Local runners cap off season at state
Nevis' Jade Rypkema and United North Central's Annika Aho just missed earning all-state honors while Nevis' Jack McNamee just missed clocking his personal-best time at Saturday's state Class A cross-country meet at St. Olaf College in Northfield.
"I couldn't be more happy for the kids," said Nevis head coach Tom Stambaugh. "Both executed their plans to perfection."
Rypkema finished 26th overall in 19:40.0 while Aho finished 37th overall in 19:48.5 in the girls 5K race. The top-25 finishers earned all-state honors. Maple Lake's Sophie Pribly claimed the final all-state spot by placing 25th in 19:39.8.
This marked Rypkema's second trip to state. The Nevis eighth grader advanced to state as the No. 3 individual qualifier at the Section 8A meet with a fifth-place time of 19:42. Rypkema finished 91st in 20:42 in her state debut last season as a seventh grader.
Aho capped off her senior season by competing in her fourth straight state meet. Aho advanced as the No. 4 individual qualifier at the Section 8A meet by placing sixth overall in 19:50. In her three previous state appearances, Aho finished 52nd overall in 20:21 in 2015, 15th to earn all-state honors in 19:32 in 2016 and 61st last year in 20:15.
Grace Ping of Cotter won her second state title with a time of 17:19 to top the 175-runner field. Section 8A champion Perham repeated as state champs with 94 points to edge Howard Lake-Waverly's total of 99 points. Cotter finished third with 140 points and Luverne was fourth with 147 points. Staples-Motley, the Section 6A champion, finished fifth with 176 points while Section 8A runner-up East Grand Forks finished 14th with 290 points. This marked Perham's third state title in the last four seasons. Perham entered the state meet rated No. 1 in the Class A poll, Cotter was No. 2, Luverne was No. 3, Howard Lake-Waverly was No. 4 and Staples-Motley was No. 7. Ping entered the state meet rated No. 2 in Class A behind two-time state champion Tierney Wolfgram of Math & Science Academy. Wolfgram fell at the 1,600-meter mark and did not finish the race.
"Jade needed a perfect race for a shot at all-state. She missed by 2/10th of a second. She was around 110th at the mile and 58th at 2 miles. I saw her with 400 meters to go and she was 36th. She had an amazing kick to get to 25th and was caught with about 2 meters left. She ran splits of 6:20, 6:21 and 6:19. She did everything I asked her to do," said Stambaugh. "It's tough being that close, but she ran her best. That's all I'll ever ask. With a good summer and staying healthy, she will be one of the top runners in the state next year. All-state is obviously a goal. I also believe she has a shot at the podium, which is top 10. Bryon Schuldt, our state champ in 2011, has a big influence on Jade. He was 12th as a 9th grader. That will be a big goal of Jade's."
McNamee ran his best race of his career at the Section 8A meet to qualify for his first state meet.
The Nevis sophomore was the No. 6 individual qualifier at the section meet by placing 16th overall with a 5K time of 17:24. In his state debut Saturday, McNamee just missed duplicating that time with a 17:31.8 for 106th place out of 176 runners.
Greenway's Geno Uhrbom won the state title in 15:38 while Mora's Cooper Lennox followed in 15:56 and Staples-Motley's Emmet Anderson was third in 16:07. Brandon O'Hara (fourth in 16:11), Clayton Anderson (fifth in 16:12) and Bailey Evenson (sixth in 16:13) led Perham to back-to-back state titles with 64 points. West Central Area, the Section 6A champion, was second with 140 points while East Grand Forks (the Section 8A runner-up) was sixth with 201 points and Staples-Motley (the Section 6A runner-up) was seventh with 209 points. This marked Perham's seventh state title since 2006. Perham entered the state meet rated No. 1 among Class A teams while West Central Area was rated No. 2, Staples-Motley was rated No. 3 and East Grand Forks was rated No. 11. Uhrbom was the top-rated runner in the state while Anderson was rated No. 2, Lennox was rated No. 3 and O'Hara was rated No. 4.
"Jack PR'd by 20 seconds at sections to get to state. Most young kids regress at state after that kind of improvement. I was hoping he could run under 17:40, which he did. Jack was 172nd at the 800 and was able to move up to 106th by the finish, running within 9 seconds of his best," said Stambaugh. "I couldn't be more proud of how he represented Nevis at state. If he keeps working like he has, he can return next year and compete for the top 25, which is all state."
Boys team scores: Perham 64, West Central Area 140, Mora 161, Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd 170, Nova Classical Academy 183, East Grand Forks 201, Staples-Motley 209, Greenway 212, North Shore 215, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 217, St. James 225, Mankato Loyola 237, Minnehaha Academy 268, Heritage Christian 280, Lake City 300, Redwood Valley 329.
1, Geno Uhrbom, Greenway, 15:38. 2, Cooper Lennox, Mora, 15:56. 3, Emmet Anderson, Staples-Motley, 16:07. 4, Brandon O'Hara, Perham, 16:11. 5, Clayton Anderson, Perham, 16:12. 6, Bailey Evenson, Perham, 16:13. 10, Cole Nowacki, East Grand Forks, 16:17. 16, Jakob McCleary, Perham, 16:32. 17, Hunter Klimek, Staples-Motley, 16:32. 21, Tyson Mahar, East Grand Forks, 16:33. 33, Christian Sterton, Ada-Borup, 16:49. 58, David Johnston, Pelican Rapids, 17:03. 62, Sakariye Ismail, East Grand Forks, 17:05. 65, Chase Belka, Perham, 17:06. 76, Bereket Loer, Wadena-Deer Creek, 17:14. 80, Jonathan Krueger, East Grand Forks , 17:17. 90, Isaac Scheidecker, Perham, 17:23. 96, Lucas Hinojos, Wadena-Deer Creek, 17:26. 98, Bentley Christensen, Staples-Motley, 17:27. 104, Tucker Ringhand, Crosby-Ironton, 17:31. 106, Jack McNamee, Nevis, 17:31. 107, Tesfaye Young, Perham, 17:32. 108, Tanner Robben, Staples-Motley, 17:33. 110, Grady Larsen, Frazee, 17:33. 138, Hayden Reitmeier, Fisher, 17:57. 147, Ben Bartczak, Staples-Motley, 18:04. 150, Luke Brownell, Staples-Motley, 18:07. 152, Jack Tyrrell, Staples-Motley, 18:13. 164, Dawson McDonald, East Grand Forks, 18:47. 172, Collin Porter, East Grand Forks, 19:41. 174, Adam Johnson, East Grand Forks, 20:20.
Girls team scores: Perham 94, Howard Lake-Waverly 99, Cotter 140, Luverne 147, Staples-Motley 176, Lake City 198, Mesabi East 219, Lac qui Parle Valley/Dawson-Boyd 221, West Central Area 229, Providence Academy 255, Jordan 267, Belle Plaine 277, Glencoe-Silver Lake 281, East Grand Forks 290, North Shore 291, Blake 310.
1, Grace Ping, Cotter, 17:19. 2, Lauren Ping, Cotter, 17:41. 3, Morgan Gehl, Murray County Central, 17:53. 4, Ava Hill, Mesabi East, 18:24. 5, Morgan Arnold, Cotter, 18:27. 9, Katherine Geist, Crookston, 18:58. 16, Caitlin Covington, Perham, 19:24. 18, Liz Birkeland, Perham, 19:26. 19, Kyanna Burton, Staples-Motley, 19:27. 26, Jade Rypkema, Nevis, 19:40. 28, Abby Syverson, Pelican Rapids, 19:43. 32, Calia Chaney, Pequot Lakes, 19:46. 36, Bailey Wegscheid, Perham, 19:48. 37, Annika Aho, United North Central, 19:48. 38, Kira Sweeney, Staples-Motley, 19:51. 44, Ashley Robben, Staples-Motley, 19:57. 53, Quincy Anderson, Perham, 20:04. 68, Lauryn Rustad, Perham, 20;12. 71, Lydia Floden, East Grand Forks, 20:13. 72, Taytum Nelson, Lake Park-Audubon, 20:15. 76, Abby Motschenbacher, Wadena-Deer Creek, 20:19. 82, McKenna Langerud, East Grand Forks, 20:25. 86, Mya Morris, Perham, 20:30. 88, Addison Lorber, Staples-Motley, 20:34. 90, Rian Zutter, Pequot Lakes, 20:34. 104, Marin Garrett, East Grand Forks, 20:49. 112, Emily Vanwatermulen, Perham, 21:03. 142, Kassidy Allard, East Grand Forks, 21:45. 148, Quincie Floden, East Grand forks, 21:59. 149, Addysin Chichos, Staples-Motley, 22:01. 151, McKenna Garrett, East Grand Forks, 22:06. 173, Gracie Coulter, East Grand Forks, 23:31. 174, Abby Brown, Staples-Motley, 24:03. 175, Madysen Hull, Staples-Motley, 24:21.