Nevis' Rypkema, UNC's Aho qualify for state

Jade Rypkema won the Section 8A title while Anjalie Aho finished seventh as both earned trips to the Class A girls cross country meet.

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Taking off from the starting line at the Section 8A girls cross country meet at Bagley on Friday, Oct. 25 were Nevis' Grace McNamee (from left), Molly Lindow (8371), Sarah Boettcher, Paige Schuft (8373), Jade Rypkema (8372) and Haylie Mowell. Rypkema led the field with a winning 5K time of 18:54 to advance to the state Class A meet for the third year in a row. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Going into the Section 8A girls cross country meet at Bagley, Nevis freshman Jade Rypkema was among the favorites to win the title while United North Central seventh grader Anjalie Aho was also among the individuals in contention to earn a trip to the state Class A meet.

Both accomplished their goals on the 5K course at the Twin Pines Golf Course.

Rypkema, who was rated as high as No. 6 and entered the section meet rated No. 10 in the state Class A poll, led the 98-runner field with a winning time of 18:54 to qualify for her third straight state meet while Aho finished seventh overall and as the No. 4 individual qualifier in 20:33 to advance to her first state meet.

Rypkema qualified for state in 2017 by placing 12th overall as the No. 7 individual qualifier in 22:23 and moved up to fifth place overall as the No. 3 individual qualifier with a time of 19:42 last fall. Rypkema finished 91st overall in 20:42 in her state debut in 2017 and 26th overall in 19:40 at last year’s state meet.

Joining those two as state qualifiers were Wadena-Deer Creek’s Kira Sweeney (second in 19:27); Perham’s Liz Birkeland (third in 19:48), Mya Morris (fifth in 20:18), Quincy Anderson (sixth in 20:29) and Kaia Starzl (10th in 20:39); East Grand Forks’ Lydia Floden (fourth in 20:07); Pelican Rapids’ Abby Syverson (eighth in 20:34); Roseau’s Lelia Johnson (ninth in 30:35); Thief River Falls’ Jerzie Finstad (11th in 20:43); Hawley’s Lily Olson (12th in 20:43) and Lily Peterson (13th in 20:45); and Warroad’s Eliana Bleess (14th in 20:54).


Perham (which topped the state poll) repeated as section champs with 41 points while Hawley and United North Central tied for second in the 22-team field with 105 points. Hawley won the tiebreaker (Hawley’s No. 6 runner finished ahead of UNC’s No. 6 runner by one spot) to claim the other state berth.

The top eight finishers not on the two state qualifying teams advance to state. The state meet will be held on Saturday (Nov. 2) at St. Olaf College in Northfield starting at 1 p.m.

UNC misses trip

The UNC girls couldn’t finish any closer to qualifying for state.

Hawley and the Warriors were tied with 105 points after their top five runners finished. That meant each team’s No. 6 runner would decide which team would advance to state.

Following Aho for the Warriors were Kaarin Lehto (22nd in 22:01), Gabby Hrdlicka (27th in 22:17), Hope Shepersky (28th in 22:18) and Devon Haverinen (37th in 22:39). Eliminating the runners not on qualifying teams, Lehto was 20th, Hrdlcika was 23rd, Sheperky was 24th and Haverinen was 31st.

Hawley was led by Olson, Peterson, Ivy Tickel (15th in 21:05), Kira Thopson (31st in 22:28) and Piper Myran (49th in 23:17). In the team standings, Olson (11th), Peterson (12th), Tickel (14th), Thompson (26th) and Myran (42nd) comprised Hawley’s score. Mia Tickel followed Myran in 23:18 for 50th place while Mattea Smith was 51st in 23:22 for UNC as the Nuggets won the tiebreaker by the slimmest of margins.

Kate Henrickson rounded out UNC’s team by placing 56th in 23:35. The Warriors placed fifth with 174 points last season.

Nevis takes 8th

Led by Rypkema’s winning effort, the Tigers placed eighth as a team with 179 points.


Molly Lindow was Nevis’ No. 2 runner by placing 36th in 22:34, Emily Funk finished 47th in 23:08, Paige Schuft was 62nd in 23:55 and Grace McNamee finished 63rd in 23:57. Haylie Mowell (82nd in 26:16) and Sarah Boettcher (97th in 34:37) also ran for the Tigers.

Nevis finished 12th last year with 291 points.

Two Panthers run

Park Rapids fielded an incomplete team with only two runners competing.

Holly Johnson placed 64th overall in 23:57 while Julia Harmon followed in 24:11 for 66th place.

Team scores: Perham 41, Hawley 105, United North Central 105, Wadena-Deer Creek 114, East Grand Forks 121, Warroad 156, Pelican Rapids 167, Nevis 179, Lake Park-Audubon 179, Roseau 231, Ada-Borup/Norman County 280. Incomplete teams: Park Rapids, Bagley/Fosston, Cass Lake-Bena, Clearbrook-Gonvick, Crookston, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Frazee, New York Mills, Red Lake County, Thief River Falls West Marshall.
Individual results
1, Jade Rypkema, Nevis, 18:54. 2, Kira Sweeney, WDC, 19:27. 3, Liz Birkeland, Perham, 19:48. 4, Lydia Floden, EGF, 20:07. 5, Mya Morris, Perham, 20:18. 6, Quincy Anderson, Perham, 20:29. 7, Anjalie Aho, UNC, 20:33. 8, Abby Syverson, Pelican Rapids, 20:34. 9, Lelia JOhnson, Roseau, 20:35. 10, Kaia Starzl, Perham, 20:39. 11, Jerzie Finstad, TRF, 20:43. 12, Lily Olson, Hawley, 20:43. 13, Lily Peterson, Hawley, 20:45. 14, Eliana Bleess, Warroad, 20:54. 22, Kaarin Lehto, UNC, 22:01. 27, Gabby Hrdlicka, UNC, 22:17. 28, Hope Shepersky, UNC, 22:18. 36, Molly Lindow, Nevis, 22:34. 37, Devon Haverinen, UNC, 22:39. 47, Emily Funk, Nevis, 23:08. 51, Mattea Smith, UNC, 23:22. 56, Kate Hendrickson, UNC, 23:35. 62, Paige Schuft, Nevis, 23:55. 63, Grace McNamee, Nevis, 23:57. 64, Holly Johnson, Park Rapids, 23:57. 66, Julia Harmon, Park Rapids, 24:11. 82, Haylie Mowell, Nevis, 26:16. 97, Sarah Boettcher, Nevis, 34:37.

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United North Central seventh grader Anjalie Aho (8477) qualified for her first state Class A girls cross country meet by placing seventh overall in 20:33 in her first Section 8A meet at Bagley on Friday, Oct. 25. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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