matt Skoog 19:54. 56, Alex White 19:56. 78, Jeremy McDonald 21:13. 79, Don Peterson 21:18. 92, Josh Stiles 21:53.

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